Another piece is added to the fascinating puzzle that combines diet, lifestyle and longevity. Well, scientists from the University of Edinburgh and the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Aging in Germany have observed that the key to understanding why some people age earlier than others may be the values of iron in blood. The research results were published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications a few days ago (Timmers et al, Nature Communications, July 2020).
In an attempt to understand aging, namely the speed with which our body declines, what this is due to and why it is so variable from person to person, the researchers analyzed data from previous research involving more than a million people. In particular, the genome was analyzed to understand if there were areas in common among those who were more long-lived and healthy. What emerged was that there were areas in common, in particular, those related to iron metabolism. In fact, too low or too high iron levels can cause aging-related diseases such as Parkinson's, but also liver problems and a reduction in the body's ability to fight infections.
Therefore, as indicated by the authors of the study, high levels of iron in the blood could remove a few years of healthy life. Moreover, scientists say also that checking the values ??of this substance could be a good way to prevent age-related health damage. These results could also explain how a high intake of iron-rich red meats in the diet is linked to diseases related to aging such as problems with the cardiovascular system.