In this episode, we discuss:
➡️ Wellness Journey: Don’t quit when it’s hard
➡️ Article 1: The blueprint to reverse your biological age in 8 weeks
➡️ Article 2: Re-infection rate after previous COVID infection
➡️ Supplement Discussion: Iron Bisglycinate
Lifestyle Medicine with Dr. Harris
Dr. Richard Harris: Greetings, salutations, hello! My name is Dr. Richard Harris and welcome to the Strive for Great Health Podcast. This is our wellness review episode. If you’re new to this episode. Hey, thanks for listening. Thanks for making the investment in your health. We do four different segments in the wellness review.
[00:00:18] The first one is a wellness journey, and this is a topic revolving around the health mindset. The health mindset is how do we think about health. Our thoughts drive our actions and this wellness journey will be don’t quit when it’s hard. Then we talk about two different articles. The first article deals with reversal of biological age.
[00:00:40] It’s an amazing study. Can’t wait to dive into that with you guys. And then the second article is a hot topic right now. COVID re-infection rates, if you’ve already gotten COVID. This is something that’s all over the news right now. We’re going to dive into a really interesting article that talks about re-infection rates.
[00:01:00] And then we end on our supplement discussion. We are still in our Rootine series. We’re going to finish up our routine series, talking about iron. That’s the agenda for this week’s episode. I hope you guys enjoy it. I had a lot of fun recording this episode. Are you ready to boost your health EQ and IQ? Cue the music!
[00:01:31] Join me Dr. Richard Harris, as we strive to unlock the secrets of the human body. Strive for wellness, strive for great health. Follow the show on iTunes, Spotify, Google, and Android.
[00:02:01] Real quick before we get started, the Strive for Great Health Podcast is a lifestyle, wellness, and mindset podcast, but we can’t put everything about health, wellness, and mindset into the podcast; there’s just not enough time. It’s such a complex subject. That’s why we created our lifestyle medicine and health mindset wellness courses.
[00:02:25] Now you may be asking, are these courses right for me? If you’re someone who wants to increase their health span, longevity, how long we live without chronic disease. If you’re someone who’s been told you have risk factors. If you’re someone that’s been told, there are some things that you need to watch out for, some things you need to change otherwise you’re heading down a road that leads to disease. Or if you’re someone who has a chronic ailment and you’re wanting a more holistic approach to fix yourself, to heal yourself, then the wellness courses are for you. If you’re not willing to invest in your health, if you’re not someone who is willing to do things in a sustainable manner, if you’re someone who’s looking for a quick fix, then the courses are not for you.
[00:03:13] The courses are designed to teach you everything that I have learned through reading hundreds of studies, hours of clinical practice, years of devotion to this lifestyle medicine and the health mindset so you can live a life full of joy and purpose. If that sounds good to you, head to theghwellness.com and click courses at the top.
[00:03:35] Now to this week’s episode. Welcome to this episode of the Strive for Great Health Podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Richard Harris, and this is our wellness review. So we got four topics. Let’s dive right in. The first one is our wellness journey. And this came to me during the midst of struggle. There’s lots of things that I struggle with.
[00:03:55] I’m human, there are things that don’t go my way all the time. In fact, most of the time things don’t go my way, but that’s just life, right. And there have been times where things have been very hard with businesses, with my relationships, and I really wanted to come and talk to you guys and just be vulnerable and say, don’t quit when it’s hard.
[00:04:21] And business has been very hard for me. I am not a successful entrepreneur. I’m not, yet. I hope to be at some point in time. And there are moments where I think, man, why am I doing this? Why do I keep putting this effort into this? But then I think that, you know what, often it’s darkest right before the dawn.
[00:04:44] And this is when breakthroughs happen, right before you give up. That’s when breakthroughs happen; that’s when miracles happen. That’s when radical transformation happens. And part of what we always say is our story is not just for us. Our story is to help and impact other people. And so I’m hoping that this message reaches you and maybe you’re struggling with something.
