Posts Tagged ‘anemia’

Iron is probably more important than you were taught and you probably weren’t taught that too much iron can be toxic and cause you problems. Iron deficiencies may manifest itself as anemia, fatigue, constipation, brittle nails, menstrual problems or restless leg syndrome in adults.

Children are usually born with enough iron in their tissues to sustain growth for 6-12 months so they don’t need additional iron in their diet. Breast milk is almost completely devoid of iron yet many baby formulas are fortified with iron which often leads to babies that are very uncomfortable because of bloating and gas discomfort otherwise known as colic. A baby is born with stomach bacteria designed to digest breast milk and not artificial formulas that contain ingredients not normally found in breast milk. Given this information, it’s easy to understand why so many infants are fussy and crying when their poor mothers are on the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) Program because the infant formula obtainable through this U.S. government program is iron fortified.

Iron is a key element in the metabolism of humans and almost every other living organism. This element is vital to hundreds of proteins and enzymes in the human body.

Your blood is partially made up of hemoglobin and myglobin proteins. These two proteins make up about 2/3rd’s of your body’s iron supply. Hemoglobin’s role is to transport oxygen from your lungs to the tissues and organs that need it throughout your body. Myglobin is a protein that supplies oxygen to your muscle cells and helps with proper oxygenation of your muscles when they are active.

Other enzymes and proteins that contain iron perform the following functions:

  • energy metabolism
  • electron transport
  • antioxidant functions
  • beneficial pro-oxidant functions
  • oxygen storage
  • DNA Synthesis
  • regulation of intercellular iron

As with many other vitamins and minerals your body utilizes there is an interaction between iron and other nutrients.

  • Zinc, when acquired from supplements, may have lower absorption rates when combined with iron supplements on an empty stomach.
  • Consuming foods that contain calcium and iron in the same meal may reduce the amount of iron the body absorbs.
  • A deficiency in vitamin A will make a deficiency of iron even worse.
  • An adequate level of copper is needed for normal red cell formation and iron metabolism.

The amount of iron you need will vary according to your sex, age, lifestyle and activity level. For example, menstruating women lose iron as a normal part of the menstrual cycle so more iron is needed during this period. Pregnant women lose iron to their developing fetus and placenta so additional iron is needed during pregnancy and people regularly engaging in strenuous exercise or activity may need more iron than someone with a less active lifestyle.

Iron can be obtained naturally in a variety of foods in two different types. Heme and nonheme iron are in different foods. Heme iron is more readily absorbed and used by your body and its absorption is less influenced by the rest of your dietary intake. Nonheme iron is absorbed using a different mechanism than heme iron so your dietary intake and iron levels play a larger role in the amount you absorb.

The sources of heme iron are the hemoglobin and myglobin in the meat, poultry and fish you eat and sources of nonheme iron are iron supplements, iron salts, meat, dairy products, bananas, black molasses, prunes, raisins, whole rye, walnuts, kelp and lentils.

Since vegetarians receive nonheme iron in their diets and many factors can inhibit the absorption of iron, it is recommended that vegetarians take special care to increase the iron in the diet.

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Ask Dr. Wayne Garland a specialist in natural remedies and natural products.



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Copper is a trace mineral you would have trouble living without. The highest concentration of copper can be found in your brain but it is also important to hemoglobin and red blood cell formation, your body’s healing processes, development of your hair and skin color, your bones, blood, skin, nerves and connective tissues.

Some of the signs of copper deficiency may be: anemia, high LDL cholesterol, baldness, impaired immune function, early aging signs, joint dysfunction and pain, slow healing sores, brain disturbances, low energy, general weakness, artery wall damage, aneurysms ruptures or cardiovascular disease.

Having too much copper in your system can cause nausea, vomiting or diarrhea with mega high levels adversely affecting the absorption of zinc.

We’ve told you the bad and the ugly now it’s time to tell you what good copper is. Copper helps your body make elastin and collagen which are the connective tissues of your skin, heart, blood vessels, and lungs. Copper is also involved in hair and skin coloring, taste sensitivity, energy production and in the healing process. Nerves and joints need copper to be healthy.

Keep your copper levels where they should be to help your body prevent heart disease, high cholesterol, artery wall damage, chronic fatigue, arthritis, osteoporosis, skin dryness/inelasticity, Alzheimer’s disease, immune dysfunctionality, anemia or baldness.

Some of the natural sources of copper are: green leafy vegetables, beans and legumes, almonds, prunes, beef liver, oysters and other shellfish and other organ meats.

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Cobalt is a trace mineral with a recommended RDA of 3mcg to 4mcg and we would suffer greatly without it. This trace element aides in the formation of hemoglobin, is a necessary cofactor in the making of the thyroid hormone and it is an essential part of vitamin B12.

People with cobalt deficiencies may see slow growth or development to the point of anemia or retardation.

Some of the foods that may contain cobalt are: red meat, clams, liver, oysters, milk and all green leafy vegetables.

We strongly recommend eating organic whenever possible and cobalt is one of the reasons why. Before NPK was promoted as the preferred fertilizer by the Dept. of Agriculture, cobalt was put back into the soil by farmers that regularly rotated crops, spread manure on the land and mulched. Organic farmers are the most often found users of these practices today because corporate farms are looking at quantity rather than quality.

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Ask Dr. Wayne Garland a specialist in natural remedies and natural products.



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