Fortified with Iron
Popeye, Superman, Ironman  ... the comix world is in love with the element Fe or Iron. Adding iron to foods is very appealing to most people, as if they could become men and women of steel. Could the modern diseases of civilization , now raging epidemics of Diabetes, Obesity, Heart Disease, Cancer etc. be the sequelae (result) of  our love affair with this metal?
nick lanes oxygen
"Aging and the degnerate disease associated with it are attributed basically to the deleterious side attacks of free radicals on cell constituents and on the connective tissues. The free radicals probably arise largely through reactions involving molecular oxygen
catalysed in the cell by oxidative  enzymes and the connective tissues by traces of metals such as iron, cobalt, and maganese."
Denham_Harman 1956                    

1. The iron available in human milk is better absorbed than that from cow's milk or formula. But unfortunately, many modern women were unable or  encouraged not to breastfeed their babies so low body stores of iron produced _______ in babies.
A. Anemia B. Ambrosia C. Amnesia D.  Anesthesia E. Amniocentesis

2. Most worrying, Insufficent levels of iron in young children can lead to
A. An inability to tan. B. Permanent reduction of cognitive ability C. Normal gastrointestinal motility

3. Spinach has very little iron and even worse contains Oxalic acid  which binds with iron, therefore reducing its absorption..
A. True     B. False

4. There is a genetic disease where the gut (intestines) absorbs too much iron over time. This can take thirty or forty years for any symptons to appear. Most of its victims are male and unaware that they have:
A. Hematoma B. HemophiliaC. HemostatsD. Hemorroids EHemochromatosis

5. Humans like most animals can not reduce total body iron levels
A. True B. False

6. What common medical practice can easily lead to iron toxicity?
A. Anesthesia   B. Vaccination  C. Antibiotics D. Blood Transfusions  E.  All of them can

7. Toxic metal reactions often are polysymptomatic, mercury especially comes to mind. An iron overload is no exception with iron being deposited in many organs and may provoke:
A. Diabetes B. Heart Attacks C. Cancer D. Inflammation E. All of these and more

8. Generally employed antioxidants like BHT  or Butylated hydroxytoluene , used to keep butter from going rancid can increase iron uptake so can the common additive_________ which renders the iron soluble and easily absorbed.
A. Vitamin E B. Ascorbic acid C. Niacin  D.  Vitamin D  

9. Which of these in the United States is commonly fortified with iron or dosed with iron supplements:
A. Hydroponically grown plants and fruits B. Breakfast cereals C. Milk D. Pregnant women E.  Flour for bread F. All of them

10. If a patient has high levels of a metal, say iron, this makes it ________ to absorb other metals.
A. easier B. harder there is less space availableC. there is no change in absorption rates 

Bonus question: Which European country in 2004 banned Kellogg breakfast cereals and snack bars saying that if consumed daily toxic levels of iron and other additives would accumulate?

Ce texte © 2010 2011 Christopher Yukna - tous droits réservés

Professor of English
Ecole des Mines
158 cours Fauriel