The accumulation of iron in the body is termed iron overload, or hemochromatosis. Hemochromatosis effects the whole body but specifically effects the the liver, heart, and endocrine glands. 1
Elevated levels of iron in the body creates excessive highly reactive and the toxic hydroxyl radical which specifically damages: 2
- cell membranes
- electron transport proteins
- mitochondrial DNA
Iron overload creates risk factors for the following disease conditions:
- Ulcerative colitis 4
Eyes & Vision:
- Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) 5
Testing for Iron Overload (Stored Iron)
The blood test administered for iron overload is called the serum ferritin test which measures stored iron. Ferritin is a liver produced protein for the storage of iron.
Figure 1. This is a three-dimensional representation showing ferritin, the iron-storage protein in the body. Ferritin has a spherical shape, and iron (brown) is stored as a mineral inside the sphere. Source: Department of Chemistry, Washington University
Consult with you health care professional to have this test administered to determine your stored iron levels. Most doctors reccommend that this test be taken on an annual basis.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the typical ranges are:
- 24 to 336 nanograms per milliliter in men
- 11 to 307 nanograms per milliliter in women
If your ferritin level is high, one solution is to donate your blood.
Natural Substances that May Counteract the Toxic Effects of Iron Overload
There are certain natural substances that have been shown to be effective in the event that serum ferritin levels are in the high range. These natural substances are effective against excessive in three areas:
- Protects from the toxic effects of excessive iron
- Facilitates the removal (chelation) of excessive iron from the body
- Inhibits the ability of iron to generate free radicals
Protects from the toxic effects of excessive iron:
Facilitates the removal (chelation) of excessive iron from the body:
Inhibits the ability of iron to generate free radicals:
* BioFoundations does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose an illness. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, consult your health care professional.