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The Role of Iron in Diabetes and Its Complications


The role of iron in the induction of diabetes

Evidence that systemic iron overload could contribute to abnormal glucose metabolism was first derived from the observation that the frequency of diabetes is increased in classic hereditary hemochromatosis (HH). However, with the discovery of novel genetic disorders of iron metabolism, it is obvious that iron overload, irrespective of the cause or the gene involved, results in an increased incidence of type 2 diabetes. The role of iron in the pathogenesis of diabetes is suggested by 1) an increased incidence of type 2 diabetes in diverse causes of iron overload and 2) reversal or improvement in diabetes (glycemic control) with a reduction in iron load achieved using either phlebotomy or iron chelation therapy.

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It will also be necessary to explore whether important elements of iron metabolism are altered in diabetes, namely the transporters DMT1, ferroportin, and MTP1, which are critical in intestinal absorption and entry of iron into the circulation, and haephastin, which oxidizes Fe2+ to Fe3+ during this process (85). Interestingly, certain genes appear to be simultaneously involved in iron balance, inflammation, and glucose responsiveness, suggesting a link between these pathways and type 2 diabetes (85).

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cure Never heard that D interferes with iron absorption. Yes many factors unrelated to D do hamper iron absorption.


Yes adequate.....not more nor less....




Cases of iron deficiency get benefited with little millets , kodos ,bajra etc which are very rich in B vitamin , iron , potassium , magneseum , zink ,calcium and fibres. Sorghum has high levels of unsaturrated fats , proteins and other nutrients and are as good as promegranates and blue berrieswhich are highly recommended for type 2 dibetes. Instead of going for food supplements and other nutrients ,taking the food prepared by these millets is good for controlling diabetes .


even spinach??? and raddish??



It is well established that humans need a certain level of iron for health, but higher levels are potentially toxic (Kell 2009). From the point of view of evolution, normal stores of iron during reproductive years provided reserves for hemorrhage or periods of severe dietary restrictions or starvation. However there is no homeostatic mechanism for excreting excess iron to maintain a certain level.......

......Curcumin was recently found to be a very good iron chelator (Jiao 2006). A recent randomized controlled trial demonstrated the effectiveness of curcumin in significantly improving markers of glucose metabolism in diabetics (Chuengsamarn 2012).......



"However there is no homeostatic mechanism for excreting excess iron to maintain a certain level......." there are. Iron is transported across intestinal wall only if there is ferritin free from iron load. There is a definite control.


Hemochromatosis , usually goes with bronzed skin and all kinds of diabetes do not come under excess iron stores . Anamia is altogether different .



it's a disease. Genetic cause. So pathogenesis is different.


@ suramo ,

YES It is a genetic problem . But how many doctors go for a test to confirm the presence of iron overload . The first thing a patient comes they prescribe metformin at least tha t s what I had seen .



Hemochromatosis has different presentation. It's diagnosed before D occurs. Now if doctors go for all tests it becomes very costly for patients. Then also doctors will be criticized. Patients can't afford so only relevant investigations are advised.


Yes , I understand . It is rather rare .But when a patient comes with a long history, especially with the bronzed look , that should be ruled out because the patient may not be in a position to explain the symptom.


Hereditary hemochromatosis single disease gene afflicting one in 200 people. But strangely there is no awareness about this factor in general public and many of the medical professionals also overlook that factor .It can cause diabetes via damage to the pancreas. The excess iron from the food gets absorbed in the intestines and overtime if it is not excreted , it gets accumulated in the pancreas , liver , heart etc. Over a period of time all those important organs get damaged irrevocably. Joint pains , fatigue , general sense of weakness ,pain in the abdomin are the symptoms and the attending physian may think that they are due to weakness . Though the damage can't be reversed improvement can be seen with phlebotomy. . In the past blood donations were not accepted from peoplle suffering with hemochromatosis . But of late the rules are relaxed and donations are taken as it is genetic defect not passed on from the donar . Any person suffering with irregular heart beat , hypothyroidism , impotence ,hormonal imbalance , osteoporosis , osteoarthritis ,liver cirrhosis , enlarged spleen or enlarged liver ,liver failure , liver cancer is advised to go for test '' serum Ferritin' to know whether the the amount of iron is too high . Surprisingly , when a patient complains about weakness , the first thing the doctor gives is an iron tonic or B complex injections or tonics . This is the information , I gathered from the patients and not any biased opinion .Any way my sincere advise is to go for the test for iron overload , whether it is needed or not according to the doctor .It is not very costly . Since it is very common now with a rate of one in 200 people , it is better to rule this out .There are many causative factors like wrong eating habits , excess weight , excess strain , pollution in food , water ,air ,LIght etc which contribute to diabetes. But some unknown factors like this also , though it is genetic disorder ,can cause a horror in life.


Effect of Iron Reduction by Phlebotomy for Type 2 Diabetes



@anup I act very swiftly.... ;) already donated blood on 9th Sept. :P

actually I donated blood first time when I was in college....since then I use to donate blood on my birthday every year.,,,

But when I approached them on my 50th birthday they refused saying they over age of 50 is not allowed to donate blood.

But to my surprise now it seems they have changed rules...they said they accept blood till age of 60


I already donated as I said....so far not much change in FBS....let us wait... and watch...


actually @anup bhai I have my blood iron level reports ...they are posted on forum.

Let me see when I go for next check up after 2 months from now...

Meanwhile thinking of stopping metformin. right now I am on 250 Mg morning and 500 Mg evening dose.


sure...thank you very much...yes I have same thing in mind.... and if every thing goes well I am planning to give a try to Vijaysar


@anup LCHF is excellent tool to control D...no doubt about this.... there are many herbs to help us in controlling D ....but results are very individualistic... differs from person to person...

But it is said it is only vijaysar which helps in rejuvenating beta cells...

Let us have experiment and then say yes or No...

let us see...

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hmm...there is no other way to check but to check fasting insulin level.....

Is there any other way to check beta cells health???



look at this study @anup

here it says...

The mean fall in fasting

blood glucose was 2.4 mmol/l from the baseline of 9.4

mmol/l in the vijayasar group, compared to 2.7 mmol/l

from the baseline of 9.4 mmol/l in the tolbutamide

group (Table 2). The mean fall in the postprandial

blood glucose was 4.3 mmol/l from the baseline of 13.9

mmol/l in the vijayasar group, compared to 4.4 mmol/l

from the baseline of 13.8 mmol/l in the tolbutamide


Hmmm any reason for more fall in PPBS in Vijaysar group ?????

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not any where they have measured insulin.....why??? I don't know...may be they don't think it really matters....as they see the result in terms of reduction in BS.

I don't know why they do not consider the IR issue.

So what is best method to know health of beta cells ....how we will know if there is improvement in health of beta cells.....unless we ourselves experiment....by measuring fating insulin....IR....


even if we see reduction in IR..then also it is beneficial....there are many studies across the net on beneficial action of Vijaysar on lipid profile....


ye ADA yaha kaha se aa gya??? :O




Effects of phlebotomy-induced reduction of body iron stores on metabolic syndrome: results from a randomized clinical trial



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