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Volume 5, Number 3—June 1999

Iron Loading and Disease Surveillance

Eugene D. WeinbergComments to Author 
Author affiliation: Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA

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Table 5

Methods of strengthening the iron withholding defense system

Reduction of excessive intake of ingested iron
Decreased consumption of red meats (heme iron)
Avoidance of processed foods that have been adulterated with inorganic iron or with blood
Decreased consumption of alcohol and ascorbic acid
Elimination of iron supplements unless an iron deficiency has been correctly diagnosed
Reduction of excessive intake of parenteral iron
Inject iron saccharates only if unequivocally justified
Transfuse blood or erythrocytes only if unequivocally justified
Substitute erythropoietin (+ minimal amount of iron) for whole blood transfusions when possible
Reduction of excessive inhalation of iron
Eliminate use of tobacco
Use iron-free chrysotile in place of iron-loaded amosite, crocidolite, tremolite varieties of asbestos
Use mask to avoid inhalation of urban air particulates
Use mask and protective clothing when mining or cutting ferriferous substances
Reduction of iron burden by regular depletion of whole blood or erythrocytes
Avoidance of premature hysterectomy
Routine ingestion of aspirin
Regular donations of whole blood or erythrocytes
Vigorous exercise
Increased use of iron chelators
Use human milk (high in lactoferrin, low in iron) rather than milk formula (lacking in lactoferrin, high in iron) in nursling nutrition
Use tea (iron-binding tannins) and bran (iron-binding phytic acid)
Continue research and development (R&D) of potential iron chelator drugs (e.g., recombinant human lactoferrin; hydroxpyridones; pyridoxal isonicotinoyl hydrazones)
Initiation of prompt therapy of chronic infections and neoplastic diseases to forestall saturation of iron withholding defense system
Continued R&D of cytokines such as interferon g that induce cellular iron withholding
Continued R&D of passive and active methods of immunization against surface receptor proteins used by microbial and neoplastic cells to obtain iron

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Page created: December 10, 2010
Page updated: December 10, 2010
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