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Excess Iron & Brain Degeneration: The Little Known Link

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Unread 01-17-2013, 02:30 PM   #1
Conductor71
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Default Excess Iron & Brain Degeneration: The Little Known Link

This is an easy to read, comprehensive overview of a complex set of variables in neurodegenerative disease...includes recommendations for naturopathic treatment, how to have your total body iron stores measured, and recommends against any supplemental iron unless tests show anemia.

http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2012/...eration_01.htm


a compelling study published in late 2011 demonstrating for the first time that limiting your body’s lifetime exposure to iron can in turn limit your risk of neurodegenerative brain disorders.


One treatment that stands out is quercetin. Recall we were just posting on antihistamines and benefit to our symptoms. Well look at this (from U Maryland Medical Center on Alteranative Therapies:

Quercetin acts like an antihistamine and an anti-inflammatory, and may help protect against heart disease and cancer. Quercetin can also help stabilize the cells that release histamine in the body and thereby have an anti-inflammatory effect.


Source: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/q...#ixzz2IGLX9M00

I am thinking I might build a test herbal cocktail based on this and see how it goes for 6 weeks.

Laura
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Unread 01-17-2013, 04:03 PM   #2
lurkingforacure
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Default good article

Quote:
Originally Posted by Conductor71 View Post
This is an easy to read, comprehensive overview of a complex set of variables in neurodegenerative disease...includes recommendations for naturopathic treatment, how to have your total body iron stores measured, and recommends against any supplemental iron unless tests show anemia.

http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2012/...eration_01.htm


a compelling study published in late 2011 demonstrating for the first time that limiting your body’s lifetime exposure to iron can in turn limit your risk of neurodegenerative brain disorders.


One treatment that stands out is quercetin. Recall we were just posting on antihistamines and benefit to our symptoms. Well look at this (from U Maryland Medical Center on Alteranative Therapies:

Quercetin acts like an antihistamine and an anti-inflammatory, and may help protect against heart disease and cancer. Quercetin can also help stabilize the cells that release histamine in the body and thereby have an anti-inflammatory effect.


Source: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/q...#ixzz2IGLX9M00

I am thinking I might build a test herbal cocktail based on this and see how it goes for 6 weeks.

Laura
Thanks for another great article, mainly because I was able to understand most of it the first time I read it I think we'll be mixing up a cranberry/quercetin/green tea cocktail too, I can hardly wait!
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Unread 01-17-2013, 04:38 PM   #3
ol'cs
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Default One of the causes of ALS...

Is believed to be in mutations of "superoxide dismutase" (have some fun, google it and read al about it) . It is not a stretch of the imagination to think that certain cells are more sensitive to oxidative damage, like nigral neurons, which have ben shown to be destroyed in vivo, by the selective uptake of certain toxins, and their subsequent oxidative metabolism to a toxin which disturbs the electron chain mechanisms that occur in the mitochondria, which eventually cause cellular death. Too much iron , just like too much manganese, around in the cellular environment, if present in an oxidation state where it can interfere with the normal cellular respiration, may be at the root of the destruction of certain cells, that result in the expression of disease. This has been speculated for a long time, but such things are difficult to transfer in to disease prevention and control. Be wise, take antioxidants, but don't overdo it. Always be aware of what you are putting into your body, otherwise, harm may replace any benefit. Get the facts about anything by doing a simple net search, but don't trust sites that recommend the use of any specific product, there are supplements which are not beneficial, and there are drugs which are harmful or not useful for parkinsons, including FDA approved formulations.

Last edited by ol'cs; 01-17-2013 at 04:55 PM.
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Unread 01-18-2013, 01:34 PM   #4
lurkingforacure
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Default No need to supplement when it's added to EVERYTHING!

Laura,

Thank you for this line of thought....I got to thinking (and reading labels) as I was grocery shopping, and realized that iron or some derivative thereof is added to so many foods! Bread, flours, cereals, cookies, all the baked goods because they are made with "enriched" flour, and when you think of how much flour-y products we consume (not just bread but pasta (lasagne, spaghetti, and more), soups like chicken noodle and minestrone, then fried foods like chicken, okra, chicken fried steak, etc.....it's scary. We probably get an overdose of iron just from all the iron that is added to foods we either buy at the store or eat at a restaurant. I found that only one of the six different brands of flours on the baking aisle did NOT have iron added to it!

As iron has been added to so many of our foods, and I have to digress and ask, starting when? That would be interesting to learn...it's in infant formula, infant cereal, it's even in the cream of wheat I ate as a child! So we are starting out with an iron excess that only builds as we grow up and no wonder people are getting dx'd with PD earlier and earlier.

I can't help but wonder if there is a connection with iodine. As iron was being added to these foods, iodine was taken out. It used to be that iodine was put into breads and cereals so that people living inland would get enough, but that changed and the powers that be took out iodine and instead put in bromide which is not particularly healthy for us but makes those baked products light and fluffy. Because it's much more important that food taste and look good than be nutritious, we all know. I wonder if there is any relation between PD/neuro conditions and the combination of iron excess and iodine reduction. Brownstein has written extensively about iodine, for those who are interested.

