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Iron Toxicity

Ian Goddard igoddard at erols.mon
Sun Aug 3 14:10:03 EST 2003

"Virginia" <vodine at direct.ca> wrote:

>I've also seen information that iron overload can cause heart problems -
>hence the greater percentage of men having problems than women - as women
>lose a lot of iron with their menses.

  IAN: Indeed, as well as being neurotoxic, iron may
  also play a causal role in heart disease. Anything 
  that generates free radicals has the potential for 
  widespread harm. From the "Nutrition Today" review:


[...] there is growing concern that too much iron in our diets may be
related to certain diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, and
certain neurologic diseases. [...]

A 1992 prospective study[31] of Finnish men established that an
elevated serum level of ferritin was a significant risk factor for
acute myocardial infarction (AMI). The results of this study are
consistent with a 1972 report that serum ferritin levels are
positively correlated with heart disease.[32] Elevations in serum
ferritin can be (but are not always) reflective of high levels of
stored iron in the body. Menses in young adult women has been reported
to at least partly explain why women are generally at lower risk for
heart disease than men. 

[ IAN: The implication being that the loss of iron from menstration
may reduce heart disease, as Virginia noted. Back to the review... ]

Indeed, a Framingham study showed that premenopausal hysterectomy
eliminated the protection against heart disease.[33] Estrogen
replacement therapy alone does not decrease the risk of heart disease
in women or men. Most studies on iron and heart disease focus on
excess iron. Epidemiologic studies have revealed that where iron
deficiency is prevalent in a population, there is a low prevalence of
heart disease. Obviously, the heart requires a constant supply of iron
for normal function, but there is nothing to indicate that a balanced
diet will not provide sufficient iron for normal heart activity.

One other area where increased iron has been considered to increase
cardiovascular problems has been in association with atherogenicity of
low-density lipoprotein (LDL) associated cholesterol. Earlier, we
mentioned how oxidatively damaged proteins function poorly or not at
all. Iron can cause oxidative damage to LDL, causing LDL to be rapidly
cleared from plasma.

Although at first glance, rapid removal of LDL from plasma may appear
to be a positive effect, the rapid uptake appears to present problems
for the endothelial cells surrounding the blood vessel. It is also
thought that incomplete oxidative damage to LDL may render it less
functional but also less likely to be cleared from the plasma. Iron
itself can be found within atherosclerotic lesions. 


31. Salonen JT, Nyyssonen K, Korpela H, Tuomilehto J, Seppanen SR.
High stored iron levels are associated with excess risk of myocardial
infarction. Circulation 1992;86:803-11.

32. Cook JD, finch CA, Smith NJ. Evaluation of the iron status of a
population. Blood 1976;48: 449-54.

33. Gordon T, Kannel WB, Hjortland MC, McNamara PM. Menopause and
coronary disease: The Framingham Study. Ann Intern Med 1976;85:447-55.



>>  Aluminum and Alzheimer's disease:
>>  Mercury and Alzheimer's disease:
>> http://www.google.com/groups?selm=3af37029.2307577%40news.erols.com
>>   http://IanGoddard.net/journal.htm
>>   "To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals." Ben Franklin
>>   Ongoing CR-monkey-study update: "In the monkeys...those on
>>   reduced feeding since the study started are dying at a rate
>>   that is about half that of the monkeys receiving a full food
>>   ration." Associated Press: Eating less may extend human life.
>>   August 1, 2002 : http://www.msnbc.com/news/788746.asp?0si=-

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