IRON THE FIRESTONE OF LIFE
by DrBenGo Healthwarrior (A. Ben Goins MS DSM)
Iron is a cosmic metal. It forms as a final breakdown product of stars, and is abundantly found in the cores of all the inner planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars. The iron cores create the planetary magnetic fields. A notable exception is the Moon, which does not have an iron core, formed from the ejected crust of the earth instead. The crust of the Earth, unlike its core, has very little iron except in oxidized form. Because iron does not exist on earth in the metallic form on the crust, early humans first discovered iron from fallen meteors which have a metallic iron-nickel core more similar to the core of the iron containing planets. Thus, iron in metallic form, was only discovered by humans well after copper and gold which exist naturally in metallic form. Iron requires smelting at higher temperatures than copper or gold, and thus; the first meteoric iron discovered was cold worked.
NAME OF IRON
The middle name of my grandmother is Irene. It wasn’t until I wrote this article that I realized that the name Irene is etymologically related to the word Iron meaning “Mighty, Strong, Holy”. The word iron is related to the Latin word Ira “Anger” and the Latin word for iron is Ferrum, hence many of the chemistry terms such as Ferrous & Ferric for iron in different oxidation states. The conflation of iron with being a “holy metal” likely stems from its meteoric origin from the heavens as well as its silvery appearance in meteoric metallic alloy form. Meteors were likely thought to be the gods being angry at humanity if a meteor (Thunderstone/Thor-Stone) landed in your village. I’m imagining the hammer of Thor was likely made of meteoric iron and believed to be “heaven silver” where the word silver means “shining & holy” but was actually meteoric iron of “silvery appearance”.
Group 8 on the Periodic Table of the Elements includes Iron (Fe), Ruthenium (Ru), Osmium (Os), Hassium (Hs) with atomic numbers Fe 26, Ru 44, Os 76, Hs 108.
Existing in the d-block of the periodic table, iron (Fe) is a transition metal, whose definition is “an element whose atom has a partially filled d sub shell, or which can give rise to cations with an incomplete d sub-shell”. Iron gives the red color of many oxidized forms on the earth’s crust such as red clay and pigmented sandstone and also occurs in magnetite.
The symbol of iron is the symbol for Mars (Ares), the Roman god of war. The Roman civilization was considered the height of the “Iron Age” because they used iron to make war by creating swords and collars to conquer and enslave. So iron can be bad if you use it for death and enslavement, but it is still a good metal if you use it for building and tools of life such as implements of farming and shelter. Iron is indeed “Mighty” and can be used for good or ill. Iron is associated with fire, and iron like fire is dangerous when misused but not something we want to live without when we need it for heating & cooking and energy, but is truly terrible when used to burn down a forrest or village. Iron is much the same way. I almost hesitated to write this article because meditating on iron was taking me down dark paths of thinking about the worse parts of human nature. If you study chimpanzees, they do occasionally kill other chimps from other tribes and the male chimps sometimes try to bully the female chimps into following them around when they are in oestrus, so the primate inclination to kill and enslave was already there, but with iron for spears and iron collars for enslavement, metallic iron gave humans a more efficient way to do both. I bring this up because when you meditate on iron, if you start going down a dark path, shift your focus to the positive and you will find that iron is neither good nor bad, it is merely a mandala with an infinite usages, and it is important that we use it for good not evil. Just as silver is toxic to vampires, iron is toxic to faeries, and the dark usages of iron for war and enslavement are why. However, iron can be transmuted into fire, and fire into divine fire, and supreme victory over evil for those who recognize the connection between iron and gold (iron alchemy).
IRON-QUARTZ FIRESTONE: FLINT
Flint is an iron containing quartz made from silica infused limestone of of different colors from differences in iron content. When Flint “firestone” is struck with iron containing pyrite another “firestone”, it makes a spark as iron reacts with oxygen in the atmosphere which can be used to ignite nearby flammable material.
HUMAN DISCOVERY OF FIRE
Chimpanzees have been observed to throw rocks at bush pig prey, and it is possible that primates may have discovered fire by accidentally throwing Flint rocks and sparking a fire. Hominid remains with flint have been found dating back 3.3 million years so likely the discovery of fire happened very early in or may even be the defining discovery of origin of the human race. In any case, Flint is the defining rock of the “Stone Age” as it was necessary for stone tools, stone weapons, and making fire all necessary for early human life.
STEEL & PIGS
Although striking steel to flint will create a spark, steel was not discovered until much later in human history until after the discovery of how to smelt iron metal. This did not occur until after the smelting of copper & gold (found naturally in metallic form) as iron does not occur naturally in metallic form on the earth’s crush (except in meteors). Furthermore iron requires a higher smelting temperature to melt than copper or gold and whereas copper-gold smelting may have been around by 8000 BC, it is though that iron smelting may not have been around until 4000 BC and the making of steel (hardened iron) did not come about until even later (1800 BC) and is an ongoing process even unto modern times to make better and better steel. To get iron metal you have to heat up iron oxides which the early humans used as pigments in their caves. From the iron containing clay used to make the early furnaces, to the iron oxide sands & dirt & “pigment” (mind of the pig as pigs eat dirt) put in the furnace, to the iron metal extracted. Steel is an alloy of iron & carbon used to harden the iron metal. If the carbon content is too high though the iron becomes brittle and it is called “pig iron”.