[00:05:09] And maybe you’re thinking about giving up and I’m saying I’ve been there. I have those thoughts all the time. And I know that I can’t give up because there are people that are counting on me. There are people who are counting on this podcast. There are people who this podcast has helped. It’s not a financially successful podcast and I’m fully transparent.
[00:05:32] That’s just who I am. This is not a financially successful podcast at this moment, but it’s helping people. And so that is worth the time, that is worth the investment. And I was reading a really good book by Adam Grant called Originals, and it talks about the science of creativity. And it talks about when motivation wanes think about how far we have come. Think about all the good we have done. Think about all the effort. Think about the journey, the process, what we’ve learned, because sometimes we have to look back and see the progress that we’ve made when we’re feeling that we’re not doing enough, or when we’re feeling that we’re not where we want to be.
[00:06:16] And I thought that was so powerful. And I actually reflected on that this past week. And it energized me. It invigorated me. It made me want to come back and record and create content and preach this message of hope and wellness and love and joy and purpose. And then when the motivation is there, when you are motivated, when you’re willing to do the work, think about the work that needs to be done, because that’s going to push you.
[00:06:40] That’s going to drive you to go forward. And that’s what I’m doing now. I’m thinking about all the work to be done. I’m thinking about all the lives that we can impact. All the people that we can help. And this is all around the world. And then when you’re going through these things, when things are hard, think about all you have learned and document that journey, document the journey, because like we’ve said, your journey may be to help someone else.
[00:07:11] And then the other thing that you can do when things get hard, think about your identity, say to yourself, what would a person like me do in this situation?
[00:07:20] And this is something that’s gotten me through so many dark times because I have a such a strong sense of identity. I know who I am. I know what I want out of life. I know what I’m supposed to do. I think God could come in anytime and say, no stupid turn around, do this instead, this is where I want you to go.
[00:07:41] But I often say to myself, a person like me would do this in this situation. It’s like, we’ve talked about with identity based habits and that’s something that we feature very strongly in the wellness course. Identity-based habits means that when I don’t want to go to the gym, which happens, that I still get up and go to the gym because I am someone who works out. That is ingrained in the very nature of my soul.
[00:08:10] And that is what thinking about your identity does. What would a person like me do in the situation? It taps into your morality, taps into your ethics. It taps into your worldview. And that will often get us going. So don’t quit when it’s hard. This is when breakthroughs happen. This is when miracles happen.
[00:08:32] This is when you, like the meme that goes around where the guy who quits is right before the diamond. So that was our wellness journey. Let’s dive into article number one, first article and of course the links to the articles will be on the website. Each episode has a blog post. So you can find the links to articles, links to supplements, and then I’ll throw in some occasional material that can help with facilitating, understanding and retention of what we’re talking about.
[00:09:04] But the title of this article is potential reversal of epigenetic age, using a diet and lifestyle intervention, a pilot randomized clinical trial. What this means is these authors wanted to look at. Hey, if we do certain things, can we reverse, can we turn back the clock? Literally, can we turn back father time? In the introduction, we talk about advanced age as a risk factor for numerous diseases, including cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, cardiovascular disease. That’s four of the top six causes, four of the six most common causes of death here in the US. Research estimates that by delaying aging by 2.2 years, we could save $7 trillion over the next 50 years.
[00:09:55] That’s an astronomical amount of money. Think about all the good that money could do going into our infrastructure, going into schools. So extending health span and health span is the length of time that we are healthy, so it’s a time before chronic disease kicks in, even modestly can have large public health benefits and the best studied way of looking at biological age.
[00:10:21] So chronological age is how much time has passed since you were born. Biological age is looking at how well your cells are working. Is your cells young enough or rather what is the age impact on yourselves, meaning are your cells younger than they should be based upon your chronological age or are they older than they should be based upon your chronological age
[00:10:53] And DNA methylation is the best studied mechanism for gene expression. We’ve talked about methylation before. It is one of the ways, the most prominent way that we turn our genes on and off. A few thousand sites are very well correlated with age. So there are tests now where you can look at certain areas of the DNA.
