11/16/11

Alzheimer’s: How Donating Blood Reduces Your Risk

          While iron is extremely important to our bodies, too much iron can be a bad thing.  We’ve all heard that antioxidants are good for your body.  Well this is because they “fight” oxidizing agents, which are harmful to your health.  Well, in certain instances, iron is an oxidizing agent.  Since our bodies are efficient at storing iron, various iron reserves tend to accumulate throughout one’s life.  Studies have in fact linked disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease with high levels of iron in the brain.  So what can you do?  Well because so much iron is contained in the red blood cells of your body, it’s a good idea to donate blood every once in a while.  When your body is forced to regenerate these blood cells, it calls upon its iron reserves to do so.  This in turn reduces your body’s iron, including that which is stored in your brain.  This health tip is even more important for guys, as high iron tends to be more common in males (most likely due to the female menstrual cycle).  For a list of places to donate blood, simply use your Google skills.  The American Red Cross and other organizations are always happy to accept your blood donation, and it’s completely free!  Aside from reducing your iron reserves, you can also manage your iron intake by eating less meat, as this is where much of our body iron comes from.  To understand why oxidizing agents are bad and why antioxidants are good, and for a list of foods which are high in antioxidants, stayed tuned for my next blog!

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                                                                                                -Shahir Masri
                   

16 comments:

  1. Hi i am part of your mom's environmental class and i was wondering how the iron increases your chances of Alzheimer?

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  2. This article is very interesting because i never knew that iron in the blood could be related to Alzheimer's. However, when you said "high levels of iron in the brain," what is the iron percentage (at what % is it harmful)? Thanks for the message! :)

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  3. I found this article very interesting. Prior to reading this, I had no idea that people could have too much iron in their blood. There seem to be many solutions that would help control this problem. At what age should individuals begin to worry about having an excess amount of iron? It seems like this would most likely affect people in their later years who have a high meat intake.

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  4. I never knew iron could turn out to be something harmful. It is very interesting to know that it could lead to Alzheimer's. So does Alzheimer's mostly happen to obese people since they'd would probably have large amounts of iron from too much meat intake? Is having too much iron the leading cause of Alzheimer's ? I look forward to reading your next article!

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  5. I found what Jenny said about the relation of obesity and Alzheimer with high blood iron level to be really interesting. In turn I am curious about this too!

    Also you mentioned a lot about the dangers of having high iron levels, but I was wondering what happens if you have too low of an iron level? I remember when donating blood that if you don't have enough iron you can't donate, but what happens if you have an amount below the average?

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  6. This is very interesting. I knew iron levels were important but I never thought they could be so dangerous.
    Is there anyway to find out if we have high iron levels? Like can we ask our doctors or does it cost too much to get a test specifically for iron?
    I can't wait for your next article(:

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  7. @fancy.. without enough iron in your blood, your blood cells become inefficient at carrying oxygen to your organs... lethargy, fatigue, etc. Look up iron deficiency anemia for more information!

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  8. I thought this article was quite interesting!I believe that anything used excessively is bad for us and iron is no the exception. I never knew that disorders such as the Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases could be linked with high levels of iron in the brain. This is an interesting fact because I've seen many elderly people take vitamins to obtain iron. So, could they instead be increasing their chances of obtaining those diseases? looking forward to the next article!

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  9. Check out this classic example of citizen network, technology and community coming together for a good cause.

    Any member who needs blood for themselves, friends, family can post an Emergency on the fingertips which makes the community aware of the need and members of the community who can help can easily respond

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