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Aging Well

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Essentially every different major class of evidence has implicated iron in health risks, and the data have been accumulating for decades. The most credible kinds of evidence — molecular and genetic evidence, controlled feeding experiments of animal models, and even clinical trial data — have directly implicated iron in disease. To name just a few studies:
● Distinguished biochemist Eugene Weinberg documented excessive iron as a central cause of numerous diseases in his 2004 book, “Exposing the Hidden Dangers of Iron.”
● A landmark 2015 study, a multi-center longitudinal study contributed to by hundreds of distinguished scientists, who conducted dozens of studies, concluded that iron plays a key role in the development of Alzheimer’s Disease (The Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, “Ferritin Levels in the Cerebrospinal Fluid Predict Alzheimer’s Disease Outcomes and are Regulated by APOE,” by Scott Ayton, Noel G. Faux, Ashley I. Bush. Nature Communications, May 19th, 2015).

How Iron Enters Your Body to Potentially Impact Internal Organs
Both your diet and/or your genetic makeup can lead you to build up excess iron, potentially damaging your internal organs: Iron typically enters the body through the consumption of foods and liquids, which alone can cause an overaccumulation of iron. In addition, changes in your DNA, known as genetic variants or mutations, can also interact even with what seems like a diet moderate in iron to cause iron excess. Hemochromatosis, for example, causes the body to absorb too much iron — in some cases many times more than normal. Though most of the 1 in 5 people who carry such a variant don’t develop clinical hemochromatosis, many of them typically have excessive body iron. And the average iron level of individuals living in countries such as the U.S. already far exceeds what’s necessary.

How Iron Enters Your Central Nervous System
Once iron enters your body, your genetic makeup plays a key role not only in determining how much iron your body absorbs, but how much iron crosses the blood-brain barrier to your central nervous system and brain. Multiple scientific reports show that some genetic variants increase iron absorption into the body, and that the risks of disease associated with elevated iron within the body are further increased by other pathogenic genetic variants that transport excess iron to the nervous system and brain. This synergy greatly increases the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.