Iron, ferritin (PART 1)
Please be patient about this post. I think it could be one of the most important posts I think I will ever write. But, first you need to read about my family history.
On my fathers side, there is diabetes, glaucoma, parkinson's, alzheimer's, heart problems, detached retinas. So, I am like WTF is going on here, and I am seriously worried about my own health and my son's who is soon having his first birthday BTW. Considering that my father's side of the family is full of strong, vibrant people who barely catch colds, I tried to find the common thread that could cause all these problems.
So, one day, my father had his yearly check up, and the doctor told him that he had elevated levels of ferritin. That is the protein that stores iron in the body. So, to make a long story short, after talking to the doctor and doing my own research, I discovered these things which most of us know these things but never put 2 and 2 together:
1. Iron is an oxidant. We take vitamins because they are ANTIoxidants. Iron destroys cells if it is not checked by antioxidants.
2. The body cannot get rid of iron EVER. We cannot piss it away like vitamins. If it bonds in our body is there forever.
3. It bonds to form ferritin.
So, if we put these three facts together, we get that iron can destroy our bodies at the cellular level if we have too much in our bodies. What type of destruction?
You see, if the body is destroyed at the cell level, nay disease may pop up, but mainly the ones that I just listed.
So, that my father absorbs too much iron from his food did not happen by chance.
It is a dominant, hereditary characterisitc. If one parent has that gene, the kid has that gene. So, I have it.
YOU PROBABLY HAVE IT! It is estimated that 60% of the population has it! This means most of us have bodies that tend to store too much iron and are programmed to get massively damaged with increasing iron absorption as old age ensues.
Some doctors suspect that "old age" ailments INCLUDING ARTHRITIS are iron damage!
However, this is a pretty recent realisation that not many doctors know about yet. Here is a refference for the people who like to read medical books:
Exposing the Hidden Dangers of Iron, by
E. D. Weinberg, PhD, Indiana University, Iron Disorders Institute Scientific Advisory Board, Publications Chair, 2004
It's rough reading addressed to doctors and not the lay person (I am a lay person.)
So, iron is the enemy, the great oxidant which we have to fight off. The initial reaction is of course, let's get more oxidants in our bodies!
That's a very bad strategy since some vitamins especially C promote the absorption of iron. Eating meat and having vitamin C at the same time is a disaster when it comes to iron absorption.
So, that is out of the question. So, we have to decrease iron absorption which can be done in four ways:
1. Eat less red meat. Sounds good considering cholesterol, too.
2. Give blood at regular intervals. If you juice up tha is out of the question.
3. Avoid certain foods that we know that they are bad anyway:
c. Fortified foods
d. Iron suppplements
4. Eat foods that decrease the absorption of iron like
Eggs (1 egg with the meal reduces it by 28%)
Coffee, tea, anything with tannins
Phytates, phytic acid, plants with green leaves in other words
human milk, okay, lactoferrin
AND STOP COOKING IN IRON POTS
So, have a yearly physical with blood test every year. Always check the iron levels in your body, anything with FERR- in it. Too low means anemia, above normal, YOU MUST BRING IT DOWN.
IRON DAMAGE IS IRREVERSIBLE.