(1) Here's a link to the technical definition of that term: Iron overload - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(2) If you want to accuse me of being afraid of anything it's this: I have normal blood iron levels.
(3) The blood iron levels presently deemed 'normal' may in fact be excessive with respect to the optimal "rate of aging".
So, my 'concern' is that my diet has been too high in read meat, and thus iron intake, leading to an accelerated rate of aging - even though my blood iron levels are normal. This concern is not related to anything to do with "pathologically excessive" levels of blood iron that can create immediate health consequences (like one of the other posters mothers unfortunately experienced).
REMINDER: you can still be PALEO without red meat. It's not that hard just think seafood, eggs, fowl...
Why I don't worry about cholesterol:
Lyon Diet Heart Trial
Get With The Guidelines admission data
Sydney Diet Heart Study revisited
Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet
The problem with modern medicine is that doctors don't view the prescription of drugs as a failure to keep you healthy
Now if you care to pick apart the first paper - I'm all ears.
For those interested, I went to a red cross blood drive in my area today, for the first time in about 10 years.
Here are some relevant things I learned from doing so:
(1) I'd guess about 50% of 'first timers' get declined. There's a whole host of medical conditions that now precludes somebody from donating. The list is at least twice as long as 10 years ago. So, for many people giving blood is not going to be an option to reduce blood iron levels.
(2) They now require waiting at least 2 months between donations (57 days to be exact). Keep in mind, the Red Cross will state it ALWAYS needs more blood. I was told this is because they don't want people to become anemic. In other words, a monthly donation of a pint of blood is enough to bring peoples blood iron levels down to anemic levels over a few short months. But donating a pint every 2 months isn't enough.
(3) They test BP, pulse rate and hemoglobin. The use the hemoglobin to determine iron levels. The scale they use for this is as follows:
10: low (borderline anemic)
18: high (borderline hemochromatosis)
Mine measured 14.7, average as I expected.
(4) I plan to eat red meat only 1-2x per week for the next 2 months. One serving is my 'weekly liver'. I will return to give blood again in about 2 months and will then report my hemoglobin level here in this thread. It will be a good indicator of how any of this effects blood iron levels.
Of course I'll be doing all the primal exercises all along as well.
The search continues, some more findings:
(1) Information from Wikipedia on the low-side of anemia ( Anemia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ):
WHO Grading of anemia:
* Grade 1 (Mild Anemia): 10 g/dl - cutoff point for ages
* Grade 2 (Moderate Anemia): 7-10 g/dl
* Grade 3 (Severe Anemia): below 7 g/dl
National Cancer Institute Grading of Anemia:
* Grade 0 (within normal limits) 12.0–16.0 g/dl for women and 14.0–18.0 g/ dl for men
* Grade 1 (Mild) 10 g/dl to levels within normal limits
* Grade 2 (Moderate) 8.0–10.0 g/dl
* Grade 3 (Severe) 6.5–7.9 g/dl
* Grade 4 (Life threatening) <6.5 g/dl
This confirms the scale that the red cross workers gave me above and provides some more detail.
(2) A cautionary note about the use of hemoglobin levels to determine iron overload status: ( The myths and realities of hemochromatosis )
An elevated hemoglobin is common in hemochromatosis
Some physicians have told patients that they do not have hemochromatosis because their hemoglobin levels are normal. Perhaps this is based on the concept that if iron deficiency reduces hemoglobin, iron excess could increase hemoglobin. A review of 634 C282Y homozygotes at our clinic at the London Health Sciences Centre (London, Ontario) showed a mean hemoglobin level of 145±13 g/L [14.5+/-1.3g/dL], which suggests that polycythemia is not a reliable marker for iron overload.
(3) From a NIH 1995 study on centenarians ( [Red blood cell parameters of hea... [Nihon Ronen Igakkai Zasshi. 1995] - PubMed - NCBI ):
Note: free full text available at the link above
Since the number of centenarians is increasing rapidly in recent years, the establishment of normal ranges in red blood cell (RBC) parameters for healthy centenarians is necessary for diagnostic criteria of anemia. The subjects were 129 centenarians consisting of 27 men (17; healthy, 69; low ADL) and 102 women (33; healthy, 69; low ADL) after excluding centenarians with diseases affecting RBC parameters. The t test was used for statistical evaluation. The mean RBC count for healthy centenarian men was 403 +/- 54.7 x 10(4)/microliters; hemoglobin (Hb) level, 12.4 +/- 1.3 g/dl; hematocrit (Hct), 38.2 +/- 3.9%; MVC, 95.3 +/- 5.3 fl; MCH, 31.4 +/- 2.2 pg; and MCHC, 32.1 +/- 1.1%. Comparable results for healthy centenarian women were as follows: 375 +/- 43.9 x 10(4)/microliters, 11.6 +/- 1.2 g/dl, 36.3 +/- 3.6%, 97.1 +/- 5.3 fl, 31.0 +/- 2.3 pg, and 32.0 +/- 1.3%, respectively. The mean Hb for healthy centenarian women was significantly lower than that for healthy centenarian men. The mean RBC, Hb and hematocrit values for low ADL-centenarian men were lower than the comparable values for healthy centenarian men. Conversely, the mean MCV value for low ADL-centenarian men was higher than that for healthy centenarian men. There was no difference in any RBC parameter between healthy centenarian women and low ADL-centenarian women. In addition, there was no difference in any RBC parameter between centenarian women living in their own homes and those living in old-aged homes. This study demonstrated the normal ranges of RBC parameters for healthy centenarians, and lower RBC, Hb, and Hct values for low ADL-centenarian men.
Excess iron diminishes the capability of the Pancreas to produce sodium bicarbonate that provides an alkaline enviroment for pancreatin enzymes.
I look about 15 year younger than my biological age and I haven't eaten red meat or any other source of mammals or birds for about 24 years now. I eat shitloads of vegetables, plenty of goats/sheeps dairy, oily fish and very limited fructose.
F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.
I think my wrinkles are getting worse than they should be, and I'm eating a lot of red meat. BUT I've had more sun and junk food than most white people could ever imagine, so it's impossible to even pretend to link the two. When I give blood, they never say my iron is high.