Iron Not Only Bad In Excess, But Also Bad In Deficiency?

Discussion in 'Minerals' started by Gabriel, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. jyb

    jyb Member

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    For the repletion purposes, I'm thinking you could use bone marrow as a very iron rich source of the animal, if you want to avoid excess liver. I've never cooked bone marrow, but it looks fairly quick and cheap. Seems like marrow, liver and oysters are the most iron dense foods I can think of.

    EDIT: you can add clams too, apparently.
     
  2. mt_dreams

    mt_dreams Member

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    It's tough to know exactly what you're deficient in going just by symptoms alone. Too many conditions have overlapping symptoms, so it's wise to get full testing done. And it's not just about tracking what you're eating, as it's not what you eat, but what you absorb that matters. You wouldn't want to take in more iron if you were already high in it, especially males.
    That being said, two great food items I've used in the past when I haven't had much meat (gelatin & dairy make up most of my protein), is molasses & cocoa ... as long as you can tolerate them. They also have the added benefit of being high in magnesium, which is often low when practicing peat's dietary suggestions.
     
  3. marcar72

    marcar72 Member

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    Alright I'm back with my Iron Panel numbers. I used my follow up ENT appointment on 10/20/14 to request the Iron Panel from the Nurse Practitioner. I told her about my most recent speculations into my ongoing health issues with environmental toxins (mold), obsure nutritional deficiencies, moving residence, bruising easily, etc., etc. She was more than happy to order the Iron Panel up and even mentioned that tinnitus (same ear as recurring ear/sinus infection issues) can be a symptom of iron deficiency.

    Here are my numbers:

    Iron - 66 (50-212)
    TIBC - 309 (205-512)
    Ferritin - 78 (15-200)
    TSAT - 21% (20%-55%)

    These values are after 20 solid days of Iron supplementation in the form of Ferrous Gluconate. This form is supposed to be more absorbable and less irritating to the GI tract. I've been taking 27-54mg/day, usually 54mg/day but some days only 1 pill. I chew up the pill somewhat and take with a pint of OJ. I think in light of this information I can reasonably assume that I was indeed iron-deficiency anemic for awhile there. I also really upped my calf liver intake for awhile there (thinking vitamin A deficiency at the time) and also increased my red meat intake to a couple times a week atleast.

    Please forgive my rash assumption in regards to Ray Peat's view of estrogen as the culprit in women having a higher rate of iron retention. I understand what he is saying now and it does make sense. I still feel there's a implicit tendency in a Ray Peat paradigm to easily become iron deficient if one doesn't eat the right foods. There were times before my current health struggles (which I'm currently over, mostly) when I would drink OJ with meat ON PURPOSE because I felt that I could use all the iron the meat had to offer.

    Any Iron Panel interpretations are welcome, also any further discussion in regards to the issue at hand. I again apologize to Mittir. I sometimes think he's addressing me specifically when he's probably just putting the pertinent Ray Peat info into threads for thought.

    As of what I should do from here, I'm not sure. I imagine I'll keep the Iron supplementation up for a few more weeks then taper off. Then I just gotta be sure to not skimp on the liver, meat, potatoes, etc, etc, in my diet like I seem to have accidentally done earlier this summer. :2cents
     
  4. pboy

    pboy Member

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    I don't know how to interpret data...but just curious, did you notice any energy of mood improvements during the supplementation?

    I feel like a boss most of the time, no issues at all, but my overall energy was at one point in the past higher (had GI and other stuff though, was actually on a vegan diet), and im wondering if my iron might need a boost...ive been eating peat style mostly for a while, with no meat or eggs
     
  5. marcar72

    marcar72 Member

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    I seemed to feel less fatigued and less sore pretty much immediately off the bat. I realize that could be some placebo effect though. I've still been feeling sort of weak, like I'm out of elbow grease. The recurring ear/sinus infection has been for the most part resolved for a few weeks now. Just had this weakness, fatigue, body sore, bruising easily, dry mouth, etc., etc., soon after though.

