top of page

popeye was on to something good

Surely, Popeye-the-sailor-man has featured in the lives of most of our readers, and the belief that eating spinach will turn us into superheroes is a concept many are familiar with.

As children we are told that eating our greens, in particular our spinach, will make us grow big and strong, but as we grow older, we tend to forget just how important it is to keep our blood iron levels up for a better and longer life.

What do the studies say?

Recent studies based on a sample of more than 1.7 million people have established a very direct connection between healthy blood iron levels, general health and wellbeing and longer life cycles. The same studies indicate that abnormal blood iron levels are highly linked to cognitive decline and other age-related health problems.

The biggest study was conducted by the University of Edinburgh and the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Aging in Germany. This concluded that keeping blood iron at an appropriate level could prevent health issues and organ damage that is usually related to old age.

The Scottish and German study is of particular importance because it tapped into three separate databases with more than 60,000 long lifers. The thoroughness that the international team used also makes it incredibly reliable. By utilising the Mendelian randomisation statistical technique, the study reduces bias to a minimum thus making it more accurate.

What diseases can be prevented?

Although the researchers noted that many different factors can impact lifespan and health span, like one’s genetics, environment, and lifestyle, it is also very clear from the same research that diet strongly and directly impacts our blood iron levels. It is also very clear that high or low levels are directly linked to age-related diseases such as Parkinson’s, liver disease and a weaker immune system.

Other studies have also indicated that low or high blood iron levels can affect brain function. It has long been known to scientists that the amyloid protein, more specifically high levels of it, can lead to Alzheimer’s. However, this is not true in every case.

A study by Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health in Australia has found that short-term memory and other brain functions such as language are also affected by brain iron levels. The higher the brain iron levels the higher the decline in these functions. Clinical trials are still underway.

Iron is an important mineral in our bodies, and it is found in many types of foods and supplements. It helps to carry oxygen from our lungs to our brain and the rest of our organs. Some simple blood tests (Serum ferritin, serum Iron) can show how high or low this mineral is in your body. Haemoglobin, the molecule responsible to carry oxygen from our lungs to our brain and the rest of our organs is also partly made up of iron and can also be easily measured.

At Clinipath, we offer an array of blood screening services for effective prevention and diagnosis to ensure that you can maintain your quality of life.

If you would like information contact us today on +356 21221355, 9985 2404 or send an email on for more information.

12 views0 comments


bottom of page