An excuse to eat steak! Low-iron levels increase the risk of

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An excuse to eat steak! Low-iron levels increase the risk of

Postby herbsandhelpers » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:05 am

An excuse to eat steak! Low-iron levels increase the risk of heart disease

High levels of iron lowers people's risk of developing coronary artery disease

Iron tablets could be given to at-risk people, similarly to statin prescriptions

Previous research has linked insufficient iron levels with heart palpitations

Iron is found in high amounts in red meat, spinach, dried fruit and fortified food

People could consider taking a iron tablet, however, overdosing is possible

People with low-iron levels are more likely to develop heart disease, new research suggests.

Having high levels of the nutrient lowers people's risk of developing coronary artery disease (CAD), a study found. CAD is a type of heart disease.

Lead author Dr Dipender Gill from Imperial College London, said: 'Just as when someone's cholesterol levels are high we give them a statin, it could well be the case that if their iron levels are low, we could give them an iron tablet to minimise their risk of cardiovascular disease.

'For those people who have already had a heart attack, and whose iron status is low, we could potentially reduce their risk of having another heart attack just by giving them an iron tablet.'

Iron is found in high amounts in red meat, spinach, dried fruit, and fortified breads and cereals.

MILLIONS OF WOMEN ARE AT RISK OF ANAEMIA OVER ADVICE TO EAT LESS RED MEAT

Healthy eating advice that everyone should ‘eat less red meat’ is putting millions of women at risk of anaemia, it was claimed earlier this month.

A quarter of women of working age do not have enough iron in their diets – a factor that can lead to the condition, according to a recent Government survey.

Half of teenage girls are potentially iron-deficient too.

Despite red meat being rich in iron, an ‘Eatwell Guide’ published by Public Health England suggests that everyone should reduce the quantity they consume.

The Eatwell guide, in a graphic designed to look like a plate, advises: ‘Eat less red and processed meat.’

It was drawn up by Government health advisors concerned about a potential, but unproven, link between eating lots of red and processed meat and developing bowel cancer.

Blood cells need iron to create haemoglobin, which in turn transports oxygen around the bloodstream.

If the body lacks iron, blood is not sufficiently oxygenated, leading to fatigue and loss of concentration.

How the study was carried out

Researchers from Imperial College London and University College London analysed more than 48,000 people's DNA.

They investigated mutations in the study's participant's genes that influence their blood iron levels.

The researchers then compared these results to more than 50,000 people with CAD.

Key findings

Results revealed that people with higher iron levels have a lower risk of developing CAD.

Dr Gill said: 'We have shown that having [a] low-iron status increases the risk of coronary artery disease.

'Just as when someone's cholesterol levels are high we give them a statin, it could well be the case that if their iron levels are low, we could give them an iron tablet to minimise their risk of cardiovascular disease.

'For those people who have already had a heart attack, and whose iron status is low, we could potentially reduce their risk of having another heart attack just by giving them an iron tablet.'

The findings were published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.

It is unclear why high-iron levels protect against CAD, however, past research has linked insufficient amounts of the vital nutrient to heart palpitations.

What a nutritionist thinks


Rob Hobson, head of nutrition at Healthspan and registered nutritionist told MailOnline: 'This research has provided an insight into the role iron may have to play as a risk factor for CAD.

'If you think you are suffering with symptoms of iron deficiency then you can visit you GP to get your iron levels tested.

'You could invest in an iron supplement to help boost your iron intake but try initially for a month or so teamed with eating plenty of iron-rich foods.

'It is easy to double dose with iron so try and avoid taking with any other supplements containing iron.

'Men are at less risk of having low iron stores than women, but those that follow plant-based diets should still pay attention to their iron intake by eating plenty of foods rich in this mineral such as dark leafy greens, pulses, lentils, tofu, nuts, dried fruit and spices.'

Source: Daily Mail
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