    I looked a little into what my iron numbers could mean and they seem to indicate that maybe I was suffering from "anemia of chronic disease". Low TSAT with normal/high ferritin sort of indicates that. Basically the chronic ear/sinus infection and whatever else came with it reduced my bodies ability to transport iron. So I guess that mold was really screwing me up for awhile there. Unless I've been massively adding to my Ferritin value with 20 days of supplementation, which reports from others indicate it doesn't budge that easily.

    I've also realized that maybe a Vitamin E deficiency might have been at play in my diet. I had been using "Purely E" liquid vitamin E but I remember a post where someone mentioned Ray Peat not trusting it. So I've added Unique E capsules to my supplementation. :2cents
     
  6. marcar72

    marcar72 Member

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    I just got back from Thanksgiving activies with relatives on my mother's side of the family and found out that my mother used to have to get "hemoglobin shots" for anemia when she was younger in life. I'm assuming "hemoglobin shots" were actually iron shots.

    So this adds another dimension to my situation with the anemic symptoms I was experiencing this summer.

    She ate pretty well growing up on a farm and her two other sisters (my aunts who I spent the day with) mentioned that she had trouble with anemia in spite of her diet. Neither of them mentioned having any issues with anemia themselves.

    Maybe I got some susceptibility to reduced iron uptake or increased iron excretion due to hereditary. Or maybe I need more iron in the upper end of the reference ranges than most other people.

    Who knows but this knowledge is comforting and reassuring to me in a way I guess. Also makes me wonder just how to manage it from here forward if indeed this is the case. :2cents
     
  7. jaa

    jaa Member

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    I found out yesterday I am very low in serum ferritin (5ng/mL, normal range 30-300 ng/mL). On the positive side, my TSH went from 2.5 to 1.1 (I forget the units). I was not specifically testing iron levels, so it comes as a bit of a surprise. It could be due to actively trying to limit iron (limiting red meat, drinking coffee with iron containing foods, and donating blood frequently), so I am going to enjoy steak and mussels and cocoa and not donating blood a lot more and retest in a few months. It could also be to a potential mold issue in my home, which I had scheduled to get tested before I found out about my low ferritin. The only other cause I can think of is some kind of disease. I hope it is a result of Ray Peat eating. Not trying to limit iron levels is a lot more fun for me.
     
  8. jyb

    jyb Member

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    That would eventually drain out all of your iron and kill you. Iron balance is easily negative with low iron foods, so if you donate on top then eventually it will. It's effective to reduce excess iron I think, but after a few donations and low iron foods you'd get it right. Continue donating and it'd get too low.
     
  9. jyb

    jyb Member

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    My personal experience confirms this. In my history, low (too low) iron correlates with tinnitus absolutely.
     
  10. Jenn

    Jenn Member

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  11. jyb

    jyb Member

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    I'm sure I've seen exchanges with Ray about how combining a few blood indicators gives an idea of excess or deficiency. Just that ferritin only may be insufficient.
     
  12. miaU

    miaU New Member

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    So, I had never heard of Ray Peat until someone mentioned him in comments on an article on fb yesterday, saying he was a hormone expert. I looked up with site and went straight to the article on Iron and was like what?
    I was diagnosed as severely anemic from horribly heavy flowing periods. My ferretin level was ONE. I have always eaten well and eaten lots of foods that are high in iron. After trying a couple of basic gi distressing iron supplements, I started taking Proferrin (a somewhat pricey one, but it is heme iron and you don't have to worry about coffee or dairy, etc interacting with it). My levels are coming up. I can't imagine not having taken supplements. I was so tired and out of it before that I could barely work/live. Ears ringing, heart pounding, feeling of passing out even when I was lying down.
    I was glad to see Isabella83's response that supplements helped her as well. Yes, iron deficiency does exist for MANY people (usually women) and it's very hard to correct just with food (I use cast iron skillets, blackstrap molasses, etc). I feel like that article is dangerous. Iron deficiency is very dangerous and it's bad for your heart to be in that state for a long time. Supplements are the answer for me and many others.
     
  13. tara

    tara Member

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    @MiaU
    I am glad you have improved your health by increasing iron intake.

