Iron is the new cholesterol1

  • Iron is central to many processes & disorders in general:
    • “The basic engine of life is electrons flowing much like water flows from mountains to the sea. Our cells can harvest energy from electrons as they travel. The sea toward which they flow is oxygen, which is hungry for electrons, and iron is the river. This is why iron & oxygen are both essential for life.”
    • “Normal energy metabolism produces low levels of toxic byproducts including a derivative of oxygen called superoxide. Cells contain several enzymes that clean up most superoxide almost immediately by converting it into hydrogen peroxide, which is then detoxified into water & oxygen.”
    • “Things go awry if either superoxide or hydrogen peroxide meet some iron on the way to detoxification. What then happens is a set of chemical reactions that produce a potent and reactive oxygen derivative, the hydroxyl radical, which wreaks havoc on biological molecules everywhere.”
    • “Such is the Faustian bargain that has been struck by life on this planet. Oxygen & iron are essential for energy production, but may also conspire to destroy the delicate order of our cells.‘Life was designed to exist at the very interface between iron sufficiency and deficiency.’”

Iron is an ancient signaling molecule2

  • Iron was involved in signaling billions of years before the existence of ATP
  • “Environmental conditions in porous hydrothermal vents — where heated, mineral-laden seawater spews from cracks in the ocean crust — created a gradient in positively charged protons that served as a ‘battery’ to fuel the creation of organic molecules & proto-cells.”