Recent Clinical Developments

People who are deficient in iron tend to absorb iron more efficiently from natural sources than do other people. And children assimilate natural iron somewhat better than do adults. While discovering these patterns, scientists found that ferric iron in eggs is strongly complex, making it hard for the body to break down for utilization. But children younger than three years old are able to absorb the iron from eggs better than do older people.

There has been a running battle among health experts about whether or not excess mucus coating the walls of the intestinal tract hinders absorption of iron. Although some test results indicate that there is a connection and other test results do not, there seems to be a general feeling that iron cannot be assimilated when there is excess mucus in the gastrointestinal tract.

Adelle Davis cites a simple test to determine if a person is anemic—eating beets. The red color will appear in the urine if the individual has anemia associated with a deficiency of iron.

Contracting anemia in its chronic stage can put an excessive strain on the heart. In one study changes were recorded in electrocardiograms in 20 per cent of the cases, and in general the doctors conducting the tests felt that the heart was affected to some degree in all cases, with the worst results being the enlargement of the muscles of the heart or abnormalities associated with the heart's rhythm.

Many sources feel that babies should be weaned off milk much sooner than is normally accepted because a quart of milk contains only 1.5 milligrams of iron. These doctors feel that at the age of six months babies should begin eating solid food higher in iron. It's also been proven that mothers who have good levels of iron give their infants healthier beginnings.

Vitamin E and iron have a sensitive relationship with each other. Natural iron and vitamin E work together as a magnificent team. But if the iron is of a synthetic variety the two nutrients are antagonists.

Pregnant women who experience muscular weakness can often blame the weakness on a vitamin E deficiency that can be induced by taking synthetic supplements of iron. Such a condition can make delivery difficult because of weak contractions.

Pancreatitis (inflammation of the organ that secretes insulin and digestive enzymes) is an ailment that will frequently result in the storage of large amounts of iron within the pancreas, a condition said to be caused by a deficiency of vitamin B-6. When a person receives enough vitamin B-6, the iron is released so that it can go about its normal duties within the body.

Constipation may also be indirectly associated with an iron problem. If the gallbladder is not putting out enough bile to break down the undigested fat, the fat can combine with calcium or iron to form insoluble soaps. This compound then forms with fecal matter to create stools that bring about constipation.

Anyone who has weak or very sensitive kidneys should be cautious about taking any kind of synthetic or inorganic iron supplements, which are said to irritate these organs.

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