Excess Iron Linked to Alzheimers / Macular Degeneration

Alzheimer’s & Excess Iron

brain scan

image via nih.gov

While we often think of iron deficiency as a problem that causes anemia, researchers have found that excessive iron may increase one’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers publishing in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease state that some studies have found that accumulation of metals in the body, including copper, zinc, and iron, have been linked to the development of neurodegenerative diseases.  In particular, this study focuses upon  Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease patients who demonstrated high levels of iron in their brains.  Source: http://www.foodconsumer.org

Iron and Macular Degeneration

Excessive iron in the body or hemochromatosis may lead to the wet form of macular degeneration.  Researchers at the Medical College of Georgia suspect that too much iron, known to have cumulative negative effects throughout body, can also speed the aging in the eyes.  If there is a link between iron levels and macular degeneration, people may be able to ward off the eye disease by donating blood a couple times annually to reduce iron levels the amount if iron in the body.

Source: http://www.eurekalert.org