We are generally taught that the consumption of vitamins and minerals is essential to the proper functioning of our body and the systems it contains. However, new studies show that even with healthy supplements, too much good can be very harmful. Recent studies have shown that excessive iron intake may be very harmful to the human body.
The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, analyzed human genetic studies from more than one million subjects. The study’s lead author and analyst is Paul Timmers of the University of Edinburgh.
“Using genetics, we found several pieces of evidence suggesting that poor blood iron control was causally linked to shorter life expectancy and less healthy years of life,” Timmers told Eat This, Not That! The study focused on examining the DNA of those who took part in the study, those who lead typically healthy lives, and those who live with age-related diseases.
The analysts isolated three key factors related to aging factors: life expectancy, life expectancy and longevity. Illness and longevity refers to a person who lives into old age.
“Using genetics, we found evidence that poor blood iron control is causally related to short lifespan and reduced years of health,” Timoth told “Eat this, not that”!
The study focused on examining the DNA of those who took part in the study, those who lead typically healthy lives, and those who live with age-related diseases. The analysts isolated three key factors related to aging factors: life expectancy, life expectancy and longevity. Illness and longevity refers to a person who lives into old age.
Deelen further explains how iron levels may play a role in aging. He says that while it’s well-known that iron deficiency can cause poor health, they were the first to find out that for most people a small reduction in blood iron—from their current levels—is likely to be beneficial to their health. Iron metabolism has not been linked previously to healthy aging and this study is a real breakthrough.
Higher iron levels based on genetic predisposition may actually reduce a person’s lifespan. Variations in DNA can uncontrollably increase iron levels, which is not the fault of anyone with these predispositions. Ultimately, if one has these genetic markers, their increased iron levels are out of their control, and could lead to a heightened chance of age-related disease and even early death.
“People tend to lose their ability to regulate iron levels as they get older, so regularly checking your iron levels could be important to maintain optimal health into old age,” says Timmers.
This means that if you have these genetic markers, you may need to more closely regulate your iron intake. But how would any of us know if we have these iron-raising DNA predispositions? Without being a part of a specific test group designed for this purpose, we may never know if we are prone to increased iron levels. Ultimately, we would all need to be as safe as possible because of this uncertainty, and practice general regulation of our iron levels. This would entail being more conscious about consuming foods very high in iron, such as red meats.
Because the study was preliminary, more research is needed to solidify the findings. It is not clear how much iron plays a part in early aging and age-related disease. To truly determine how much iron is needed to stay healthy and when that threshold is crossed, researchers would need to find out more about iron metabolism. It varies by the individual, so precise testing and data is definitely necessary for this groundbreaking research.