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How Excess Iron Raises Your Risk for Alzheimer’s

iron raises alzheimers risk

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  • Your body has limited capacity to excrete iron, which means it can build up in your tissues and organs. This is problematic, as iron is a potent oxidizer, capable of damaging tissues, including your brain
  • Buildup of iron in your brain causes a rusting effect, and appears to play an important role in the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Researchers have also found elevated cerebrospinal fluid iron levels are strongly correlated with the presence of the Alzheimer’s risk allele, APOE-e4, and patients with higher iron levels deteriorate earlier and faster than those with low iron
  • Iron overload is easily diagnosed by measuring your serum ferritin. A healthy, ideal level is between 40 and 60 ng/ml
  • Adult men and non-menstruating women with high iron levels would benefit by donating blood two to three times per year to normalize their levels and avoid “rusting” in the brain

By Dr. Mercola

While dietary iron is essential for optimal health — being a key part of proteins and enzymes and playing an important role in energy production and the regulation of cell growth and differentiation, among other things — too much iron in your body can have serious ramifications. One of the most important roles of iron is to provide hemoglobin (the protein in red blood cells) a mechanism through which it can bind to oxygen and carry it throughout your tissues.


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