[00:11:15] See if it has these methyl groups, these little carbon groups attached to it. Do they have too many, do they have too little and that can correlate with our chronologic age. So the test they looked at is called DNAAGE, and this looks at methylation and it very well predicts all cause mortality, meaning death from all causes and comorbidities actually better than chronological age.
[00:11:40] So research is showing that our biological age is a better predictor of our health than our chronological age. This is why this topic is very, very important. So some sites on our DNA gain methylation others lose methylation as we age and sites tend to be more methylated in tumor suppressor genes, tumor suppressor genes are just that they are genes that prevent unregulated growth to prevent cancer.
[00:12:10] And so hyper-methylation or too much methylation in these genes inhibits expression. That means we’re more likely to get unregulated growth leading to cancer and pro-inflammatory state and insulin resistance and obesity and all of that. Hypo-methylation, too little methylation at inflammatory cytokine sites.
[00:12:29] We talked about inflammatory cytokines; these are messengers. We talked about this in our immune podcast. So hypo-methylation at these sites promotes expression. And this is a key point. That methylation is not an all or none system. It’s not that too much methylation is always bad, too little methylation is always good and vice versa.
[00:12:49] It really depends on the site. And it really depends on is it flipping the light switch on or off? Is it flipping our genes on and off. Previous data shows a reduction in DNA age with certain nutrition plans like pescatarians, plant-based and this intervention wanted to look at nutrition focused on things like alphaketoglutarate.
[00:13:12] We’ve talked about that before. Vitamin C we’ve talked about ,vitamin A, curcumin, EGCG, rosemarinic acid, quercetin combined with low carb nutrition plan, mild intermittent fasting, and sleep and mindfulness. So they didn’t supplement these things. They just picked a nutrition plan that was high in these things because there is some data showing that these are very important for proper regulation of methylation.
[00:13:40] They also supplemented with a fruit and veggie powder that was rich in polyphenols. And they had a probiotic containing lactobacillus plantarum, which has been associated with altered gene expression. And it is a bacterial species that does produce Folate and Folate and B vitamins are very important for proper methylation.
[00:14:03] They also had lifestyle guidance revolving around coaching sessions. We’ll talk about that more in a minute. They wanted them to exercise 30 minutes of exercise, five days a week at 60 to 80% intensity. And this is important because previous data shows that exercise is very important for longevity. No shocker there.
[00:14:23] Regular Tai Chi has been shown to slow age-related methylation. Also a lifelong history of exercise, so the longer you exercise, the lower your biological age is right. Exercise is associated with lower levels of homocysteine. I believe we’ve talked about homocysteine on the podcast. It’s getting hard to keep straight now that we’re 75 episodes deep, but homocysteine is a marker of methylation.
[00:14:56] It’s one of the things that we recommend checking. I check everyone for a homocysteine just to see and elevated levels, optimal is less than 10 indicates methylation insufficiency, meaning that we are having problems, turning our genes on and off. They also had the people do twice daily breathing exercises, 20 minute breathing exercises have been shown to lower DNA age to lower our biological age stress, of course stress one of the worst things that can happen to us.
[00:15:33] And we have what, three or four episodes based upon stress. That’s how important stress is. Stress is so insidious that people don’t believe that they’re stressed and then they don’t believe that impacts their health. It absolutely impacts your health, go back and listen to all those podcasts. But stress accelerates biological aging and cumulative stress has been associated with accelerated biological aging.
[00:15:56] So more stress, more biological aging. PTSD is shown to accelerate methylation age or biological age. They also looked at sleep. They wanted to optimize sleep to get seven hours a night, we talked about ideal sleep on the sleep science podcast. Acceleration of biological age is also associated with insomnia.
[00:16:17] It’s one of the reasons why sleep is so important. Go back, listen to that podcast, if you haven’t listened to it. The authors hypothesized that these effects are likely synergistic and that these interventions would lead to a healthier, more youthful biological age. So they had 43 males. What they did was they have three week wash out period, meaning that they took him off all supplements, stopped exercise, that kind of thing before this study.
