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  1. And I say healthy freaks because I donated today at a Red Cross drive at a large research university, and literally nine out of ten people in the large room (dozens of volunteers and donors) were obese or overweight. I'm not exaggerating. Not being judgemental here, either, but I could have shot a photo. Nearly everyone -- even the sweet volunteer removing my blood -- was fatso city. So we may have "healthier" blood since we're apparently eating less and eating healthier, or is that a stretch? Does eating well matter to blood donation quality? I donated 2-units of double red cells which makes things easier and quicker for blood to get it to those who need it. They had trouble locating a vein on me, and it took them awhile to get what they needed out of me, which was awkward. Also my iron levels were low bottom end -- 13.2 ml -- and range for males is evidently 13.5 - 20 (they said). WebMD says 12.5. My 13.2 was a level after more than 24-hours of (my daily) intermittent fast, and not eating is supposedly when iron levels outta be highest? You know more than I do, dear reader. I'm wondering if I should supplement iron to avoid anemia? I eat no meat, am a practicing longterm vegan, but do eat loads of legumes, spinach, nuts, seeds daily. Apparently veg sources of iron are less than optimal? Also my pulse was only 42; temp 96.9; blood pressure was low 99/69; weight was 148 (which is up for me -- I've recently been eating more). All these numbers (?) caused people to ask questions, and kinda look at me. Maybe I'm paranoid from coffee. Stop drinking that poison, Sthira... I donated blood to help people who need it. I gave double red after a 4 hour (rigorous) ballet rehearsal (lots of jumps, lifts, high energy crap...) and despite giving up 614 ml of blood (I think that's the amount) I strangely didn't feel any lightheadedness, which I expected...
  2. [Admin Note: This is a new thread to consolidate the important discussion of Vitamin B12 levels, deficiency and supplementation started by Cloud in this thread originally by Zeta on his Extreme blood values. The topic of B12 deficiency, particularly for CR Practitioners who don't generally consume a lot of meat, deserves its own thread. -Dean] Hello, can I ask a question? What happens if the body can't absorb the iron from diet? I am asking about the relationship between serum iron and ferritin. In March I had serum iron at 134 mcg/dL, ferritin at 71.30 mcg/dL (and B12 very low 79 mcg/dL) , now at the latest analysis serum iron is 209 mcg/dL and ferritin is 96.60 mcg/dL and because I am supplementing B12 is 156. I am wondering what mean this so high serum iron. Could it come from food containing iron that I can not absorb? In the last months the only foods, containing much iron I introduced as new, was pistachios and dark chocolate. I also, as some of you, drink about 1 L/day of green tea, that should limit a lot iron absorption. I still have to show this data to my doctor. Thanks!
  3. [Admin note: I've (obviously) shifted this conversation about HbA1c from its old home in the thread about best biomarkers to a new thread dedicated to the topic, since I think it is of general and lasting enough interest to deserve it's own thread.] Has Lustgarten mentioned his fasting glucose / post-prandial glucose / A1C% targets? I've been curious what others are setting for a goal in these areas. Last I checked, my A1C measured 4.9% on a low-carb diet (down from 5.3% on a higher carb diet), although I'm not sure if lower is continually better or if there's some optimal U-Curve there (beneficial hormesis?)
  4. Dear colleagues, Below is a list of the last eight measurements of my serum iron levels: Standard Range Iron 45 - 170 ug/dL 10/12/14 4/2/15 10/29/15 5/23/16 12/23/16 6/9/17 11/13/17 3/5/18 130 63 92 93 62 95 32 33 Notice that the standard range is 45 - 170 ug/dL; my last two readings -- 11/13/2017 and 3/5/2018 -- were well below this. (All readings prior to 10/12/2014 were in the normal range). I felt faint early last Monday, but managed to teach my 9-10:15AM and 2-3:15PM courses. Between courses, I went to Urgent Care in the medical group where my primary physician (specialized in gerontology) works. Blood was drawn. Serum iron was 33 ug/dL -- low. I received a note from another NP who works in the same office, suggesting an iron supplement. I should note that I felt much better the next day, and the problem hasn't recurred. Although I have had a tendency to feel fatigued for the last few years -- might this be a side effect of CR, aging, and/or low serum iron? I thought I would check the high expertise of some of our members. -- Saul
  5. Zeta

    Extreme blood values

