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Iron Man: scientists have found that longevity depends on the level of iron in the body
Scientists from Germany and the UK have discovered a link between longevity and iron levels in the body. An international team of researchers examined publicly available genetic databases and concluded that iron content affects life expectancy and the development of disease in old age. At the same time, the amount of this trace element must be balanced: not only iron deficiency is dangerous, but also its excess. Here's what is considered healthy and how to maintain it.
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The study was carried out by scientists from the Max Planck Institute for the Biology of Aging in Cologne and the University of Edinburgh. These specialists have long been engaged in gerontology, but a separate group was singled out specifically for the study of iron.
In the course of the work, scientists found out that the metabolism of this trace element directly affects life expectancy, health and longevity. The research results can be used to develop drugs that regulate iron metabolism depending on its level in the blood.
In the future, such drugs will be able to reduce the number of age-related diseases - to reduce the risk of developing Parkinson's disease, liver damage, and decreased immunity. Of course, one cannot count on extreme longevity in the foreseeable future, but living to old age without disease is a very real prospect.
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This microelement plays an important role in the life of the body, including participating in the processes of cellular respiration and hematopoiesis. Almost 70% of all iron entering the body goes to the synthesis of hemoglobin, and the remaining 30% is stored in the tissues and spent gradually - for the thyroid gland, metabolic processes, and maintenance of the immune system.
With iron deficiency, the level of hemoglobin in the blood falls. As a result, chronic fatigue develops, efficiency decreases, appearance worsens - especially for hair and nails, shortness of breath appears even with light physical exertion, immunity decreases.
Excess iron in the body threatens the development of diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases, and in some cases can lead to the appearance of tumors, including malignant.
That is, both a deficiency and an excess of a trace element are bad.
Where to get iron?
m cannot synthesize iron, so it is very important to maintain its balance with the help of proper nutrition.
Iron of animal origin, which is found in meat and its by-products, especially in the liver, in fish and seafood, is most effectively absorbed. Also, this trace element is found in nuts, cabbage, greens, legumes, apples, mushrooms, cereals.
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For better absorption of iron, you need to closely monitor for the diet. It is important to include in the menu foods that contain vitamins A and C, as well as folic acid - berries, pineapples, kiwi, tomatoes, citrus fruits, carrots, dried apricots, pumpkin, eggs, eggplants, bell peppers.
In addition , foods containing iron and calcium should be eaten separately. In this case, both microelements will be absorbed most efficiently.
An average person (not a professional athlete) needs about 15 milligrams of iron per day. Athletes and people who are engaged in heavy physical labor or who have suffered profuse blood loss, as well as women during pregnancy, are recommended 25-35 milligrams of iron per day.
You can also raise the level of iron with the help of special medications. But you cannot overdo it with them - you need to be careful and strictly follow the recommendations of doctors. Iron supplements are prescribed only after a blood test and with a pronounced micronutrient deficiency.