[00:16:44] So really they could look at the effects of the study interventions. They did allow them to continue a one a day type of vitamin, if they were already taking it, they didn’t prescribe one. They’re also told to discontinue substances like alcohol or nicotine one week before start. And the study duration was eight weeks.
[00:17:00] That’s a very short study. Two months, eight weeks study and participants were supported by regular coaching sessions weekly during the first four weeks. And then every other week, I think this is a very important part because we know outcomes are so much better with health coaching. This is why we are a lifestyle, wellness, and mindset podcast.
[00:17:25] You can not do these things without the health mindset. It is such a key focus in our courses. In fact, before we even start talking about like nutrition or exercise or anything, we spend time talking about mindset. It is the most important part of our health because as your thoughts go, your body goes and you have to have the health mindset to be healthy.
[00:17:52] So, what did they find in the study results compared to the control group? Those in the treatment group were 3.23 years younger in eight weeks. I’m going to repeat that again, compared to the control group, those in the treatment group were 3.23 years younger in eight weeks. So the treatment group was 1.96 years younger.
[00:18:17] The control group actually got 1.27 years older. There was no increase in overall methylation, but there was a repositioning of the methylation towards a younger biological age. There was also a 25% reduction in triglycerides, from an average of 112 to 89. Folate levels rose by 15%. And there were no significant changes in other markers like A1C, total cholesterol, HDL, LDL.
[00:18:47] However, in the treatment group, there was a difference inside that group, minus 22.8 milligrams per deciliter in the LDL. And there were no changes in emotional health via a survey called PROMIS. In the discussion previous research, it shows that vitamin D3 at 4,000 international units for 16 weeks decreased biological age in overweight obese African-Americans by about 1.5 years. There’s also been protocols with growth hormone and Metformin that have been shown to lower biological age. The study did not use supplementation, which I think is great. They used just nutrition, just sleep, exercise, mindfulness, things that are all part of our five pillars program.
[00:19:36] I mean, this is really great for us as lifestyle medicine physicians, because it shows the changes can happen quickly. The authors also theorize that a combination of polyphenols rather than a single or phytonutrient has enhanced favorable effects on epigenetic changes. This is the problem with a lot of research.
[00:19:55] We look at single nutrients, single interventions, life doesn’t work that way. Health doesn’t work that way. This is why I’m so happy for this study because it looked at a group of beneficial interventions and showed that there was a significant change, very quickly.
[00:20:15] Article number two, assessment of protection against re-infection with SARS COV-2 among 4 million PCR tested individuals in Denmark in 2020 a population level observational study.
[00:20:28] That’s a mouthful. What that means is they looked at data from Denmark for 2020 and looked at, Hey, if you got COVID in the first wave, how many of those people got COVID again in the second wave. Let’s dive into this study. And the introduction, previous studies have shown that natural immunity could last for five to six months after COVID infection.
[00:20:55] We’re starting to see that interval starting to lengthen as we start to do more and more studies and that re-infection is rare. Multiple studies have shown a re-infection rate of less than 1%. Of the original SARS COV-1 and MERS induced immunity lasted for about two to three years after infection.
[00:21:15] Now there is some data that came out this year that showed that there were still a strong memory cell response, even 17 years later after infection. If you want to know more about that response memory cell response, check out our immunity podcast. We do a deep dive on the immune system. The aim of this study was to estimate protection against repeat infections as measured by a positive PCR test. So this data was obtained from the Danish microbiology database and they looked at between February 26 of last year to December 31st, again, it was in Denmark. And what they looked at was people who tested positive in the first surge of the pandemic, which was February to June.
[00:21:58] And then they followed them in the second surge, which was September to December, which this mirrors a lot of what we saw here in Texas with our surges. They also wanted to look at, was there a difference between different sexes and age. In the results, approximately 10% of the population was tested each week during the study period.
[00:22:19] During the first surge 533,381 people were tested, 11,727 tested positive. That’s 2.2%. During the second surge 3.48 million people were tested, 150,159 tested positive. That’s 4.32%. So the second surge had more positive people per test. And that’s really what we saw here. And these positivity rates are pretty similar to what we saw here in the US. By the end of the study, they had tested almost 4 million people, which is two thirds of the population of the entire country.
