Alcohol Pushes Iron Over the Limit

Booze leaves iron in the heart, liver and other organs. It doesn't go well.

By Matthew Kadey, MS, RD
Dec 7, 2018

Write this down as another way that drinking too much can be a health menace: In a study of African women, published in the journal Clinical Nutrition, British and South African researchers found that levels of ferritin, a protein that stores iron, were higher in drinkers than in nondrinkers. Ferritin levels are a predictor for all-cause mortality.

It seems that heavy drinking can cause the body to absorb too much iron, and, over time, that degrades liver, heart and other organ functioning. More specifically, the increased levels of iron put strain on the cardiovascular system through oxidation, thereby damaging cells, proteins and DNA. Teetotalers: You’re on the right track.

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Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

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