I personally believe there is a relation to pig farming and the discovery of iron and fire and there is evidence that Chimps eat pig (bush pig) occasionally in their diet. Early man may have noticed that eating uncooked pork was making them sick and thus for those who ate pig, the ability to have fire and cook it was likely very important. In early religions the ability to have a fire was important for “Purity” and the Greek/Pheonician/Sumerian word “Fire” (Pyr) and “Pure” are etymologically connected. Ancient Sumerian documents describe how heaven is a “Clean” place, likely meaning a fire-burnt (Purified) place. The idea of “unclean” food still exists in some religions (Judaism/Islam) as does the idea of “Purifying the food by fire” i.e. Cooking it! By the time of Roman Christianity because of the influence of the Roman Paul, all food was declared “clean” because it’s not what you put into your mouth but what comes out of it (your loving or unkind words) that can make your spirit clean or unclean. Everyone is entitle to their own spiritual beliefs but we now know that certain foods can be contaminated with bacteria and that cooking it over fire can indeed “purify” it. So I guess the modern culinary religion is to cook your food but this is not universal as there are many even today talking about an uncooked “Paleo” diet so the culinary religions wars continue even to this day! Regardless of your culinary religion, everyone agrees that many foods both vegetable and meat contain iron and that iron is a nutrient your body needs. I’m excited to give you my take on iron nutrition and I think the key is understanding the firestone which I will continue to discuss and then how it relates to biochemistry and then how it relates to animal and human nutrition and what lessons we can learn.
Although the history of humans discovering and using fire via iron & later steel to make weapons, kill & enslave each other to enforce their preferred culinary and spiritual preferences is somewhat interesting, it is not the subject of this article, as I focus on life not death. I write about iron not to inspire you to go out and smelt a sword or make a fire to burn down a village, but rather because I want you to think about the fire within, the fire in your middle (pyramid), and I have discovered that if you focus on pyrite the firestone, you can achieve profound insight into life through biochemistry from whence we can talk iron nutrition.
THE WISDOM OF FOOL’S GOLD
The important point I want to make here is that for MOST of human history we did not have steel and thus to create fire you needed not just FLINT but another firestone, the firestone, PYRITE. Pyrite literally means “fire within” or I translate as “firestone” from Greek “Pyr” i.e. “fire”. Pyrite is extremely important because if you understand how it works as best we can, it provides profound insight & reflection into how life itself works for all life not just human life. So the pyrite cubic crystal mandala is my preferred spirit mirror or “crystal ball” (crystal cube) for discussing iron alchemy. If you have a pyrite crystal, look into a face of the cube and see if you can see your own reflection. If not just look at the pyrite in the image. While you read this article, mediate on the nature of how iron is used in life, and how it is used inside the human body and then reflect on how iron can be better used when transformed to gold and enlightenment rather than for war & weapons. The wisdom offered by the iron mandala is very deep and stretches my ability as a biochemist to describe as stretches into advanced bio-inorganic chemistry, and the interaction of metals beyond even my current understanding as a metal detox expert. I freely admit that I only partially understand it, but I will do my best to impart what knowledge I have learned and I hope the upon reading on you will learn and absorb what you can from the study of iron & life.
PYRITE THE FIRESTONE
Pyrite is a crystal of iron (Fe) and sulphur (S) which forms a beautiful golden colored cubical structure & pyrite is the most common of the sulfide minerals (see picture at start of article).
The chemical structure of pyrite is FeS2 [iron(II) disulphide] and it is also called iron pyrite, iron sulfide. Pyrite is commonly called “Fool’s Gold” as it is not actually gold (Au), being iron/sulphur (Fe/S) instead, but pyrite is frequently found NEAR gold veins. No doubt a caveman would get very excited to find some pyrite as not only could he make fire by striking flint to the pyrite now but could look in vicinity for actual gold (Au). Because some pyrite would be complexed with Arsenic (Arsenopyrite) some gold or deposits might be considered off limits or may have developed myths that certain areas were forbidden to mine. In more modern times, besides Fool’s gold, Pyrite has nickname Brass, Brazzle and significantly the country Brazil is named after the pyrite found in its coal deposits. Being found near coal is important as is found near organic carbon (life remains) which is not surprising since Pyrite is important to life as will be discussed further.
A JOURNEY THROUGH TIME
Take a quick mental time travel and go back back back, long before the caveman, and long before the avian dinosaur or even the crawly ocean life, even before eukaryotic life, as far back as prokaryotic & archea (archaic bacterial life) not millions but billions of years ago! The earth formed say 4.5 billion years ago and sometime in the time period 3.5-4.5 BILLION years ago the first unicellular life on earth was present.
MARS THE SYMBOL OF IRON
Did the life evolve here on earth or was the “seed of life” imparted to earth from a collision with Mars as the Sumerians say? It is hard to know. We do know that there were oceans on Mars millions of years ago, and we also know that the red of the planet Mars is from iron oxides in the “soil” (regolith). We don’t know whether the first life came from Mars or not, but we do know that the first life required iron. Not just any iron, iron very similar to PYRITE! How similar? How about a cuboid of iron and sulphur that’s how similar!!! But rather than a big crystal you can see with your eye, we are talking on the atomic scale. The smallest iron-sulphur cube possible (I’ll call it “nano-pyrite”).