[00:23:06] Now, the part that you actually want to know of the 11,068 people who they followed. They had to exclude 610 who tested positive in that gap between the first and the second surge and then 7,432 people who died, 72 tested positive again, which is 0.65% during the second surge compared to 16,819 of 514,271, which is 3.27% people who are negative during the first surge.
[00:23:42] So you’re looking at 0.65% versus 3.27% overall. It was estimated that protection against repeat infection was 80.5%. However, and this is the caveat, those older than 65. This was reduced to 47%. And this is very important because this is a question we’re getting asked all the time. Hey, I got COVID, should I get vaccinated? And compiling the data, compiling multiple studies together. My best conclusion right now, as of this recording is that if you’ve had COVID and you’re younger than 65, there is not enough evidence in my opinion, to suggest getting the vaccine. If you’re older than 65, get the vaccine.
[00:24:37] There’s a question of how many. There’s a study that showed that people who had it before made a thousand fold more antibodies on vaccination with the first shot, because they had those memory B cells, they were able to mount a response. And the authors of that study said that. Okay. Probably if you’ve had COVID you only need maybe a booster.
[00:24:59] Now the main question is we have no idea how long the immunity lasts and that’s something that’s going to be hotly debated for a long time. We can look back to that study I referenced earlier where people still had a robust immunological response to SARS and MERS 17 years later, based upon that study.
[00:25:24] But there’s still a lot that’s up in the air. There’s still, it’s still very hard to give a concrete guidance, I think. And I’ve said this so many times before you just have to amass as much information as you possibly can and make the best decision that you can make for you and your family. So in the discussion, this data correlates with several other studies in the UK, Qatar, USA showing infection rate lower than 1%, re-infection rate lower than 1%.
[00:25:54] There’s also some data that shows that antibodies to the spike protein decrease over eight months, but that’s to be expected, your body’s not going to continue to make high levels of antibodies because they’re costly. They’re expensive. Now this brings up a whole different point. I wasn’t going to go into this, but antibody titers, how many antibodies they are, do not correlate very well with neutralization.
[00:26:20] Meaning do the antibodies work? Do they bind up that virus and prevented, attaching to the cell because that’s what we actually care about. And so there’s some research going on in that area right now that, that even when titers are low, neutralization was still high. Now there’s a whole bunch of monkey wrenches in there.
[00:26:43] Like if you had really mild infection and you had antibodies, do they neutralize as well? And so that whole stuff is being studied right now. I’m still reading on this stuff. I can’t make a, I can’t make a cohesive synthesis on that yet. So when I can, I will let you know, and we know the elderly are less likely to produce sustained immunity due to immune senescence.
[00:27:10] This is the function where the immune system basically just doesn’t work as well as we get when we get older, mainly because a lot of elderly people have chronic disease. Like we’ve talked about in the forgotten pandemic. The main strength of this study was the study size, the completeness of the data, its main limitation was there no info on symptoms. Like we just talked about, we’re trying to figure out is, is there a difference as far as neutralization of the antibodies, memory cells, for people who have very mild infections versus people who have severe infections, and this is stuff that’s going to take us a long time to figure out.
[00:27:47] Our last segment of this June wellness review supplements, you know, I’m a supplement guy, love supplements. We’re still in our Rootine series. Last one of the Rootine series talking about iron. I love Rootine. Let me just tell y’all for a minute here what Rootine does, I used to do with my private clients.
[00:28:09] And it would cost five X the price. And that was list price. I didn’t mark up any testing with my private clients. It was just list price. And it was five X the cost. And that didn’t include the supplements. The supplements were about 2.5 X the cost. So Rootine is an incredible way for you to get a customized supplementation program for your DNA, for your metabolism.
