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Boost Your Energy with Liver Iron Extract

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New scientific discoveries are important, but it sometimes seems that we lose sight of the value of basic nutrients. With that in mind, I’d like to reintroduce you to nutrients with exceptional health benefits that you may have forgotten.

Would you believe they are both found in liver?

You may not like to eat liver. That’s understandable. The smell and flavor of liver can make it an acquired taste, and some people have fears about toxins or purines, which can lead to uric acid buildup. But the unfortunate side effect of not eating liver is that you miss out on a lot of nutrients. That's because liver contains more vitamins and minerals than any other food. Iron and vitamin B12 are two of the most important.

Get Back to the Basics – Get Your Absorbable Iron!

Maybe you're at a point in your life where you don’t believe iron is very important anymore. After all, for a long time, men were told they didn’t need it at all, and women were told to avoid it after menopause. But what happens if you’re an active person? The answer is easy; you burn up your stores of iron.

In fact, many people suffer from iron deficiency without even knowing it. The Mayo Clinic says iron deficiency anemia may cause you to feel tired and often look pale. It’s a very common type of anemia, a condition in which blood lacks adequate healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to tissues. Oxygenated blood gives your body energy and your skin a healthy and radiant glow.

Not surprisingly, iron deficiency anemia is common in women—especially women of childbearing age. One in five women and 50 percent of all pregnant women are iron deficient. Supplementation can usually correct iron deficiency anemia, but sometimes additional treatments are necessary. If you suspect you have anemia be sure to check with your physician.

In any case, simply running out and picking up any old iron supplement is not the answer. Many forms of iron aren’t well tolerated or absorbed by the body. For instance, iron ferrous sulfate, iron fumarate, and iron gluconate are extremely difficult to digest and absorb - which is harsh on the stomach and causes constipation. Out of 200 mg of these iron salts, only approximately 2 mg of iron will reach the bloodstream.

When you need a natural, absorbable form of iron, liver is the best. It provides heme iron, a form of iron attached to hemoglobin —the protein that transports energizing oxygen to muscle cells. The great thing about heme iron is that up to 33 percent of the quantity of heme iron ingested can be absorbed, compared to as little as one percent absorption of iron salts.

The best liver extracts come from cattle raised on the grassy plains of Argentina without any chemical sprays, pesticides or antibiotics. Look for a “predigested” form of liver extract, meaning that it has been broken down to be more readily absorbed by the body. For consistent iron levels with each dosage, I recommend combining this predigested liver extract with a bisglycinate chelate form of iron that absorbs easily, too.

You may have heard of a drug intervention for severe anemia called epoetin alpha. It is a synthetic form of a naturally occurring protein in the human body. It works by stimulating bone marrow to make more red blood cells. Epoetin alpha has serious, significant side effects—including increased risk of blood clots. Increasing the number of red blood cells also increases the formation of a protein called hemoglobin. Extremely high levels of hemoglobin can lead to heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and death. Unfortunately, there are athletes who abuse this drug, which is intended for only a few extremely ill people. How much safer and healthier it would be for them to use supplements to recharge their blood instead!

Combine with Vitamin B12 for More Benefits

I recommend combining liver extract with methylcobalamin—a bioactive form of vitamin B12. Regular B12 requires conversion in the liver to the active form, and many people simply do not do this efficiently.

Anyone who has had a liver illness or a condition that interferes with proper liver function may have impaired conversion. The methylcobalamin form of vitamin B12 requires no biological transformation because it is already converted—meaning there is no question that it will be put to work right away in the body. Using the active form of B12 with the premium form of heme iron creates a powerful combination that increases energy levels and reduces symptoms of deficiencies.

While symptoms of iron deficiency are fairly well known, there are symptoms of B12 deficiency, too. They range from tiredness and feelings of weakness, an irritated nervous system, less than optimal eye function, loss of appetite and unintended weight loss, feelings of irritation and mild moodiness, poor memory and short term memory loss, nervousness, poor liver and heart function, brittle nails and prematurely graying hair. Taking vitamin B12 during the day can help if you suffer from sleeping difficulties, too. It plays a role in melatonin production—the sleep hormone—that can let you get the rest you need, which is another important factor in keeping an active life.

Meat, poultry, eggs, fish, brewer’s yeast, dairy products, and seafood can provide vitamin B12, but you could eat all of these, and still have a deficiency of the vitamin. That’s because your digestive system may be unable to absorb vitamin B12 properly. If you have poor digestion, for example, your body may not have a protein called intrinsic factor that converts a common form of vitamin B12, cyanocobalamin, to the methylcobalamin form that the body uses best.

Folate as Methylfolate

Like methylcobalamin, methylfolate is an active vitamin form, versus the more common folic acid. Folates are critical for everybody, but especially for women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. You don’t want to guess whether or not you are an efficient converter of folic acid, so it’s very important to use the methylfolate form. This active form of folate goes to work in the body right away, like the other bioactive B-vitamins I’ve recommended. Aside from its well-known value in preventing birth defects and supporting cardiovascular health and the activities of B6 and B12, recent research shows that methylfolate may help people with depression. It’s not surprising, given that approximately 70 percent of individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD) also show a genetic predisposition to folate deficiency. Even those who aren’t struggling with depression could use a better form of folate—deficiencies can lead to irritability, general weakness, mental fogginess, and fatigue.

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Terry is happy to provide his opinion on diet and nutrition, supplements and lifestyle choices. This information is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the advice of your physician and is not to be considered medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Should you have any concerns please contact your physician directly.
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