I just thought I'd share that if you are trying to watch your iron intake, it may not be enough to read what's in your vitamin pill-you need to read the ingredient list on everything you buy that's going to go in your mouth to see if it was "fortified" with iron. And they are making those labels smaller and smaller...
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Unread 01-18-2013, 02:31 PM   #5
Conductor71
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LFAC,

I hadn't even thought of that, so thank you. I ran across a recent dissertation from 2007 titled aptly enough:

Brain Iron Accumulation in Parkinson's Disease: An Investigation of Genes ...
By Shannon Leigh Rhodes


She has found a correlation between consumption of meat in childhood and PD later in life. It also brought to mind that study done in Argentina where PWP greatly improved on B2 vitamins. I recall a requirement was that participants had to cut out all red meat. Or, am I imagining that? It comes to mind because I don't think it was ever explained.

So it seems dietary excess of iron is hard to avoid save for consciously giving up red meat. It is all this processed food contributing to disease. I did read some secondhand info but not seen the original research on it that drinking milk was linked to PD later as well; something about the excess vitamin D. That seems crazy because we all test now as vitamin D deficient! However, I am learning all there are all sorts of paradoxes involved in medicine and in what we put in our bodies. For example, people with excess iron in their organas show less in their bloodstream and sometimes show as anemic. Weird, never would have though that!

To avoid any excess iron, we would have to be on practically macrobiotic diet!

If if it were all so easy as iron chelation... I am beginning think that if this theory were to pan out that PD is primarily a vascular disorder and that the brain is affected way later on in the disease, much like the genetic disorders where people cannot process iron or copper. I am convinced iron plays a role as only the neuromelanin neurons that process iron are implicated and alpha-synuclein is thought to be involved in metal metabolism.

An aside: Not long after I was diagnosed my mom went to a psychic. My mom mentioned my illness and she actually responded with "she has too much iron in her system". Normally, I scoff at that kind of thing, but now it weirds me out. Of all the metals it could be, she nailed iron. Too weird.

Laura
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Unread 01-18-2013, 04:32 PM   #6
reverett123
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1. Free Radic Biol Med. 2006 Apr 1;40(7):1152-60.

Iron chelation in the biological activity of curcumin.

Jiao Y, Wilkinson J 4th, Christine Pietsch E, Buss JL, Wang W, Planalp R, Torti
FM, Torti SV.

Department of Cancer Biology, Wake Forest University Health Sciences,
Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA.

Curcumin is among the more successful chemopreventive compounds investigated in
recent years, and is currently in human trials to prevent cancer. The mechanism
of action of curcumin is complex and likely multifactorial. We have made the
unexpected observation that curcumin strikingly modulates proteins of iron
metabolism in cells and in tissues, suggesting that curcumin has properties of an
iron chelator. Curcumin increased mRNA levels of ferritin and GSTalpha in
cultured liver cells. Unexpectedly, however, although levels of GSTalpha protein
increased in parallel with mRNA levels in response to curcumin, levels of
ferritin protein declined. Since iron chelators repress ferritin translation, we
considered that curcumin may act as an iron chelator. To test this hypothesis, we
measured the effect of curcumin on transferrin receptor 1, a protein stabilized
under conditions of iron limitation, as well as the ability of curcumin to
activate iron regulatory proteins (IRPs). Both transferrin receptor 1 and
activated IRP, indicators of iron depletion, increased in response to curcumin.
Consistent with the hypothesis that curcumin acts as an iron chelator, mice that
were fed diets supplemented with curcumin exhibited a decline in levels of
ferritin protein in the liver. These results suggest that iron chelation may be
an additional mode of action of curcumin.

PMID: 16545682 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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Born in 1953, 1st symptoms and misdiagnosed as essential tremor in 1992. Dx with PD in 2000.
Currently (2011) taking 200/50 Sinemet CR 8 times a day + 10/100 Sinemet 3 times a day. Functional 90% of waking day but fragile. Failure at exercise but still trying. Constantly experimenting. Beta blocker and ACE inhibitor at present. Currently (01/2013) taking ldopa/carbadopa 200/50 CR six times a day + 10/100 form 3 times daily. Functional 90% of day. Update 04/2013: L/C 200/50 8x; Beta Blocker; ACE Inhib; Ginger; Turmeric; Creatine; Magnesium; Potassium. Doing well.
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Unread 06-13-2013, 03:51 PM   #7
johnt
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A new paper which comes to the opposite conclusion.

Pichler et al. report [1] that their:

"findings suggest that increased iron levels in the blood are associated with a 3% reduction in the risk of Parkinson disease for every 10 µg/dl increase in iron. This finding is important as it suggests that increased blood iron levels may have a protective effect against Parkinson disease, although the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Furthermore, although mendelian randomization is an increasingly used approach to address the issue of classical confounding, there may be remaining confounding factors specific of mendelian randomization that may influence the interpretation of this study."

Reference:

[1] Pichler I, Del Greco M. F, Gögele M, Lill CM, Bertram L, et al. (2013) Serum Iron Levels and the Risk of Parkinson Disease: A Mendelian Randomization Study. PLoS Med 10(6): e1001462. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001462 Published: June 4, 2013
http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/...l.pmed.1001462

John
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