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Top 4 Reasons to Check Your Iron Level, Not Your Cholesterol

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

iron toxicity

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  • While your body requires sufficient iron to stay healthy, elevated levels have been linked to cancer, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases, gouty arthritis, hepatitis C, liver disease and many other health problems
  • Elevated cerebrospinal fluid iron levels are strongly correlated with the presence of the Alzheimer’s risk allele, APOE-e4, and elevated iron in your brain may actually be the mechanism that makes APOE-e4 a major genetic risk factor for the disease
  • Elevated ferritin has been linked to impaired glucose metabolism, raising the risk of diabetes fivefold in men and fourfold in women, a magnitude of correlation similar to that of obesity
  • Iron causes significant harm primarily by catalyzing a reaction within the inner mitochondrial membrane. When iron reacts with hydrogen peroxide, hydroxyl free radicals are formed, causing severe mitochondrial dysfunction
  • If your iron level is too high, the easiest way to lower it is to donate blood two or three times a year. If you have severe overload you may need to do more regular phlebotomies. Regular sauna use, which is an effective form of detoxification, is also helpful

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