[00:28:38] That changes as we get older, because like we’ve talked about in some of these. Different vitamins like Co-Q10. We need more as we get older, Co-Q10 levels decrease by 50% as we get older. Okay. Let’s talk about iron. What it does. Iron’s a trace mineral in the body. It exists in two forms. There’s the reduced form, the ferrous iron form and the oxidized form the ferric form. Iron deficiencies are very common. We see these things all the time, all the time. Especially in women. Most of the iron in the body is stored in hemoglobin and red blood cells and myoglobin in muscle cells. So there are different forms of iron. You’ll see, ferrous, sulfate, you’ll see ferrous fumarate, you’ll see ferrous, gluconate.
[00:29:26] And then you’ll see what is actually in routine ferrous, bisglycinate. And we’ll talk about why the bisglycinate is better here in a moment . When you see one gram of ferrous gluconate. It’s often reported, or we often look at the elemental form because that’s the actual active form. That’s the form that’s doing what we need it to do.
[00:29:50] And so one gram of ferrous gluconate has 120 milligrams of elemental iron. One gram of ferrous sulfate has 200 milligrams of elemental iron. Ferrous glycinate is the same, it’s 20%. Ferrous fumarate one gram is 330 milligrams of elemental iron. So you would think by listening to that, that ferrous fumerate would be the best because it’s 33% while the ferrous sulfate and the glycinate were 20%.
[00:30:18] If only things were that simple in the body, The other three forms, the fumarate, the sulfate, the gluconate, these forms should not be taken with food. And the reason for that is food decreases the absorption by up to 50% because the iron will bind to calcium. It’ll bind the polyphenols. It’ll bind the tannins.
[00:30:39] It’ll bind to other things in food. Now what a lot of people do is they take it with vitamin C, vitamin C actually increases the absorption of iron by capturing iron in the non-heme form. So there’s two different types of iron there’s the heme form. And the non-heme form basically is the iron with the protein that is in hemoglobin, heme, hemoglobin, right?
[00:31:05] Hemoglobin is part of our red blood cells. That’s what carries oxygen. When you eat iron from meat, it is the heme form. When you eat iron from plants, it is the non-heme form. The heme form is better absorbed. This is one of the main reasons why vegetarians and vegans have to supplement iron because the iron that they eat is just not as well absorbed.
[00:31:32] And we talked about this and the nutrient deficiency podcast, and we went very in depth about how being vegan or vegetarian can set you up for some pretty bad nutrient deficiencies. So vitamin C one study showed that vitamin C may increase absorption of iron by up to 67%. That’s a pretty significant amount.
[00:31:52] Now we said the fumarate, the gluconate, the sulfate forms don’t take with food because they decrease the absorption, but the bisglycinate does not have that effect. Food does not affect the absorption. It’s also tolerated better at higher doses. Multiple studies have shown that one study showed that the bisglycinate form had four times the absorption compared to ferrous sulfate.
[00:32:18] Okay. I told you a lot about iron. I didn’t even tell you what the body uses iron for. I probably should have led with that ,still rusty coming off a break .Bear with me. It’s used by enzymes to make energy. We talked about this in the metabolism podcast, how it’s used to make energy. It’s used to make collagen.
[00:32:37] It’s used to make neuro-transmitters. It’s also used to make red blood cells. Part of our red blood cells, the hemoglobin, the part that carries oxygen. We would absolutely be dead without iron. We absolutely need iron deficiencies are caused by heavy menstrual periods, bleeding, genetics, certain medications, the proton pump inhibitors, anti- acids, some of our least favorite medications.
[00:33:08] We talked about what you can do, if you have acid reflux, to holistically heal it, do not chronically take proton pump inhibitors. They can cause a lot of issues. If you’re taking it for acid reflux, there are some times would you’d want to be on those medications chronically, but it’s not for acid reflux because for acid reflux, the benefit doesn’t outweigh all the numerous risks.
[00:33:32] We talk about that in that episode. Pancreatic enzymes. This is also something that can decrease the absorption of iron and then frequent blood donations because you’re taking out your heme. You need to make more. So you chew through your iron stores. Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, pale skin, cold hands and feet, brittle nails, craving things like ice or dirt, we call that pika, poor appetite, headaches, dizziness numbness, tingling. Food sources, mainly meats, beef liver, lamb, pork, chicken, fish. Again, you can get it from certain plants. It’s just not as well absorbed like beans, other lentils, soy beans, spinach, kale, dried fruits, like raisins apricots. Boiling does seem to increase the bioavailability of heme in the veggies.