NITROGEN FIRESTONE OF LIFE
A double firestone of “nano-pyrite” can be seen in the earliest of enzymes called nitrogenase. The reason iron is required by all life is because it is used in an enzyme for fixing nitrogen by the earliest of single celled life which all subsequent life ultimately learned to depend on. Fixed nitrogen is required for creating nitrogen containing nucleotides & amino acids required for forming DNA and proteins. In the enzyme called nitrogenase, found in in certain bacteria, such as cyanobacteria, nitrogen gas (N2) is turned into “fixed” into ammonia (NH4+) a more organic & useable form required for other life forms. Nitrogen fixing bacteria in soil help feed plants which help feed higher organisms. Iron is the catalyst in nitrogenase where a molecule of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate), the biochemical energy molecule is used around a double cuboidal iron-sulphur core (reminiscent of pyrite firestone, I call it a double “nano-pyrite” firestone) to catalyze the fixation of the nitrogen. Some nitrogenases use an iron (Fe) & molybdenum (Mb) metal core, some a iron vanadium (V) core, and some use a fully iron-iron core. In all cases the iron is complexed to sulphur, with a cuboidal shape, and perhaps early life was modeling this reaction from the pyrite (iron-sulphur) firestone found in nature (See pyrite picture), thus I call this motifs the “nano-pyrite” structure or the “nano-firestone” or the “FIRESTONE OF LIFE”. Move over silly middle age alchemists with you “Philosopher’s Stone” and behold the “NANO-FIRESTONE!” Mwahahahaah!!!!! (Insert mad scientist alchemist laughter). Discovery of the nano-firestone makes me happy to have spent so much of my life learning biochemistry to have noticed this.
IRON-SULPHUR CHAINS OF NITROGEN
Because nitrogenase in bacteria is the only enzyme family known to fix nitrogen, and become all life requires fixed nitrogen to function, in a way all life depends on these little iron-sulphur bacteria who fix nitrogen for us. Plants rely on nitrogen fixing bacteria in the carbon containing soil to fix nitrogen for them and then animals eat the plants obtaining fixed nitrogen indirectly. All nitrogen fixing requires iron-sulphur (nano-pyrite) in the nitrogenase enzyme. We as humans are chained by chains of iron & sulphur to the nitrogen cycle and we cannot discount or destroy the little critters that feed the plants that feed the animals that feed us. This is some real circle of life stuff here. So the most ancient bacteria require iron and sulphur (nano-pyrite) to create the nitrogen chemistry required for all life.
EVOLUTION OF IRON-OXYGEN
If you look on the periodic table you will note the Oxygen (O) atomic number 8, Sulphur (S) atomic number 16, and Selenium (Se) atomic number 34 are in the same group. We can presume that iron (Fe) can react with either oxygen or sulphur but there was not much oxygen around in the early earth’s environment, so an iron sulfide rather than an iron oxide was more abundant and like today nitrogen is abundant.
Later as bacteria terraformed the earth into more oxygen rich place, life adapted & evolved to make use of iron-oxygen more and more instead of iron-sulphur. When did this happen exactly? I found one study that looked at the Molybdenum levels (Note many nano-pyrite containing nitrogenases have Mo) in organic carbon and claims that the earth’s oxygens levels increased dramatically in two distinct phases about 2500-541 million years ago at beginning and end of, and not only that but that the change to oxygen environment may have stimulated the change from prokaryotic to eukaryotic lifeforms.
EVOLUTION OF HUMANS
By 300 million years ago there were complex sea life & insect life like giant millipedes and giant dragonflies so sure, oxygen change must have happened before then. Dinosaurs were about 140 million years ago, Mammals 40 million years ago and humans sometime rather recently 1 million years ago or less. An interesting note is that if Flint tools were found 3.3 million years ago, then either we can say fire was discovered by non-human primates before humans were around or else the human race is 3x older than we currently acknowledge (Some say 200-400k years old not even a full million years old species). The oldest known human remains were about 100k years old from a cave in S. Africa but was kinda sketchy (only a few teeth found so hard to confirm) or by the 30-40k years ago for sure our species was all over the world. If you are interested in human evolution be sure to check out the Denisovian cave in Russia where 3 species of Homo (Homo Sapiens, Neanderthals and Denisovians) were supposedly interbreeding 40k thousand years ago. Also it appears that monkey with tails evolved in S. America and Monkeys without tails like the Great Apes evolved in Africa. Did a pre-human primate species leave Africa and head to the New World or did a different co-emergent species of Great Ape come from S. America and Humans evolve in the New World or some other theory (Humans evolve in India subcontinent) or some other crazy route (S. America to Antarctica to Africa or Australia and on to Eurasia?) I just don’t know. I can tell you that there are huge Flint deposits in the Ohio-Michigan area so it’s not completely crazy to say you think humans may have discovered fire N. America, but it is equally likely that a pre-human species from S. America or Africa may have discovered fire 3 million years ago long before humans learned it from them later <1 million years ago. Human history is very annoying because for a supposedly smart species we really know very little about our history prior to only about 2500 BC. Part of this is to blame on iron where each new culinary cult likely would change history when it came into power. Regardless of very very ancient human evolution and migration, my ancestors at least came from Europe, Eurasia and before that closer to Iran and India, but certainly some of my European ancestors shared some relation to some of the N. American tribes circa the last ice age only about 10k thousand years ago, so very hard to say. Humans are a very very fast evolving species if we were still in the flint stone age only 10k thousand years ago!!! Even humans 2k years ago seem foreign in their customs and beliefs. Even humans only several hundred years ago!
CHRISTMAS ONLY A FEW HUNDRED YEARS AGO
As an example, since is near the Winter Solstice I want to mention a shocking piece of history I found that Christmas was outlawed in England by the Puritans and was not restored as a legal holiday until 1660 but remained disreputable! As an example George Washington, attacked the Hessians (German Mercenaries for England) on Christmas morning Dec 26th 1776! Bah Humbug (but glad we won the revolution) but not much early American Christmas Spirit lol. Christmas was outlawed in Boston in 1659 not revoked until 1681 but it was not until the mid 19th Century that celebrating Christmas became fashionable in Boston region! In the UK, Christmas day became a bank holiday in 1834. In 1843 Charles Dickens saves Christmas by writing A Christmas Carol which restored the popularity of Christmas going into the 19th century. My point is that if humans were in the stone age only 10k years ago and were a bunch of Winter Solstice haters only several hundred years ago, then humanity changes very very rapidly & who can say were we will be in several hundred more years?
