Two iron compounds, commonly found in supplements and various foods, have been found to increase the formation of a known biomarker for cancer, according to a new study.
We’ve actually known about the dangers of excess iron in the body for a very long time…
In fact, my research with Nobel laureate Baruch Blumberg (1925 – 2011) in the late 1980s showed a strong link between excess iron and increased risk of every type of cancer — in both men and women. Other researchers found a link between excess iron and increased risk of heart disease and infections.
The fact is, your body naturally contains just about all the iron it needs — about 4 grams. It’s stored inside hemoglobin in your red blood cells.
Plus, science shows the human body actually recycles this naturally-present iron. Your body doesn’t burn iron metabolically and doesn’t excrete it in feces or urine. So, the only way to lose iron is to lose blood.
Which means taking iron-containing supplements on a regular basis can raise your levels up beyond the 4 grams your body needs.
And beyond 4 grams, excess iron behaves like a toxic heavy metal in your body. It also acts as a major chemical oxidizing agent that can cause free radical damage to cells (which can result in cellular death or dysfunction). In fact, as I reported back in 2016, excess iron can actually damage your DNA within just 10 minutes.
Knowing this basic biology, it never made sense to me why so many dietary supplements on the market still contain iron.
In fact, the only people who should ever consider taking an iron supplement are those who have been diagnosed with clinical iron deficiency by a doctor.
And this new research just confirms my long-standing belief.
Common iron compound increases cancer biomarker
For the new study, researchers looked at the effect of normal doses of two conventional forms of iron— ferric citrate and ferric EDTA — on two types of cultured human colon cancer cells. Manufacturers commonly use ferric citrate in dietary supplements. And they use ferric EDTA as an additive to fortify foods such as sliced bread.
Turns out, both ferric citrate and ferric EDTA increased cellular levels of amphiregulin, a biomarker for cancer. Even when applied to the cells in much lower doses than typically used in supplements and food additives. And experts associate this biomarker with long-term cancer and poor prognosis.
Unfortunately, many manufacturers and retailers don’t actually tell you what kind of iron they put in their products, which Nathalie Sheers, the study’s lead author, said could be “problematic.”
You think, Nathalie?
Your own findings show a common additive found in foods and supplements increases a deadly cancer marker… and you call it “problematic” that consumers don’t know about it?
It appears we’ve come across two kinds of researchers in this crazy world of ours…
Those who don’t accept the data from their own studies, like this one. And those who make up conclusions not supported by their own data.
All the while, we just want some real evidence and some real recommendations.
Nathalie also concluded that researchers still need to conduct more clinical trials of iron supplements in humans to learn more.
It’s the same old tired excuse. And quite frankly, I’m sick of it…
My studies with a Nobel laureate — nearly 30 years ago — were based on observations in human populations. And we published them widely in the best national and international medical journals, the New England Journal of Medicine and the International Journal of Epidemiology.
Maybe Nathalie and her team should get out of their laboratory more often, or maybe pick up a leading scientific journal once in a while.
In the end, this new study is yet another reason to “just say no” to dietary supplements with iron.
In addition to my “just-say-no” stance on iron supplementation, I’ve developed a no-nonsense, all-natural approach to cancer prevention, called the Authentic Anti-Cancer Protocol. Click here to learn more or enroll today.
“Ferric citrate and ferric EDTA but not ferrous sulfate drive amphiregulin-mediated activation of the MAP kinase ERK in gut epithelial cancer cells,” Oncotarget, 2018; 9 (24)