Empowering Human Performance | Athletigen Blog

Nutrigenomics: Iron Metabolism

Posted by Athletigen on Thu, Sep 19, 2019

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Iron is an essential component of hemoglobin and myoglobin, the proteins that give your red blood cells the ability to carry oxygen from your lungs to your cells. In this capacity, iron can influence your anaerobic energy, VO2max, and overall sport performance.

Dietary iron comes in two forms: heme iron (meat products) and non-heme iron (plant and dairy products). Your source of iron and your overall diet can influence iron absorption. For example, vitamin A and vitamin C can enhance your iron absorption, but diets that are high in zinc and calcium can inhibit absorption.

Screen Shot 2019-09-19 at 8.17.20 PMIron deficiency can lead to serious health issues — but so can iron overload. You need to ensure you keep safe iron levels and your DNA plays a role.

Various genes influence iron levels by impacting how your body absorbs, stores and transports iron.

  • HFE is a regulator gene that controls how much iron your body absorbs from food. This function occurs primarily in the small intestine.
  • The TF gene regulates available iron levels by impacting when iron is transported throughout the body.

Find out how your genetics are affecting how you metabolize iron and get expert recommendations on what to do next with Athletigen's Nutrition Report!

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