IRON IN HUMANS: THE BLOOD
Previously, I have discussed iron evolution in nitrogen fixation, oxygen evolution in prokaryotic to eukaryotic organism and last month I talked about how copper blood of insects and marine life gave way to iron blood of modern animals. Dinosaurs had iron blood. Humans have iron blood. Ticks & insects which may not have iron blood (copper blood instead) still learned to suck on dinosaurs, birds, marsupial and placental mammals and like it or not, we humans are related to life on earth be it through a monkey relation or a joint alien-monkey splice relation. With a 99% similarity to Chimp DNA, if aliens did splice our genes they didn’t really add all that much but the differences we must believe are all important. Regardless, iron in humans is related to iron in bacteria in a very real way not just from our dependence of nitrogen fixation but because our entire energy system involving oxygen respiration & electron transport chain appears to be requiring iron in a way that shows that it was influenced by evolution of life on an oxygen rich planet. So what is blood? Why did it evolve? As life became more multi-cellular it required a way to transport nutrients to different parts of itself. Groups of cells became tissues which became organs and even specialized organs evolved to bind, chaperone and transport certain high priority and important nutrients. In a grasshopper, there is a blood-like substance called hemolymph which does not actually contain heme (iron), instead it is a copper-oxygen blood but the oxygen containing copper metal flows unbound in the blood. In humans & reptiles, a better way to transport the oxygen was found which requires bound iron instead. The iron is in a heme (iron) group and the iron groups are bound inside what we call Red Blood Cells (RBCs). These “cells” are more like membrane bound transport containers than actually cells because they lack their own nuclei. The Greek erythros “red” and kytos “hollow vessel” makes more sense as a RBS is more like a hollow vessel than a cell. The vessel is filled with red iron which binds oxygen. The blood is used to the iron-oxygen heme to different organs in the human body via the circulatory system (heart-lungs, arteries, lymph, squeezing of muscles).
The cytoplasm inside the RBC is rich in hemoglobin, an iron rich biomolecule that can bind oxygen and chaperones oxygen via the RBC & circulatory system throughout the body. There are about 12-20 grams of hemoglobin in every 100 mL of blood. Each human (and mammalian) hemoglobin molecule can bind up to 4 oxygen molecules each, and hemoglobin protein makes up 96% of the dry weight of an RBC or 35% of its total content including water. The oxygen binding capacity of hemoglobin is 1.34 mL O2 per gram. Hemoglobin can also bind CO2 and can be blocked by Carbon monoxide (CO) which is why you should not breath in car exhaust in an enclosed area.
Hemoglobin also can bind and transport Nitric Oxide (NO) and important gas signaling molecule which promotes smooth muscle relaxation and delivers the NO at the same time as Oxygen.
A BETTER IRON SUPPLEMENT, LIVER, DIRT, OR ANTS
The heme group in hemoglobin is more like a fire-sheet than a firestone as the iron is surrounded by nitrogens (Fe(II) oxidation state) instead of sulphur or oxygens (sulphur in nano-firestone). So likely fixed nitrogen is required. So ideally a really good iron supplement would be an iron-nitrogen not an iron sulphur complex but I have seen lots of Fe(II)Sulphur type iron supplements and assume it would be possible to make a more effective Fe(II)Nitro supplement instead. However, I am not convinced that anyone except maybe under a few specific instances should even take an iron supplement. If I do ever make an iron supplement I will be looking at Fe(II)-N4 type but in all reality if you think you need more heme iron just eat liver. If you are a vegetarian than research the plants & animals that have hemoglobin molecules and eat more of those. The best way to get iron and other nutrients from bone would be to just boil a chicken and drink the broth or eat red meat. If you are truly iron deficient, you may start craving and can possibly benefit from just eating some dirt (clay, or iron oxide containing soil). Chimps are sometimes seen eating dirt and so you could theoretically get iron from eating those are well. A source of iron for Chimps that humans don’t get is that they eat a lot of ant insects, so chocolate covered ants in the stocking this year anyone? Ho Ho Ho! Forget Coal! I want ferric dirt and ants!!!! A firestone would be nice Santa Baby =) Note that a 3.5 oz serving of red ants contains about 14g of protein and 6mg of iron, a serving of which is around 33-71% of what a human needs in a day. Ants yum! lol.
HEMOGLOBIN OUTSIDE THE BLOOD: IRON ANTIOXIDANT & IRON METABOLISM
There is even hemoglobin outside of RBC’s in some tissues (dopaminergic neurons in substantial nigra in brain, macrophages in white blood cells, alveolar cells, lungs, retinal pigment epithelium, hepatocytes (liver), kidney, endometrial cells, cervical cells & vagina epithelial cells. These iron containing heme proteins serve as anti-oxidants and regulator of iron metabolism (IRON USED ALL OVER BODY NOT JUST BLOOD IS IMPORTANT TAKE HOME). I am still trying to process all the new information concerning iron in neuroscience much less all the other uses. For female readers the usage of iron in reproductive tract is significant. It is widely believed that women need double the amount of iron as a man especially before pregnancy and iron supplementing is common in women especially after menstruation.
