First, foremost, and always: Know your health.
As always, before we dive in, we have to put out a disclaimer and be sure that our AnGels understand that we are not health professionals, nor can we treat, diagnose, or guarantee claims. Sea moss in itself is not an FDA regulated substance, and therefore it is upon you (and possibly your main physician) to decide whether sea moss and its values are the right fit for your body and lifestyle.
Iron is a vital, and essential mineral that is good for your health because it plays a crucial role in various physiological functions in the body. Iron is a major component of hemoglobin, a type of protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to all parts of the body. Without enough iron, there aren’t enough red blood cells to transport oxygen, which leads to fatigue. Iron is also part of myoglobin, a protein that carries and stores oxygen specifically in muscle tissues. Iron is important for healthy brain development and growth in children, and for the normal production and function of various cells and hormones.
Iron from food comes in two forms: heme and non-heme. Heme is found only in animal flesh like meat, poultry, and seafood. Non-heme iron is found in plant foods like whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and leafy greens. Non-heme iron is also found in animal flesh (as animals consume plant foods with non-heme iron) and fortified foods.
Iron is stored in the body as ferritin (in the liver, spleen, muscle tissue, and bone marrow) and is delivered throughout the body by transferrin (a protein in blood that binds to iron). A doctor may sometimes check blood levels of these two components if anemia is suspected.
Here are some reasons why iron is important and beneficial for your well-being:
Oxygen Transport: One of the primary functions of iron is to help transport oxygen throughout the body. Hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells, contains iron and binds to oxygen in the lungs. This oxygenated hemoglobin is then carried by the bloodstream to all the body's tissues, where it releases oxygen for use in cellular respiration. This process is essential for energy production and overall bodily function.
Energy Production: Iron is necessary for the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the primary energy currency in the body. It is required for various metabolic processes, and without adequate iron, your body may experience fatigue and weakness.
Cognitive Function: Iron is important for brain health and cognitive function. It helps with the development and maintenance of healthy brain cells, and iron deficiency can lead to cognitive impairments, especially in children and pregnant women.
Immune System Support: Iron is involved in the proper functioning of the immune system. It helps the body defend against infections and diseases by supporting the production and activity of immune cells.
Collagen Production: Iron is a cofactor in the production of collagen, a protein that plays a crucial role in the health of your skin, blood vessels, and connective tissues.
Detoxification: Iron is involved in the detoxification of certain compounds in the body, helping to eliminate harmful substances.
Hormone Synthesis: Iron is needed for the synthesis of some hormones, including those related to growth and development.
It's important to maintain a balanced intake of iron, as both iron deficiency and iron overload can have negative health consequences. Iron deficiency can lead to anemia, characterized by fatigue, weakness, and pale skin, while iron overload can result in conditions like hemochromatosis, which may cause organ damage and other health issues.
The recommended daily intake of iron varies based on factors like age, sex, and individual needs. A well-balanced diet that includes iron-rich foods, such as lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, lentils, nuts, and fortified cereals, can help ensure you get the right amount of iron to support your overall health. If you have concerns about your iron intake, it's a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian.
Into The THICK Of It
While iron is an essential mineral for the human body, too much iron can be harmful. This condition is known as iron overload or hemochromatosis. This is not a condition that will happen to everyone, likely only those with preexisting conditions. The detriments of iron overload can look like:
Organ Damage: Iron overload can lead to the accumulation of iron in various organs, especially the liver, heart, and pancreas. This can cause damage to these organs over time, potentially leading to conditions like cirrhosis, heart problems, and diabetes.
Joint Pain: Excess iron can also accumulate in the joints, causing pain and discomfort.
Skin Changes: Some people with iron overload may develop a condition called "bronze diabetes", which causes a bronze or gray-ish tint to the skin.
Fatigue: Iron overload can lead to chronic fatigue and weakness.
Increased Infection Risk: High levels of iron in the body can promote the growth of harmful bacteria and increase the risk of infections.
Cognitive and Mood Changes: Some individuals with hemochromatosis experience cognitive changes, including memory problems and mood swings.
Endocrine Disorders: Excess iron can affect the endocrine system, leading to conditions such as hypothyroidism and decreased testosterone production in men.
Complications in Other Conditions: Iron overload can worsen the prognosis in certain conditions like chronic liver disease, hepatitis C, and alcoholism.
It's important to note that not everyone is at equal risk of developing iron overload. Some people have a genetic predisposition to absorb too much iron from their diet, a condition known as hereditary hemochromatosis. Others may develop iron overload due to repeated blood transfusions or certain medical conditions. Regular blood tests and medical monitoring can help detect and manage iron overload, and treatment often involves therapeutic phlebotomy (blood removal) to reduce iron levels.
Iron is an essential nutrient, but like many things in life, moderation is key. It's important to maintain a balance in your iron intake, and if you suspect you may have high iron levels, consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and management.
So how do I take sea moss while being mindful of my iron intake?
By taking it in moderation. This can be by reducing your daily dose, taking your AnGel sea moss every other day, and/or reducing your iron intake from other sources. Talk to doctor, naturopath, learn your body.
The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of your neck, just below your Adam's apple. It's a vital part of the endocrine system, which consists of glands that produce and secrete hormones to regulate various bodily functions. The thyroid gland plays a crucial role in regulating your metabolism, energy production, and overall physiological balance.
Excessive iron levels in the body can have a significant impact on thyroid function, particularly by affecting the production and regulation of thyroid hormones. Here's how iron overload can be linked to thyroid issues:
Hypothyroidism: Iron overload may lead to an underactive thyroid, a condition known as hypothyroidism. In cases of iron overload, excess iron can accumulate in the thyroid gland, impairing its ability to produce thyroid hormones. This can result in symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance, and cognitive changes. People with hypothyroidism due to iron overload may require treatment with thyroid hormone replacement therapy.
Autoimmune Thyroid Diseases: Excess iron in the body has been associated with an increased risk of autoimmune thyroid diseases, including Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Autoimmune thyroid diseases are characterized by the immune system attacking the thyroid gland, leading to inflammation and a decrease in thyroid hormone production. Iron overload can potentially trigger or exacerbate these autoimmune conditions.
Thyroid Function Regulation: Iron plays a role in the regulation of thyroid hormones. Excess iron can disrupt the normal feedback mechanisms that control the release of thyroid hormones, leading to imbalances in the levels of thyroid hormones in the body.
Thyroid Medication Interference: Iron supplements and high dietary iron intake can interfere with the absorption of thyroid medications, such as levothyroxine. Taking iron supplements or consuming iron-rich foods close to the time of taking thyroid medication can reduce its effectiveness.
To manage thyroid issues associated with excess iron, it's important to address the underlying iron overload. Treatment may involve therapeutic phlebotomy (blood removal) to reduce iron levels. In cases of autoimmune thyroid diseases, managing the immune response with medications like corticosteroids or immunosuppressants may also be necessary.
If you suspect you have iron overload and are experiencing symptoms related to thyroid dysfunction, it's crucial to consult a healthcare professional. They can perform the necessary tests to diagnose iron overload and thyroid conditions and develop an appropriate treatment plan to address both issues. Monitoring iron levels and thyroid function is essential to maintain overall health and well-being.
Please note that we only reference and publish information from reputable sources, there may be discrepancies in information due to sea moss being an unregulated substance.