[00:34:28] Not heme, increase the bioavailability of iron in the veggies. We talked about this before on the podcast, a lot of people say, you need to eat all your veggies raw. It’s not that simple. Some veggies do better raw, some veggies do better cut, some veggies do better cut if you leave them sitting there, some veggies do better if you boil them. You’re going to go insane if you try to remember which veggies you should do, which too. So we actually talk about this in our wellness courses, how to cook. We go in depth about the best way to cook certain foods, to optimize nutrients and prevent toxic things for building up. Genes ,certain genes like the HFE gene.
[00:35:09] This is a gene that’s associated with hemochromatosis. Hemochromatosis is a disease where you have iron overload. And this is a gene that codes for a protein called hepcidin. Hepcidine, basically is the master regulator of our iron stores. It determines how much iron to absorb, how much iron to release.
[00:35:28] When you’re looking at blood testing. There’s a lot that you can look at for iron deficiency. You can measure iron levels. You can measure ferritin the protein that stores iron, you can measure your total iron binding capacity, iron saturations, your soluble transferrin receptor. You can measure the cell sizes like your MCV and then measure your blood counts.
[00:35:48] These are all things that we’ll look at for iron deficiency. Those the RDA is eight milligrams per day for males 19 and older and females 51 and older. Females 19 to 50 it’s 18 milligrams per day. It goes up to 27 milligrams per day, per pregnancy, and then lactation down the nine milligrams per day. In deficiencies and you’re only going to do this under doctor supervision. I’m not telling you to go do this at home. Up to 300 milligrams of elemental iron per day can be used. However, the problem with that is new research has shown that we actually absorb iron better if we give it less frequently. And if we give lower doses, because iron has a saturable transporter, a saturable transporter means that once you get above a certain amount, you can’t absorb any more of it.
[00:36:45] And just giving more actually causes less of that transporter to be there. So it actually decreases the absorption. So there’s actually some data that shows that every other day, iron administration, you actually increase the bioavailability, meaning how much you get into the system. Now, if you’re not under treatment by a physician, limit it to 45 milligrams of elemental iron a day, that would be pretty hard to get, because you’re going to have to take multiple iron pills. Most products will have between 10 to 30 milligrams of elemental iron in them. Side effects, usually GI. It’s constipation. That’s the main one. That’s why people take it with food because it can be, constipating . It can cause both upset stomach and cause diarrhea.
[00:37:33] It can cause black stools, you can get false positives on blood and stool tests for taking iron because this blood and stool test looked for heme. So it can be a false positive. Indigestion. One of the reasons why we recommend doing testing and not just taking iron is because certain genetics. If you have certain mutations in that HFE gene, you can get iron overload.
[00:37:59] What’s called hemochromatosis, and this is a severe condition that’s characterized by severe arthritis, liver failure, other joint issues, diabetes, abnormal heartbeats. You can get bronzing of the skin. It’s was classically called bronze diabetes back in the day. And this is why we test. If you have certain HFE mutations, you don’t want to be taking iron.
[00:38:23] All right. That was our June wellness review. Thank you guys so much for listening. I really can’t say this enough, how much you listening to this podcast means for me. This is a way that I can practice medicine, how I want to practice medicine and disseminate information. So if you love the podcast, share it please.
[00:38:47] You never know who it’s going to help. This is why we started the podcast. It wasn’t to make a lot of money cause we’re losing money on the podcast. It was to be helpful. So. Help others share the podcast, live a life full of purpose. Enjoy, I wish you the best in your health. God bless.
[00:39:05] Thank you for listening to Strive for Great Health podcast with your host, Dr. Richard Harris. It’s our mission and goal with the podcast to impact as many lives as possible, to empower individuals, to take control of their health and live a life full of joy and purpose. You may help us achieve this mission by leaving a five-star rating and review on your preferred podcast platform.
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[00:39:41] Thank you for listening and God bless.