Iron : good or bad for you?


Iron : good or bad for you?..........a fascinating theory why Iron protected in the past against the plague ["dever" ] and more......... 

One of the blood examinations I ask virtually all patients to do is : a ferritin blood test

Ferritin can be an indication of how good or bad it is with our iron storage [machsan barzel]]
A low ferritin can be the best and earliest sign of an anemia.
Ferritin [storage iron] goes down before the Hb goes down.
A high ferritin can mean 2 things: too much iron in the body OR it may be an indication of a chronic inflammatory process.[ferritin goes up with inflammations]
Maybe the quickest way to distinguish between them is by doing also at the same time a CRP test: if the CRP is also high then probably the ferritin is a sign of inflammation and not necessarily a high iron storage. A hereditary disease with a very seroius pathological iron storage is hemochromatosis
This is to the best of my [little] understanding in this field.
What I do know [for "sure"] is that high levels or iron[over-storage] can cause serious problems [cardiovascular,diabetes] and that this is one of the indications for "hakazat-dam".[blood-letting]
As is often the case the kochavim [stars of normal values] *--------* of kupot cholim are here quite misleading.
If we leave iron at the high side of these kochahvim we may cause quite a bit of damage!
I will send you an article of Dr Mercola about this iron issue.
Below is an article about the possible connection and the MECHANISM between extra iron which gave protection/ "immunity" from the plague when this was around and which killed more people than any nuclear war -G-d forbid- may ever do.
Sharon Moalem- a Jewish scientist- caught the attention by writing the book: Survival of the sickest in which he brings this hypothesis and much more.
At the end of the article from Dr Mercola which I will send with the next mail he mentions this hypothesis [ iron/plague] but he does not hold much of it.



Hemochromatosis and the plague

November 29, 2011 | Author:AAAS member -- Aria Nouri, MD
Plague bacteria shown in a fluorescent antibody test. (Photo: CDC/File)

In a earlier post on AAAS MemberCentral, I discussed a recent study which sought to uncover the genome of thebubonic plague, or Black Death. The long-term suspicion that the implicated pathogen was Yersinia pestis was largely confirmed.

Though it is well known thatthe plague was responsible for the deaths of nearly half of the European population at the time, evidence also suggests that it may be responsible for the high rates of a disease called hemochromatosis; a disease of excessive iron storage, that “is the most common inherited single gene disorder in people of Northern and Western European descent.”

How the most common mutation responsible for hemochromatosis (C282Y in HFE gene) causes disease is only partially understood. One factor that is known for certain however, is that the mutation is responsible for an increased absorption of iron from the gastrointestinal tract.

It is believed that the mutation results in the absence of the C282Y protein on host cell surfaces, causing an increase in the affinity of cellular receptors for transferrin (an unaffected protein in humans which carries iron in the blood) and hindering transferrin acquisition by pathogens. Yersinia pestis, like other iron-hungry bacteria, thrives in an iron rich environment. And it is thus postulated that young Europeans who were not yet stricken by the later problems of hemochromatosis were able to fend-off the bubonic plague by absorbing all of the iron and keeping it in cells, leaving little for the pathogen.


This survival advantage during the plague is thought to be responsible for the current high rates of the mutation in those with European ancestry. If true, this mutation may have been responsible for an increased survival during the plague, but at the cost of a decreased life expectancy for them later on.



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