HEMOGLOBIN OUTSIDE THE SPECIES: IRON TIP FOR VEGETARIANS
Hemoglobin & hemoglobin like molecules are found in many invertebrates, fungi & and plants. If you are a Vegan or Vegetarian and really don’t want to boil a chicken, eat liver, or eat red meat, it might behoove you to figure out what fungi and plants are also high in hemoglobin iron as that might work out well instead. Just try a variety of foods and see what your body craves as that will have the nutrient be it iron or something else that you need.
The human body makes blood (erythropoiesis) in the bone marrow. In order to make the hemoglobin containing red blood cells (RBCs), the bone will need ample supply of iron. There is not much free iron in the blood. Instead iron is mostly (Besides in the RBCs) stored in the liver and in the Intestinal lining. Somehow the bone cells must communicate with the liver & intestinal lining to get more iron so that it can make more RBCs.
IRON HOMEOSTASIS: REQUESTING IRON FROM INTESTINES
The main way that the body gets more iron is through absorption through the small intestine. Not only do the cells of the small intestine absorb dietary iron, but also they STORE it to await for when the body wants it. The stored iron is effluxed from the small intestine to the blood using a transport protein called Ferroportin (Fpn) a transmembrane protein that transports iron from inside of a cell to the outside of cell. Fpn is the ONLY known iron exporter and thus a very important protein for getting iron into the body via the small intestine.
There must be some signal from the body to let the Fpn in the small intestine know to let in more iron.
It is known that Calcium is a known co-factor for the Fpn protein. Thus it is likely that calcium signaling, possibly from calcium released by the bone into the blood could be the signal to let the small intestine know to let more dietary iron in form the small intestine store.
Anemia is a decrease in the total amount of red blood cells (RBCs) or hemoglobin in the blood or a lowed ability of the blood to carry oxygen. The most common type of anemia is iron anemia from low iron. If the bone marrow does not have enough iron available (or vitamin B12 available) it cannot make enough enough RBCs. Without enough RBCs, the blood cannot carry enough oxygen, thus you will feel tired and feel weak.
Anemia is the most common blood disorder affecting about a third of the global population. Anemia could be cause from low iron, but can also be cause from infection (malaria), inflammation or from trauma such as blood loss, or from certain genetic diseases (sickle cell anemia) or from bone marrow cancer.
Whereas in third world countries the top cause of anemia is probably from infection such as malaria, in America, it is my belief that the top cause of anemia is from fluoride and from inflammation and also infections and cancers from toxins in the food and water and from vaccinosis (vaccine inflammatory toxins such as mercury, lead, and aluminum).
FLUORIDE ANEMIA FROM CALCIUM DISRUPTION OF FERRIPORTIN
Fluoride is insoluble with calcium and thus fluoride toxic halogen can disrupt iron absorption, or more precisely will disrupt the efflux of iron from small intestine into the bloodstream as it will disrupt Ferriportin (Fpn), the iron efflux protein. Go back and read my old newsletter “Fluoride & Kidney Stones” to learn more about how fluoride also disrupts the calcium levels by suppressing the vitamin D pathway, calcitriol, suppressing kidneys which do not properly reabsorb enough calcium back from the urine and thus the calcium levels will drop in the blood. Low blood calcium may be too low to activate the Fpn protein to allow the efflux of iron into the bloodstream from the small intestine store. Thus if you are iodine deficient, & even worse are blocked in the vitamin D, kidney, calcitriol, calcium reabsorption pathway, then it makes sense if you are also low iron. Many people are low iron who are actually just iodine deficient (with high halogens) and the calcium mediation of the Fpn protein explains the common observation that when people take iMedDo supplements that their iron levels go back to normal after being low because this is expected if the calcium pathway is blocked with fluoride because iodine detoxes fluoride.
MAINSTREAM VS ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE ON IRON
Mainstream does a good job documenting anemia with pathology tests to show whether your red blood cells are high or low or whether you serum iron proteins (ferritin) are high or low, and I think blood tests are great if you can afford them. What mainstream medicine does not do well is tell you that halogens and heavy metals from vaccines can be the cause of the anemia. The inflammation from the heavy metals can be causing the break down of RBCs into the blood. Free iron in the blood feeds infection. As macrophages and white blood cells try to fight the infection your copper levels might increase to help in the fight. At the same time as the chaperoned iron is low, the free iron is too high and the liver will send the Hepcidin signal to the Fpn protein in the small intestine to tell it to STOP letting more iron into the blood. The result is you are low iron (anemic) in the parts of your body that need it (low hemoglobin & low RBCs) but you body is telling you liver NOT to let in more iron because the free iron content in the blood is too high. The solution is kill the infection & detox the poison that is rupturing or suppressing the RBCs and then your iron homeostasis will return to normal.
FLUORIDE & MERCURY DETOX
If you are anemic and just taking an iron pill is not working, it is probably because your liver is telling your small intestine not to let any iron in (hepcidin & Fpn protein). The toxins that I see so many Americans suffering with are simply poison from the dentist of Fluoride and Mercury in older people and Heavy Metals from vaccine poison like Mercury, Lead & Aluminum in the younger. If you have fluoride in your system, it will bind calcium and block your calcium reabsorption and thus your calcium levels will be too low to activate the Fpn protein to allow iron in and likely your iron levels are just being disrupted by the toxic fluoride halogen. Many people have excess fluoride stored in their bones which is also disrupting the bone marrow even if it does have enough iron to make RBCs correctly. Likely many of the bone marrow cancers are from halogens & heavy metals just as many infection and cancers go away when you detox.
