Lack is dangerous, excess is too
Scientists from Germany and the UK have found a link between longevity and iron levels in the body. An international team of researchers studied publicly available genetic databases and concluded that iron content affects life expectancy and the development of diseases in old age. At the same time, the amount of this trace element must be balanced: not only a lack of iron is dangerous, but also its excess. We tell you what level is considered healthy and how to maintain it with things like iron supplement.
Anti aging medicine
The study was conducted by scientists from the Max Planck Institute for the Biology of Aging in Cologne and the University of Edinburgh. These specialists have long been involved in gerontology, but specifically for the study of iron, a separate group was allocated.
In the course of the work, scientists found that the metabolism of this trace element directly affects life expectancy, health and longevity. The results of the study can be used in the development of drugs that regulate iron metabolism depending on its level in the blood.
In the future, such drugs will be able to reduce the number of "age-related" diseases - reduce the risk of developing Parkinson's disease, liver damage, and reduced immunity. Of course, one cannot count on extreme longevity in the foreseeable future, but living to an advanced age without diseases is a very real prospect.
Essential trace element
This trace element plays an important role in the life of the body, including participating in the processes of cellular respiration and hematopoiesis. Almost 70% of all iron that enters the body goes to the synthesis of hemoglobin, and the remaining 30% is stored in tissues and is spent gradually - for the functioning of the thyroid gland, metabolic processes, and maintaining the immune system.
With iron deficiency, the level of hemoglobin in the blood falls. As a result, chronic fatigue develops, efficiency decreases, appearance worsens - especially for hair and nails, shortness of breath appears even with light physical exertion, and immunity decreases.
Excess iron in the body threatens the development of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, and in some cases can lead to the appearance of tumors, including malignant ones.
That is, both a deficiency and an excess of a microelement are bad.
Where to get iron?
The body cannot synthesize iron on its own, so it is very important to maintain its balance through proper nutrition.
Iron of animal origin, which is found in meat and its by-products, especially in the liver, in fish and seafood, is most effectively absorbed. Also, this trace element is found in nuts, cabbage, greens, legumes, apples, mushrooms, cereals.
In order for iron to be better absorbed, you need to carefully monitor the diet. It is important to include foods in the menu that contain vitamins A and C, as well as folic acid - berries, pineapples, kiwi, tomatoes, citrus fruits, carrots, dried apricots, pumpkin, eggs, eggplant, bell peppers.
In addition, foods containing iron and calcium should be consumed separately. In this case, both trace elements will be absorbed most effectively.
An average person (not a professional athlete) needs about 15 milligrams of iron per day. Athletes and people involved in heavy physical labor or who have suffered heavy blood loss, as well as women during pregnancy, are recommended 25-35 milligrams of iron per day.
You can also raise the level of iron with the help of special medications. But you can’t overdo it with them - you need to be careful and strictly follow the recommendations of doctors. Iron preparations are prescribed only after a blood test and with a pronounced deficiency of the microelement.
How to make up the deficit?
Iron is a very important trace element that is not synthesized by the body on its own, but comes from food. Of course, you can increase the intake of iron-containing foods: liver, red meat, seafood, etc., but even if you eat these foods from morning to evening, unfortunately, it is impossible to solve the problem of iron deficiency. Fortunately, you can increase the iron content in the body with the help of dietary supplements.
Which iron is better to choose?
In modern preparations, iron is present in various forms: organic and inorganic. The difference between them is that they are absorbed differently by the body.