Oct. 22, 2015
Iron levels and biochemistry have impacted my personal performance in a dramatic way. Recently I've been racing cyclocross, something for which I lack talent. For those of you who don't know cyclocross, it's a lot like short track mountain bike racing but most of the bikes look a road bike with drop handlebars. The start is really important, and the course has hundreds of corners and so the sport doesn't suit slow-twitch athletes like me. This year I’ve been enjoying some dramatic gains in my performance. These gains are nothing to do with training, in fact, I've been training less than ever before. The key to performance is health, and that's why I've got Dr. Tommy Wood on again today to talk about some of the biochemical tweaks I've been making and also the serious issue of iron overload (haemochromatosis).
Some people think of anaemia as synonymous with iron deficiency, but iron deficiency is just one of many things that can cause anaemia. Diagnosing anaemic tendencies requires the consideration of the production, destruction and loss of red blood cells. Other nutrients such as zinc, B6, B12 and folate are as important as iron for the production of red blood cells. Sometimes we see results that show both iron overload and anaemia.
Most micronutrients cause little harm when consumed in excess. Vitamin C is a good example--consume too much and you'll simply pee it out. Excess iron is different in that there's no easy way to excrete it. The main way we lose iron is through bleeding, and for men and postmenopausal women this doesn't happen very often. Excess iron becomes bound to proteins and acts as a pro-oxidant, literally causing your tissues to rust. If left untreated, the excess iron can cause diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver and a host of other chronic diseases.
The day after we recorded this interview four of my six follow-up appointments were with masters athletes with iron overload. Please don't guess, do the test!
Research shows diet can have an impact of the absorption of iron. Things that block iron absorption:
Things that increase iron absorption:
Iron overload can be ruled out as part of our O2 Boost programme. Place your order and I'll send you a PDF requisition form that you can print and take directly to LabCorp--no need for a visit to your doctor's office. The results will be back in just a couple of days and then I'll send you a written report and a link to my schedule that you can use to make an appointment for the included 30-minute call.
Get your blood chemistry done by the Nourish Balance Thrive team
Webinar with Tawnee Prazak
Richard Nikoley’s article about iron
23andMe (salivary genetic test)
Medscape error: The second mutation involves a G→C substitution at nucleotide 197, leading to a histidine to aspartic acid substitution at amino acid position 63 (H63D).
The Iron Chart Christopher Mentioned (PDF download)
Blog Post: In Defense of Low Fat Diets
British Journal of Nutrition paper on Lactoferrin
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