NOBLE METALS AID IN THE OXYGEN BATTLE
Bacteria love iron, and free iron in the blood is bad for us because it will stimulate infection. When there is an infection, there is an oxygen battle were the invader and us the defender have competing processes to use the oxygen, iron and other nutrients. The bacteria wants to absorb the iron and to use it to break down and reactive oxygen species ROS that our immune system might use to try to kill it, and our body wants to reabsorb the iron in binding proteins so that the iron can be safely stored either in small intestine, liver, or used by bone marrow to make more RBCs so that the oxygen can be used for respiration. We get oxygen from our lungs and we exhale carbon dioxide and the iron is important for our aerobic respiration whereas many bacteria are fine to use anaerobic respiration with sulphur instead of oxygen an older pathway. Under normal circumstances the bacteria if it gets into the blood does not stand a chance. Our immune system cells such as a macrophage can engulf the bacteria and then attack it with ROS such as H202 (hydrogen peroxide) using an iron enzyme. In defense some bacteria have evolved catalase iron proteins which can break down the H202 to water so that they will not be destroyed. This is battle using iron by both sides where the attacker seeks to kill the other with ROS and whoever can utilize the oxygen the best wins. You want to create H202 peroxide to throw at the enemy and you want to break down the enemy’s H202 before it damages you. The battle of oxygen is the battle of hydrogen peroxide reactive oxygen species (H202 ROS) and the battle is likely won by whichever side can grab the most iron. Copper noble metal seems to have evolved as a way to grab oxygen instead of grabbing it with iron. Silver & Gold tip the battle to your side and make sure the bacteria or taxin is gotten rid of when combined with iodine.
ALDEHYDE OXIDASE AIDS IN THE OXYGEN BATTLE WITH IRON, COPPER & MOLYBDENUM & DETOX
Another iron containing enzyme is called aldehyde oxidase (AO) which catalyzes the conversion of an aldehyde in the presence of oxygen and water to an acid and hydrogen peroxide H202. AO can be used by our body to attack the bacteria or by the bacteria to attack us with H202 ROS. Aldehyde oxidase is very concentrated in the liver, where it oxidizes multiple aldehydes and nitrogenous heterocyclic compounds and helps detox harmful pharmaceutical drugs. Some AO activity has been located in other parts of the body—including the lungs (epithelial cells and alveolar cells), the kidneys, and the gastrointestinal tract (small and large intestines). Some known inhibitors of AO are sterol and phenol compounds, like estradiol. So too much estrogen and AO is blocked. Also see last month’s “Copper Containment” episode for discussion of how heavy metals like mercury can disrupt estrogen pathway. When estrogen too high then you get not enough H202 when you need it, such as when you need it to kill an infection such as in a macrophage. AO requires Molybdenum (Mo) as well as Copper (Cu) in addition to requiring iron. AO is very important for liver detox & drug clearance.
HEME IN SULFITE OXIDASE (SO)
Sulfite oxidase (SO) is required to metabolize the sulfur-containing amino acids cysteine and methionine in foods. This protein is interesting because not only does it contain a heme (iron) group but also a Mo cofactor, but rather than the the heme carrying oxygen in the blood, SO works in the mitochondria & oxidizes sulfite to sulfate and, via cytochrome c, transfers the electrons produced to the electron transport chain, allowing generation of ATP in oxidative phosphorylation. This is likely an ancient “firestone” derived pathway as it involves iron and sulphur. Heme groups are iron with nitrogen rather than oxygen or sulphur so fixed nitrogen is important for using heme in both mitochondrial membrane (SO) as well as in the blood (hemoglobin). A variety of SO proteins can be found in the body with different types such as for cytosol, mitochondria, membrane associated and secreted.
XANTHINE OXIDASE (XOA)
Another firestone related protein that has an Fe-S cluster is called Xanthine Oxidase (XOA). XOA enzymes play an important role in the catabolism of purines in some species, including humans & XOA generates a lot of reactive oxygen species (ROS) including the superoxide. These enzymes catalyze the oxidation of hypoxanthine to xanthine and can further catalyze the oxidation of xanthine to uric acid.
Most of the protein in the liver exists in a form with xanthine dehydrogenase activity, but it can be converted to xanthine oxidase by reversible sulfhydryl oxidation or by irreversible proteolytic modification.
CATALASE USE IN BIOLOGICAL WARFARE
Iron is the important metal core of an enzyme used in turning hydrogen peroxide (H202) in to oxygen (O2) and water. Fighting over iron and the control of the oxygen pathway used for warfare is an evolutionary tug o ‘war between bacteria wishing to invade, and higher level organisms wishing to kill the bacteria. Catalase is a common enzyme found in nearly all lifeforms exposed to oxygen (bacteria, plants & animals) not just bacteria as is the case with nitrogenase. Catalase contains 4 iron (heme) groups and is very important from protecting a cell from oxidative damage from reactive oxygen species (ROS). The cell of the defender organism wants to use ROS to destroy the invader, and the cell of the invader bacteria wants to use the catalase to destroy the ROS before it loses its own cell membrane integrity. So on one hand ROS is bad for damaging yourself, but ROS is good for attacking an invader. To limit damage to self ROS can be contained. Some organism have developed special cells to engulf the invader bacteria cells and attack with ROS, and some bacteria have developed catalase activity to try to break down the ROS before it can be damaged! In humans the macrophage white blood cell can phagocytose an invader bacteria and then product H202 ROS to attack it and some defender bacteria with catalase activity use their iron containing catalase enzyme to break down the ROS. Catalase like the name sounds like “catalyst” has one of the HIGHEST turnover rates of ALL enzymes, and a single quad-iron containing catalase molecule can convert MILLIONS of hydrogen peroxide molecule to break down into water and oxygen per second!