    It looks like I've developed mild -- maybe not so mild... pancytopenia. I'm wondering whether my CR, which really isn't extreme these days, might be part of the explanation? Has anyone on CR ever had white blood cell counts as low as mine (see below)? As for anemia, that also could be CR, secondary to CR-induced low testosterone. After reflecting on the recent Longo paper, I think I'm going to try a "4:2" diet (not 5:2, because the irregularity of the 2, then 3 days of feasting makes me nervous -- I could also call my diet "2:1": 2 days of feasting, 1 of quasi-fasting). I think Michael's right that there's no evid. in Longo's work that any kind of fasting that doesn't also reduce energy-intake overall will slow aging, but, at this point, I'm just trying to get some food-restriction benefits, while not feeling so weak.... Name --------------- me -------- units ------- reference range Albumin. ----------- 42 ---------- g/L --------- 36-45 Antitrypsin. -------- 1.1 --------- g/L ---------- 0.9-1.9 Orosomucoid ------ 0.3* ------- g/L ---------- 0.5-1.2 Haptoglobin ------ <0,05* ------ g/L ---------- 0.2-1.9 IgG ----------------- 7.5 ---------- g/L ---------- 7-15 IgA ------------------ 2.7 --------- g/L ----------- 0.9-4.5 IgM ----------------- 1.2 ---------- g/L ---------- 0.3-2.1 (Got tired of writing in the units here -- but just look at the ref. range.) Leukocytes -------- 2.1* -------- 3.5-8.8 Erythrocytes ------ 3.8* ----- 4.2-5.7 Hb ------------------ 121* ----- 134-170 EFV ---------------- 0.37* ----- 0.39-0.50 MCH -------------- 32 -------- 27-33 MCV --------------- 97 ------- 82-98 MCHC ------------- 328 -------- 317-357 Thrombocyte ----- 127* ----- 145-348 Neutrophils ------- 1.1* ------ 1.7-7.5 Esonphil. ---------- 0.00 -------- 0.0-0.6 Basophil. ---------- 0.00 ----- 0.0-0.2 Lymphocytes ----- 0.8* ----- 1.1-4.8 Monocytes -------- 0.20 ----- 0.1-1.0 Reticulocyte -------- 64 -------- 26-124 Rtc-MCH ---------- 33 ------- 24-36 The low haptoglobin with normal reticulocyte count was a head-scratcher for the doctors. Bone marrow biopsy yielded no signs of cancer.
  6. Several of us CR practitioners, particularly those who eat little or not meat and therefore get most/all of their iron from plant sources, tend to have low iron levels, sometimes bordering on (or progress to) outright anemia. This new study [1], might help understand why. For the purposes of dietary recommendations, the USDA uses estimates of nutrient absorption, but according to this study, the estimated rate of iron absorption (based on a single human study) is too high, at 18%. The found that total iron absorption from heme and non-heme sources in the US diet to be somewhat lower - at 15% rather than 18%. But what really caught my eye was how much lower non-heme iron absorption was - 3.5% in non-hispanic whites. That's 5x lower than the absorption rate the USDA uses in its estimates to set the RDI. I know there is some cushion built into the RDI numbers (which is 8mg/day of iron for adult men), but if one gets all their iron from non-heme, plant souces, it would seem like we might need to consume 5x that 8mg per day to reach the RDI. Even with my rather large calorie intake , I'm getting only around 30mg/day of non-heme iron from my vegan diet. So it is perhaps not surprising that I need to supplement with additional iron to avoid anemia. Am I interpreting this study, and its implications, correctly? --Dean ------------ [1] J Nutr. 2015 Nov;145(11):2617-21. doi: 10.3945/jn.115.210484. Epub 2015 Sep 16. Total Iron Bioavailability from the US Diet Is Lower Than the Current Estimate. Armah SM(1), Carriquiry AL(2), Reddy MB(3). Author information: (1)Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition and. (2)Department of Statistics, Iowa State University, Ames, IA. (3)Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition and mbreddy@iastate.edu. BACKGROUND: Total (heme and nonheme) iron bioavailability from the US diet has been estimated to be 18% based on a single human absorption study. New data, however, suggest that it may be time to revisit this estimate. OBJECTIVE: We estimated total iron bioavailability from the US diet with the use of our recently reported algorithm that estimates nonheme iron absorption and a conservative value for heme iron absorption. METHODS: We used dietary intake and biomarker information from the NHANES 2001-2002, MyPyramid Equivalents Database, and Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies. The survey package in R software was used to estimate means and CIs, taking into account the strata, primary sampling units, and appropriate survey weight. We implemented 2 different approaches to estimate total iron absorption. In the first approach, we included all survey participants but adjusted the geometric mean of nonheme iron absorption to 15 μg ferritin/L serum to mimic values of individuals with no iron stores; in the second approach, absorption was estimated for only nonanemic subjects with no iron stores. A total sample size of 6631 was used based on availability of dietary and iron status biomarker data and C-reactive protein concentration ≤6 mg/L. RESULTS: The geometric mean (95% CI) of unadjusted nonheme iron absorption for all subjects was 3.7% (3.6%, 3.8%), higher in female subjects [5.6% (5.4%, 5.7%)] than male subjects [2.6% (2.5%, 2.7%)] (P < 0.0001). Nonheme iron absorption was lower in non-Hispanic whites [3.5% (3.4%, 3.6%)] than Mexican Americans [4.5% (4.2%, 4.8%)] and non-Hispanic blacks [4.4% (4.1%, 4.7%)]. Estimated total iron absorption was 15.5% or 15.1%, depending on which approach was used to carry out the calculations. CONCLUSION: This study provides useful data for evaluating the current value of iron bioavailability from the US diet. © 2015 American Society for Nutrition. PMID: 26377760
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