a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA)

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Week: 597.1

Guest: Dr. James Connor, Prof. Neuroscience/Anatomy, Penn State Hershey Medical Center

 Topic: Effects of too much iron 

Host/Producer: Steve Girard 

NEMA: Too much iron....coming up... 

SPOT: NEMA...the National Emergency Medicine Association...fights our worst health enemies - heart disease, stroke, trauma. Call 800-332-6362. 

NEMA: Experts know that too much iron in the system can hurt the liver...and new research is looking at iron and its relation to brain diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's... and Dr. James Connor of Penn State Hershey Medical Center says supplementing iron may also support tumor creation and growth... 

CONNOR: UV light, for example, perhaps interacting with iron in some cells can induce oxidative stress in the DNA and cause mutations that could lead to cancer. But the other thing is that once the cancer has started, all rapidly dividing cells have a very high requirement for iron.  

NEMA: For years we've heard that we need iron more as we get older, but Dr. Connor says we don't have the ability to rid ourselves of excess iron, so it builds up... 

CONNOR: The bottom line is; if you're not diagnosed as having anemia or some problem with iron absorption, you don't need iron supplements. And I think exactly what you said - is that people tend to think, "well I am getting older and therefore I need the following set of supplements". And that's just not the case, and certainly not the case as far as iron is concerned.  

NEMA: I'm Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.