Iron Pills May Help to Lower Cholesterol

by Jodee on February 25, 2009

Scientists at the Lawson Health Research Institute in London, Ontario, have found that people who have hemochromatosis, a disorder where they have too much iron in their blood, have lower levels of bad cholesterol in their system. As you probably know, having a high level of LDL cholesterol, which is considered to be the “bad” type, has been identified as a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. The study was conducted with 100,000 participants across North America.

The researchers are quick to point out that more work needs to be done to determine if the lower cholesterol levels of hemochromatosis patients are directly related to the iron levels in their blood. It is possible that lower cholesterol levels may be the result of a person’s genetic makeup, and the fact they happen to have the disorder may not have an effect on their cholesterol levels at all.

Do not go to the drug store and stock up on iron supplements to try to lower your cholesterol levels. Having too much iron on your body can have severe health consequences, including diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver, and heart disease.

Children have been poisoned by ingesting iron tablets, thinking they were candies. For youngsters, an iron overdose may be fatal.

Approximately one in 227 people with a Northern European ancestry will develop hemochromatosis. This is a hereditary disorder that is found in people who have a genetic mutation that makes their body absorb much more iron than it is able to store. When the excess amount of iron is deposited in the body’s organs, it leads to health problems.

Hemochromatosis is treated by drawing blood from the person on a regular basis. If you have ever given blood, you have a good idea about the process. Once the iron levels have been brought down to a normal level, the person will still need to have blood drawn a few times a year to maintain that level.

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