A nutrient-rich diet is essential in maintaining health while avoiding the development of any health issues in the future. One of the most fundamental of the minerals that should be present in a balanced diet is iron.
This is because it is mainly responsible for the production of hemoglobin. This is a protein that is formed in the red blood cells for the transportation of oxygen in the blood and hence all the organs as well.
A diet deficient in iron will affect the production of this protein which in turn will cause egregious health issues with the lack of oxygen in the body.
In addition to its role in the red blood cells, iron is required for muscle strength and better immunity. A person with a lack of the mineral can also eventually develop anemia, heart problems, developmental issues, and liver issues.
There is plenty of medical literature on the effects of iron deficiency in a human body. However, researchers are now also focusing equally on the opposite of this which is taking too much iron.
For instance, a new study observes the consequences of both low and high levels of iron in people. The findings of the study can be found in the journal PLOS Medicine.
How Was the Research Conducted?
In earlier times, mineral deficiencies were a common health concern. Today, the same concern exists with much more complexities. Precisely, it is not unlikely for people to have higher than needed minerals in their body as a resulting of efforts to overcome the related deficiencies.
Hence, studies looking at both sides of having too much and too low minerals are especially relevant and needed in today’s time.
The new research, which specifically highlighted the levels of iron in the body, looked at how iron can influence a range of health conditions. The team of researchers derived data of over 500,000 using the UK Biobank. This included both genetic as well as clinical information.
The main methodology adopted by the researchers in the study was Mendelian randomization. In accordance with the study authors, this method can be used to see the effects of iron on around nine hundred health issues.
One of the main findings of the study was that high levels of iron in the body reduced the chances of having LDL or bad cholesterol.
This observation can be useful considering the high levels of cholesterol are associated with a number of harmful health conditions. For example, bad cholesterol can play a role in the development of heart-related conditions which are also the leading cause of death worldwide.
What Are the Adverse Effects Of Iron?
Not only did the study showed and added to the previously known benefits of iron but it also moved on looking at any potential drawbacks. After thorough observation, it was found that high iron levels increase the chances of having bacterial skin infections.
More specifically, it was seen that an excess of iron in the body led to a higher risk of having abscesses and cellulitis.
While the study was the first one to look at the negative impacts of iron on a large-scale, the study authors agree that further research and trials are needed to know about these findings in detail.
In the meantime, it is important o fulfill the daily requirement of iron as this study and various previous ones show that it is mandatory in the prevention of anemia and many other health conditions.