McMedicine, Subclinical Iron Deficiency and Copper Deficiency

Iron and Copper deficiencies are widespread in the modern world.

Because we are told to cut down on foods that contain saturated fat (and therefore, iron and copper), much of the western world has subclinical iron and copper deficiency.  I will have to edit this post later; for now it is a collection of my thoughts.

Serum levels are turning out to be extremely unreliable indicators of nutrient status.  What seems to happen is that tissue levels of nutrients will be deficient, but serum levels will read normal.  And there are no doctors who biopsy tissue for lab tests of nutrients.  The only tests that doctors run are blood work.  And if everything in blood work appears “normal” well, then, it must all be in your head.  Below are some serum levels that are false positives of nutrient status (references to follow later).

-Serum Vitamin A – found to be normal while the tissue levels are deficient, especially in obsese individuals.  Vitamin A has a major role in adipose tissue which is being studied with conflicting results.

-Folate/folic acid – found to be normal while the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) is deficient in active methyltetrahydrofolate (MTHF).  Also falsely positive because of the large intake of folic acid, the inactive/unnatural form of folate that a lot of people cannot convert to active folate.  Active folate levels are not measured (not sure if they can be measured in blood…must research this)

-Copper – copper levels will be normal in blood while copper-dependent enzymes such as ceruloplasmin and superoxide dismutase will be deficient.

Iron and copper are important to brain health, but this is largely ignored by pretty much everyone.  Here I will have to compile my research, but I have read that iron is especially important for creating neurotransmitters.  I hadn’t heard that before.  A deficiency in iron is noted as a cause for behavioral disturbances such as symptoms associated with attention deficit disorder and autism spectrum (Hematol Oncol Clin North Am. 1987 Sep; 1 (3):449-64.).  It can even cause such disturbances when clinical anemia is not present.  You can have low or mid-normal serum iron and not have enough tissue iron – such as in your brain or muscles – and it can affect you without causing anemia.  I suspect that anemia would not appear due to the blood receiving stored iron from the liver.  The liver has large stores of iron.

Will edit later…