An excerpt from the book Cancer Simplified by Craig How much iron is too much?
The role of iron in anemia
During any infection, body levels of iron are depressed and we call this anemia, or hypoferremic response. Anemia is often a defensive response in the body to infection and chronic disorders. In order to understand anemia as a symptom of something wrong in the body, we should “step away from the pharmacy” for a fresh look at what is going on.
The body has a fantastic ability to regulate iron retention from everyday diet. The Standard American Diet (SAD) has an over-abundance of iron in it. If the body is throwing off the iron and going into a depressed iron state, there is often a very good reason for this.
In our modern medicine practices, we strive to artificially lower fever, mask and generally interfere with pain, artificially combat swelling, hypertension, diabetes and body cholesterol. What we are failing to see is that these are all normal body responses and even champion efforts by our bodies to correct what is wrong and bring healing. We are “the dog that bites its own tail” when it comes to disease treatment. Instead of supporting the body’s efforts we maliciously block them and continually interfere with them. We do everything conventional medicine dictates and then we wonder why we just get
Keeping iron levels in the body low is actually an effective defense against infection and cancer.
If we are anemic and taking supplemental iron we could be countering the body’s own efforts to bring about healing. The body is usually able to reject assimilation of any excess iron we take or at least store some of it. During the inflammatory process of infections and cancer, the release of iron from immune system macrophages is inhibited which prevents normal recycling of iron to transferrin. This mechanism in the macrophages also lowers plasma zinc and increases plasma copper, all part of an Olympic disease-fighting campaign.
In the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine Vol. 8, No. 4, 1993: Because of their diets, the Masai people of East Africa naturally have a low hemoglobin and transferrin saturation. When our Western-thinking medical doctors saw this, they immediately fed them iron to get these values up to our standards. Suddenly, 17% of the Masai had malaria attacks while there was no malaria in the untreated control group. In addition, the Masai saw a jump in other infections from less than 9% to an ungodly 83% in one year of iron supplementation. Likewise, Somalian nomads were fed iron for a year and their active infection rates jumped to 38% compared to 8% of controls.(12)
Gram-negative bacteria, fungi as well as cancer cells, thrive on iron, and a natural defense against them would be vitamin C utilization. Instead, stored excess iron destroys available vitamin C.
Iron in the blood
Researchers suggest that the women’s menstrual loss of iron causes the lower incidence of heart disease seen in pre-menopausal women, rather than a protective effect from estrogen. After menopause, a woman’s risk of developing coronary heart disease increases along with her iron stores.(13) Researchers have also found lower rates of heart disease in populations with lower iron stores. Could our great American medical community be wrong about iron? At what cost?
About two-thirds of iron in the body is in hemoglobin in the blood which is the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to tissues. Lesser quantities are found in the myoglobin, a similar protein that helps supply oxygen to muscle and to enzymes for biochemical reactions. The two forms of dietary iron are heme and non-heme. Heme iron is derived from hemoglobin and is found primarily in meats The non-heme iron is found mostly in plant foods and is the form of iron added to iron-fortified foods. For the record, heme iron is absorbed better than non-heme iron.
Normal dietary iron intake is negatively influenced by low nutrient density foods like sodas, candy, chips and most desserts. One of the best ways to feed a cancer is by eating low nutrient, iron-fortified foods and lots of sugar. This complicates the body’s cancer defenses compounding the fact that if the body is in a cancer battle it may not feel very well as it copes with massive cleanups and detoxing.
In a healthy diet, as the body sheds the excess iron in the normal body healing process there is a die-off of pathogens and cancer cells. This takes a concentration of energy to accomplish and can leave one weak. But here’s the perplexing dilemma: Sometimes, feeding the body an iron supplement in a health crisis or cancer battle makes the body “feel better” only because the die-off burden on the body lessens. Even when a true iron deficiency exists, it is safer to eat foods naturally high in iron rather than to rely on supplements.
The copper cofactor
Copper and iron work synergistically to form hemoglobin and must be supplemented together. Supplementing with either copper or iron alone can lead to a deficiency of the other.
There are many cofactors in iron metabolization and deficiencies of any of these vital nutrients wcan cause symptoms of “apparent iron deficiency”. Hemoglobin levels register low even though there is a surplus of stored iron and can cause your doctor to wrongly supply iron supplements or shots. Vitamin A helps mobilize iron from storage to usage and a deficiency of vitamin A (as beta carotene–NOT retinyl) limits the body’s ability to use stored iron. Iron may also be low because of deficiencies of manganese, copper, or cobalt (part of vitamin B-12 methylcobalamin), or other B complex vitamins.
12) The role of iron in crib death: http://www.seanet.com/~alexs/ascorbate/199x/hattersley-jg-j_orthomol_med-1993-v8-n4-p229.htm
Read also: https://realhealthtalk.com/home/cancer-articles/cancer-causes-aluminum-and-iron/
Read also: Cancer, Natural Treatments, lecture notes and excerpts from upcoming book “Cancer Simplified”
Read also: Vitamin C fights cancer: How much and what form do I take?
Authored by Cancer Nutritionist Craig Stellpflug NDC, CNC Dayspring Cancer Clinic Scottsdale, AZ
Copyright 2007 Craig Stellpflug© Permission is hereby granted to copy and distribute this article but only in its entirety