The disease causing dangers of high iron levelsAugust 10, 2013 by Dr. Thomas Levy
While essential for health, you are only rarely deficient in iron. Iron is the classical double-edged sword. Similar to calcium and copper, a fairly small amount is needed to support normal health, and an increased level of it is toxic, with even higher levels producing greater toxicity.
The danger of high iron levels
When too much iron is present, increased oxidative stress is always present as well. Increased oxidative stress is always the stage on which disease is based. However, unless you have a documented iron-deficiency anemia, which is very easy to diagnose on routine laboratory testing, you should never supplement iron.
Surprising to most people, iron is essential for the growth of pathogenic microbes and all cancer cells. Not only is iron highly toxic in the tissues when present in excess, it is also the most vital nutrient for promoting nearly all infections as well as all cancers. Many of the most effective antibiotics are actually iron chelators, meaning they effectively starve the invader by taking away much of its necessary fuel, iron.
Similarly, cancer cells never thrive in an iron-poor environment
It's difficult to avoid iron – even if you want to
Modern medicine, in all its wisdom, found that many third world populations were iron-deficient (and had iron deficiency anemia) due to diets profoundly depleted in iron and basic nutrition. Somehow, it was then decided that iron deficiency had to be avoided at all costs, and mass "fortification" of many of the foods eaten today began. As a result, chronic iron toxicity has become the norm.
It's important to note: excess iron promotes all chronic degenerative diseases, not just cancer and infections.
Heart disease is also especially sensitive to the negative effects of excess iron, and atherosclerotic plaques have been documented to have a exceptionally high iron content, supporting this connection.
Getting your iron level tested is easy
The most accurate indicator of iron status in the body is the "serum ferritin test". Most laboratories list the normal range for this test to be roughly 30 to 400 ng/cc. A ferritin test reflective of truly normal iron stores should be in the 25 to 50 ng/cc range, as long as there is no evidence of an iron deficiency anemia having developed.
Remember, however, that the normal range of a blood test is designed to make the vast majority of the population "normal." But, what happens when the vast majority of the population is abnormal? The answer is that a grossly abnormal laboratory result, like a ferritin level of 390 to 400 ng/cc, is simply declared to be normal.
What is the next step?
First of all, find a doc who will work with you and discuss all your concerns with you. Many good ones can be found at the link I just provided for you.
Check your ferritin levels, and see if your doc is comfortable with it. Regardless, however, blood donation on a regular basis will lower elevated levels, and your blood donation will actually end up helping you as much or more than the person that receives it. You may also want to take inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) – a naturally occurring iron and calcium chelator - about a gram or so taken on an empty stomach, will gradually lower ferritin levels.
A good health investment, not only for eliminating iron from your body, but also for eliminating a wide array of stored toxins, is a far-infrared sauna.
And, when ferritin levels are very elevated, even by regular standards, prescription injected or oral chelation agents are available.References: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=19195795 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=2182395 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=20178010 - See more at: http://www.naturalhealth365.com/nutrition_news/iron_dangers.html#sthash.qTL8mGQP.dpuf
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Dr. Levy regularly contributes brief articles of interest to the NaturalHealth365 website, which can accessed here: www.naturalhealth365.com.