It is an established clinical fact that “hypoferremia” (low serum iron) occurs in any inflammatory state. (Knudson and Wessling-Resnick, 2010) This is not a debatable point. It is not low for a “lack of iron!”
Wessling-Resnick M. (2010). Iron homeostasis and the inflammatory response. Annual review of nutrition, 30, 105-22.
But what most practitioners have not been trained in is how the Iron REcycling System (RES) really works and how dependent that RES is on bioavailable copper — not iron!
Every 24 hours, our body is designed to produce 24 mgs of iron that is used by our bone marrow, from our long bones and sacrum, to make the next batch of new red blood cells for the body to use to carry that essential oxygen. These RBCs are designed to live for ~120 days, and then they need to be broken down and remade. This is done each and every day.
This needed iron is supposed to get to the bone marrow by a network of macrophages, PAC-men of the body, in our liver and our spleen that gobble up those RBCs and break them down, and are then supposed to release that iron so it can get back to the bone marrow. But there’s a catch. The macrophages must have ferroxidase enzyme function to release that iron, and also load up the transferrin (iron transport protein) for the ride back to the bones.
Ferroxidase enzyme requires copper and retinol to work properly. Most people are lacking both in their diet. When was the last time you had grass-fed beef liver or Cod Liver Oil?
In any event, low serum iron is a clear signal that your iron REcycling is not up to snuff. It’s akin to MPG (Miles per Gallon) and should be at 100 in a women’s body (120 in a man’s)! And when it’s not, you have what’s clinically called “Anemia of Chronic Inflammation” (Weiss, et al, NEJM, 2005) which is a clinical sign of low ferroxidase function, and therefore low copper and low retinol.
Weiss, G. (2005). “Anemia of chronic disease”
The worst thing you could do, would be to put more iron into your body that can’t handle what you’ve got now. There is a major difference between “iron levels” and “iron homeostasis”. The former is grade school math and the later is akin to algebra.
Understanding iron status requires calculus — no need for rulers.
And please know they are not “my ideas”. I spend countless hours reading and synthesizing the literature for the metabolic truth.
Hope that sheds new and important light on your Cu-nundrum!
A vôtre santé,
Morley M. Robbins