In my book, Dumping Iron, I wrote a section about the use of natural iron chelators to lower iron (ferritin) levels. These chelators include IP6, curcumin, green tea extract, and quercetin. Here’s what I wrote:
Most or all of these natural compounds have not undergone clinical trials in humans to determine how well and how much they can remove iron from the body, and their ability to do so is based on experiments using lab animals or cell culture. So there’s no hard data on how well they work in people. There are anecdotal reports of people greatly lowering their ferritin levels with some of these compounds, but they are after all just individual stories, so results may vary a lot between different people, depending on dose and lots of other factors.
If you use any of these natural compounds for lowering iron, you should therefore monitor your iron levels using periodic ferritin testing to ensure that you get the results you want.
Clinical trials using these iron chelators are not likely to happen any time soon, since they are all cheap and not patented, and therefore are unable to make profits for pharmaceutical companies. Add to that the fact of a prejudice in favor of drugs for any treatment, along with the generally unrecognized dangers of iron; basically no one in any position to do something about it cares about these natural compounds.
Dosages of these compounds for iron chelation are not known with certainty, and the suggested doses on the label should not be exceeded.
Given the above, I was delighted to hear from a reader of my book that she had lowered her ferritin greatly using natural chelators.
She stated that she found out two years ago that she had hemochromatosis, and her ferritin level was over 400. She’s fortunate she found it at that point, because that’s not a super-high ferritin value, although it would be for someone without the disease. Some hemochromatosis patients have ferritin levels in the thousands.
She began taking two scoops a day of IP6, a special formulation called IP6 Gold. This product was developed by Dr. Shamsuddin, the scientist who did most of the important research on IP6, and besides IP6 contains inositol, which he says makes it much more effective. One scoop is 6.9 grams, containing 3.2 grams IP6. (For comparison, I’ve been taking only 500 mg of IP6.)
She also takes curcumin three times a day. Curcumin is also an iron chelator.
In only a year and a half, she lowered her ferritin to just over 100, a much safer level.
That’s an amazing result. She has not donated blood nor had any therapeutic phlebotomies.
She stopped eating red meat, which is high in iron, and she stopped drinking alcohol, which increases iron absorption. She drinks coffee and green tea with meals, which inhibits iron absorption.
I think we can now say that hard data, as seen in lab testing, shows that one can greatly lower ferritin through natural iron chelators. If you are ineligible to donate blood, this looks like a good path to take for lowering iron.
Check out my book, Dumping Iron: How to Ditch This Secret Killer and Reclaim Your Health, for much more. