woensdag 15 augustus 2012

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Are You Suffering from Iron Overload?

Iron is an essential mineral. You need it for life. For example, if you're too low in iron, you can develop iron deficiency anemia, which restricts the supply of life-giving oxygen to your cells. On the other hand, iron is a highly reactive mineral and when there's too much of it, tissue damage and inflammation can be the result. 

Several studies have reported a positive association between high body iron stores and the risk of PCOS and type 2 diabetes. 

Why might you have an iron overload? 

Iron absorption from your diet is controlled by a hormone called "hepcidin". The role of hepcidin is to make sure that you don't have too much iron floating around in your body. 

When you have plenty of iron, hepcidin increases to inhibit the absorption of iron. If you are deficient in iron, hepcidin decreases in order to allow increased absorption of iron. 

But in the case of PCOS, a Spanish research study has suggested that the high level of insulin resistance and high level of testosterone found in PCOS may depress hepcidin levels even if you already have enough iron. The result is that iron continues to be absorbed and builds up to excessive levels in the body. 

So if you have PCOS(or diabetes), don't take any iron supplements until you first check with your doctor. You may also wish to restrict foods rich in iron if you're are found to be suffering from iron overload. 

Excessive body storage of iron leads to increased inflammation and cell damage. This worsens your symptoms. 

Too much or too little iron is a problem that should be corrected. It would be wise to ask your doctor to check your iron status with the appropriate lab tests. 

By the way, if your visit our online supplements store, you'll notice that our multi-vitamin/mineral does not contain any iron. We don't have any iron in it because your hepcidin hormone may not be working properly. 

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