NOBLE METALS VS ARSENIC IN CATALASE BATTLE
Copper & Silver can inhibit bacterial quad-iron containing catalase helping the immune system kill the invader with ROS, whereas arsenic (As) can make the catalase go faster favoring the catalase positive bacterial countermeasures to help it escape. This is one of the reasons why Arsenic is bad for humans as it helps bacteria grow and copper and silver kill bacteria. Because the copper pathway is older, many bacteria have work arounds to escape it using their iron pathway but cannot escape the silver. When you hear that silver break down bacterial cell walls and boosts the immune system, now you know one of the pathways, the catalase pathway. Whereas inhibiting bacterial catalase is good, the body does not want to inhibit its own catalase so different enzymes are used in the liver to chaperone noble metals, and metals such as arsenic and nickel and likely cobalt that help bacteria avoid destruction are detoxed.
SUPEROXIDE DISMUTASE (SO) ANTIOXIDANT & CYTOCHROME C
I first discussed Superoxide dismustase (SOD) in last month’s copper issue, but it is important to mention again when discussing iron. Here is what I said: “An interesting thing to note is that in humans & yeast our anti-oxidant SOD proteins uses Copper-Zinc (Cu-Zn) pair whereas our mitochondria use an iron-manganese (Fe-Mn) pair compared to a bacteria which uses Nickel (Ni).” The important thing to note is that there appears to be an evolution of from nickel to iron to copper when using SOD. Iron (Fe) is used in the human body for the Mitochondrial pathway which is a very old pathway. Just as there is a copper-zinc pair there is an iron-manganese metal conductivity pair where the copper or iron is the conductive metal and the zinc or manganese is (my belief) being used as the non-conductive part of the pair. “Copper was replaced by iron for carrying oxygen in the human blood (see hemoglobin) and copper and iron are used in many proteins that involve oxygen such as in the mitochondrial electron transport chain and in human Cu-Zn SOD.” From last month: “Another important oxidase in the body that uses copper is the cytochrome c oxidase which has copper centers as part of the mitochondrial electron transport chain for producing ATP. The electrical properties of copper are used by the body to produce energy which makes sense though the way it does it is extremely complicated and also involves iron.” Important to note that iron is used in both SO and CYT C and in these two cases there is overlap with the noble metals as copper is used in them as well.
FERRIPORTIN & HEPCIDIN DISRUPTION: DETOX!
The liver tells the small intestine using hepcidin hormone to STOP absorbing so much iron through the ferriportin efflux protein. I think this is important because if you are low in iron but you are eating lots of it, such as an iron supplement, then this is what could be going on as to why the iron is not absorbing. It could be that the liver is not wanting to let the small intestine let more iron in for some other reason that needs to be addressed such as infection or inflammation and thus you may need to detox. The most valuable thing I learned from writing this article is that the ferriportin iron efflux protein that lets iron into the body from the small intestine requires calcium to be present to function & this is the direct connection as to why fluoride which form insoluble calcium fluoride can disrupt your iron levels as it can disrupt calcium levels. Also read my article “Fluoride & Kidney Stones” for more info on how fluoride disrupts calcium reabsorption. Low blood calcium level from halogen toxicity will result in low iron absorption and anemia.
IRON IN CONNECTIVE TISSUE FORMATION
Connective tissue is found in between other tissues everywhere in the body, including the nervous system. Iron plays a role in modifications of collagen in connective tissues. Iron functions in the hydroxylation of proly and lysl amino acid residues in the collagen.
IRON IN BRAIN
Too much iron is toxic in the brain and causes neuro-degeneration. Iron protein transferrin has been found in the brain in the periventricular system that bathes the hippocampus and likely functions to keep the iron from getting too high.
IRON IN MILK
Instead of the regular ferritin protein, babies in the milk get a special milk iron protein called lactoferritin which has an exponentially increased infinity towards iron. This allows the baby to hold on to iron and outcompete bacteria iron proteins to protect the baby from infection. Some believe that if an adult drinks milk that it can disrupt the absorption of iron (because the milk protein lactoferritin binds it tightly). This makes no sense to me since likely the form of iron in the milk is actually easier to absorb. If you are high or low in iron try alternating drinking milk or not to see which one works. I am skeptical that milk blocks iron absorption (what is taught in mainstream medicine), but milk and coffee should help your intestinal lining detox. There is the idea that drinking milk & coffee can reduce your iron level (would reduce/detox) excess iron in the intestinal lining (which makes sense) but I don’t think this is a bad thing, as I think the stores of iron there are excessive and happy to leave (bleeding is the body’s only other way to get rid of). Milk is a nutrient rich substance made for babies that may or may not be appropriate for adults at all times. It may be that baby milk does not let your intestines absorb enough iron, but likely is compensated for in richness of other nutrients. To milk or not to milk, go with your gut. If anemic consider reduced milk or alternating days of milk.