    I guess any article can be dangerous if it is misread.

    What I got from the article you refer to and his other writing and interviews mentioning iron is:
    -It is common for people to get more iron than they need.
    -Excess iron contributes to general ageing and some kinds of diseases.
    -Anaemia can have several causes. It is common for doctors to assume iron deficiency when faced with anaemia. It is a good idea to check, because other causes may be more common. Supplementing iron when there is not a deficiency can cause harm.
    -Real iron deficiency may for instance be caused by severe bleeding from injuries, haemorages or excessive menstrual flow, and can be easily diagnosed from the relevant blood tests
    - If there is real iron deficiency, it is often sufficient and safer to increase iron stores by eating more iron-rich foods, liver, oysters etc, and drinking OJ etc with them to increase iron absorption.
    As far as I can tell, there is plenty of evidence to support these views.

    What I have never read or heard from him is that iron deficiency and iron-deficiency anaemia never occurs, should never be checked for, is never dangerous, and should never be attended to by increasing iron consumption and absorption. It seems as though this is the kind of message you are responding to.

    Personally, I have been prescribed iron supplements more than once even though I have never tested as deficient (though near the lower end of what was considered the healthy range). I don't think it did me any good, and one of my children was born jaundiced, which may have been a result of excessive supplementation during pregnancy.

    If you are interested in considering ways to address the excessive menstrual flow, you could read Peat's articles related to oestrogen and progesterone. There are women here who have improved this issue significantly by supplementing progesterone in the form of progest-e. I am not saying this is suitable for you - it is wise of you to read widely to get a better understanding of your issues. But if you haven't already considered this angle, it recommend it as worth a look.

    Good luck.
     
  14. Philomath

    Philomath Member

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    Nicely written Tara. I wish everyone could respond like that... Objective, encouraging & rational.
     
  15. charlie

    charlie The Law & Order Admin

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    :1
     
  16. Richiebogie

    Richiebogie Member

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    If we undereat iron, can our bodies access the iron stored in tissues as lipofuscin (age pigment), or does this hang around causing problems until death?
     
  17. Koveras

    Koveras Member

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  18. Mittir

    Mittir Member

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    Under eating iron depletes iron storage, i do not know if it also remove iron from lipofuscin.
    I remember reading one study that found daily intake of 7 mg iron from vegetable and milk
    lowered iron storage significantly in several months. Body needs about 1 mg iron daily,
    it is important to avoid heme iron from meat and fish to deplete iron storage. Non heme iron
    in vegetable and milk has much lower absorption rate. Calcium in milk inhibits absorption
    of both heme and non heme iron. Whey and Casein also inhibit non heme iron absorption.
    Coffee only inhibits non heme iron.
     
  19. michael94

    michael94 Member

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    Very interesting mittir, so very little of the 7mg was being absorbed then? Much less than 1mg if it was depleting iron stores so quickly...

    also there's this

    Vitamin E Is Protective against Iron Toxicity and Iron-Induced Hepatic Vitamin E Depletion in Mice

    upload_2016-3-12_0-43-38.png

    The vitamin E was simply alpha tocopherol at a dose of 20mg/kg once a week. I'm not sure if you need to convert that down from mice to humans but 1400mg vitamin E as alpha tocopherol doesn't seem too hard to achieve once a week. This is available as the dry form which does not irritate the gut like some oil preparations.
     
  20. Richiebogie

    Richiebogie Member

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    Thanks all for your replies.

    I found this quote from a biology textbook at Unsaturated Fats and Age Pigment – Functional Performance Systems (FPS) which explains that lipofuscin can be broken down when the system regains health:



    It looks like this repair is the same as the standard unsaturated fat cleanup from our tissues that we hope for when we start eating less unsaturated fat, and eat more fruit/antioxidants, gelatin/creatine, vintage cheddar cheese/vitamin k2, mushrooms/vitamin d, liver/vitamin a, oysters/zinc etc.

    I assume the iron ions will get ejected from the tissues back into the bloodstream as part of this, perhaps to get used as red blood cells etc...
     
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