• Iron-ic, Isn't It?

    From ironjustice@21:1/5 to All on Tue Aug 27 08:27:00 2019
    Iron-ic, Isn't It?

    Vegetarian Times Jan 1993

    Did you hear a deafening thud? That was the sound of a long-held nutritional tenet - that an iron-heavy diet is vital to good health - falling resoundingly from grace. A highly regarded study fro Finland may finally convince the general public of what
    vegetarians have known all along: Iron-rich red meat may be probably the worst place to get your iron. The six-year study of more than 1,900 42 - 60-year-old men, led by Jukka Salonen, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Kuopio, indicates that high iron
    levels in the blood are a stronger indicator of heart-attack risk than cholesterol levels, blood pressure or diabetes. In fact, of the study's 19 variables, only cigarette smoking was a stronger predictor of cardiovascular disease. "The landmark study by
    Salonen's group ... has taken the first step in confirming the association of normal stores with increased risk of heart attack," says Jerome Sullivan, M.D., director of clinical laboratories at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Charleston, S.C. In
    1981, Sullivan developed a theory linking iron levels to coronary problems; as evidence, he cited the paucity of heart disease in prefmenopausal women, whose iron levels are decreased by menstruation. Though Sullivan's theory was dismissed by the
    scientific community, the Finnish study's findings have resuscitated the hypothesis that "low" iron levels (10 to 40 micrograms of ferritin per liter of blood) protect young women from heart attacks while "normal" levels (100 to 150 micrograms per liter)
    endanger adult men and postmenopausal women. In the United States, the rate of heart attack for men is 4 1/2 times greater than for women. The Finnish study found that each 1 percent increase in stored iron levels above what an individual's body could
    use meant a 4 percent increase in heart-attack risk. There's more. Salonen's study also found that subjects who had high iron and high cholesterol levels were four times as likely to be heart-attack victims as control subjects, who did not have high
    cholesterol levels. This startling finding has prompted Randall Lauffer, Ph.D.,authro of Iron Balance (St. Martin's Press, 1991) to refer to iron as "cholesterol's silent partner in heart disease." Lauffer, a Harvard Medical School biochemist, conducted
    a 1989 study of worldwide health patterns that convinced him that the incidence of heart disease was tied to heavy consumption of meat - high in both cholesterol and iron. He now attributes this correlation to the iron hazard identified by Salonen's team.
    Both Lauffer and Sullivan suggest that nonpregnant adults should consider donating blood several times per year, first and foremost for the welfare of others but also as a precautionary measure to deplete iron stores in their own bodies. Lauffer also
    recommends a "low-fat, low-iron lifestyle," including cutting back on meat, avoiding iron-rich supplements and eating more fruits, vegetables, who grains and legumes. Says Lauffer, "I think vegetarians are getting the proper amount of iron - which is
    small. The bad news about iron should convince more people to eat less meat. Though [consuming less meat] is bad for the 'hamburger lobby,' it's been proven over and over for public health." - S.L.

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