TOO MUCH IRON
Although iron is a nutrient too much of it is a problem and thus the body is very picky about only letting in as much as it needs because extra iron in the wrong places can accidentally feed bacteria and help them generate ROS which can damage the cells. The iron the body uses is all contained and stored i.e. iron containment (also se my article last week about “copper containment”. The main places the iron is tired is inside red blood cell hemoglobin, inside ferritin proteins, in the liver and in the small intestinal lining. Storage of the iron in the intestinal lining is like how the body treats heavy metals it want to get rid of. The lining cells can slough off getting rid of the unwanted metals and possibly that is why the uterine lining of women sloughs off is to get rid of excel iron through menstrual blood. So maybe most the time your body is not trying to absorb iron but to GET RID of it! To support this, the known liver protein Hepcidin is not telling the intestine to let iron in but rather to KEEP IRON OUT! So when this happens taking an iron supplement is not helpful. Instead see if there is some other undying cause of anemia such as infection or inflammation. There is a rare genetic disorder affecting people of Celtic background where iron level can get too high and this may have contributed to the myth that “iron is toxic to fairies”.
SUPPLEMENT OR NOT TO SUPPLEMENT?
Yes I think everyone should supplement with my system as well as a multivitamin, vitamin C and fish oil. A multivitamin should contain a little bit of iron as well as the foods you eat. I do not think that you should supplement iron excepting for cases of documented anemia, and even then I think you need to make sure the cause is not from halogens & heavy metals (why supplementing with my system is important).
IRON & MENSTRATION
The only time it is common for people to supplement iron is for women before pregnancy & after menstrual flow. It seems iron is diverted to the uterine lining as a nutrient but perhaps when the egg is not fertilized the excess iron becomes a liability and the body has to dump it (bleeding is the body’s primary way of getting rid of iron) to prevent the iron feeding an infection or from creating ROS. But even then I am skeptical as to whether you should take an iron supplement as you can get if from food instead.
IRON FROM FOOD
Our body primarily uses iron in heme which has already been attached to fixed nitrogen and heme is only found in animals not plants though you can get iron from plants and fungi but you have to eat more so the body can process it more. The easiest way to get iron in heme is simply by eating animal such as pig, beef or chicken liver. I don’t bother with expense blood tests, I simply check to see if my body likes the laste of liver (I never have) and thus I personally believe that I am not iron deficient. But if you are, you might experience an increase in desire to eat meat or even an increased desire to eat dirt such as clay or iron oxide containing red soil. Chimps have been observed to eat many sources of iron, plant (fig, banana, leaves), insect primarily ant, as well as pork (bushpig) and even eating dirt. Humans have many of food sources of iron to turn to, so not sure if supplementing iron is worth it. Also iron supplements can turn your poop black, make it smell worse (iron sulfate pills release sulphur), and other weird side effects.
MARS VS VENUS: CARNIVORE VS VEGETARIAN: MALE VS FEMALE
Iron is supposedly the male nutrient (symbol for Mars) vs Copper the female nutrient (symbol of Venus); but according to mainstream medicine women need double the iron as men. However, this just doesn’t add up because I see men are more frequently eating meat and women are more frequently vegetarians and this indicates to me that men are craving heme iron more and women are craving plant iron more. Observing both Chimps and Humans it seem the males are more likely to go hunting for meat, chimps for bushpig (see Dr. Tanner’s “On Becoming Human” Chimp Book from 1981), and where I live the men for deer. So I just have not received clarity on iron yet, eat meat if you crave it, if not don’t but don’t judge as nutritional requirements for men and woman likely vary and the difference in male vs female supposed nutrition requirement (double for women) or iron reminds me a lot of iodine where women need double as well. Assuming mainstream medicine is correct then iron should be considered a “female nutrient” with symbol of Inanna the Fertile Goddess of War instead of Mars the God of War. Perhaps the discrepancy is that men evolved to hunt meat share with women to impress them during estrous. A fertile woman might crave meat more (pregnancy & lactation requires iron) and infertile women might crave meat less (less reason to have iron if just dumping it in menstrual blood every month or after menopause). Chimps hunt bush pigs and even other monkeys for meat to share with a female they want to impress, so maybe in humans as well not sure. Human females evolved to have a hidden estrous which likely plays a role in iron nutrition in a way I have not been able to fully process. Women are from Venus & Men are from Mars, I suppose. Iron disruption may play a role in the continuing trend in the human race towards lessened sexual dimorphism. Male chimps have carnivorous canine teeth 40% larger than female chimps whereas male humans only have carnivorous canine teeth 6% larger than female human canine teeth potentially indicating a lessoned need for meat (and iron) in the human race and lessened sexual dimorphism.
Iron is found naturally in pyrite “firestone” crystal with sulphur as iron sulfide. Iron sulphide “nano-pyrite” is used in ancient and modern bacteria to fix nitrogen.
With the availability of fixed nitrogen, iron-nitrogen heme groups evolved which allow iron to transport oxygen in the human body. Iron sulfide groups which may have evolved from nano-pyrite are still used in the human body to process Oxygen in respiration, oxidative phosphorylation, chemical reactions & chemical warfare against infection and stress by processing H202 (hydrogen peroxide) reactive oxygen species (ROS). An iron binding protein called transferrin modulates the blood iron content and a iron absorption through the small intestine is modulated by a liver hormone hepcidin and requires a calcium cofactor, and thus can be disrupted by fluoride. The body likes to hold on to iron and rarely loses much except through blood loss. You can get iron in the diet readily as a carnivore by eating liver. Women may need more iron than men but you would never know it from the way men eat more meat. If you have anemia and your iron supplement is not working, please try iMedDo Detox System and see if your iron homeostasis returns to normal. If it does it is likely because you have unblocked a pathway disrupted by halogens & heavy metals. Hopefully after reading this article you have a new appreciation for how your body contains iron and uses the “firestone of life” to use the oxygen “fire” to power, energize and protect itself.
NAMASTE (The divine in me recognizes the divine in you)
FINIS (The End).
By DrBenGo Healthwarrior
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