Fitness Friday: A Message About Iron Stores and Your Health

New information shows that ferritin, a marker of our iron stores, is a very important component of our health. Ferritin has been linked to insulin resistance, atherosclerosis, and bone metabolism. Too much iron is not healthy for our bones, our sexual health, and or livers. So balance is the key, and it is healthy to lower those ferritin levels. Higher ferritin levels accelerate bone loss, leads to osteoporosis and osteoprotic fractures. Feritin is actually a protein that is produced in situations like infection, immune dysfunction, and overall body inflammation. It plays an important role in osteoporosis though the mechanism of inflammation. Ferritin has also been associated with fatty liver disease It's often true that a particular medication is studied in what I would call 'blinders fashion medicine', meaning the medication is studied in a group of women with the condition, and only with that condition. Often medications that might interact are exclusions from the studies, and data bout overall health over time with medication use is not collected either. Sometimes this reveals untoward effects. All is not bleak, lots of excellent studies are done over time. and in the newest study looking at the role of the osteoporosis medicine risedronate we find that it causes ferritin to be lowered, and in fact this may explain why we see improved bone health, and improved overall health and lower cardiovascular disease in women taking the medication. In fact osteoporosis medicines lower all cause mortality for women. Iron, as healthy as it is, may in some cases be toxic as well. So it's important for your bone health to know what your ferritin level is. Check with your gyno to see if you need a test of your ferritin. 


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