Red Meat, Cancer, & All Cause MortalityOctober 11, 2017
Better Diet, Better Microbiome, Better HealthJanuary 4, 2018
A Double-Edged Iron Sword Can Shorten Life & Promote Alzheimer’s
We need only a small amount of iron for healthy blood cells. Beyond this, iron acts as a catalyst for free radicals, which can cause organ damage leading to cancer and Alzheimer’s.
Research studies show that higher amounts of iron in the blood means higher cancer risk.
The major source of problem iron in the American diet: red meat.
The iron in meat - called “heme iron,” – is readily absorbed by the body and is linked to both cancer and Alzheimer’s.
Surprisingly, iron from grains, vegetables and beans doesn’t cause “iron overload.”
So what happens if one reduces the intake of heme iron, the iron associated with red meat?
A recent 6-year study of V.A. hospital patients with vascular disease (but not cancer) showed a 1/3rd reduction in the overall cancer rate and all-cause death rate for patients who reduced their heme iron intake.
Since our bodies cannot get rid of excess iron easily, both giving blood and blood loss during menstruation seem to protect against cancer and Alzheimer’s. Men and women who live to a ripe old age typically have body iron levels which are low, presumably due to low dietary iron intake.
It’s easy to find out if you have too much stored iron. A serum ferritin test is the most reliable guide to assessing stored iron in your body. Usually this test is combined with two other tests: serum iron and total iron binding capacity (TIBC). Doctors divide the serum-iron value by the TIBC, which should have a result of 16%-50% for women, and 16% to 62% for men. Serum iron is usually measured after overnight fasting.
The simplest way to reduce your heme iron levels:
take the Red Meat Pledge and follow-through with it.
You might live longer and enjoy a sharper mind along the way!