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science nutrition <strong>blog</strong>

High iron levels in men are linked to high blood pressure and heart disease. Poor diet and lack of exercise increase iron levels in young men— according to a study led by Maja Tomczyk from the Gdansk University of Physical Education and Sport in Poland. Researchers found that exercise prevents iron accumulation by increasing levels of hepcidin, which promotes iron regulation. Humans have a limited capacity to get rid of iron, so it can build up if you consume too much. Excessive blood iron can promote tumor growth, speed cell membrane breakdown and increase the risk of heart attack. In women, high levels of serum ferritin (a good measure of total body iron stores) are related to increased risk factors of heart disease, such as high blood pressure, body mass index (the proportion of weight to height), total cholesterol, triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol. (Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 14: 10, 2017)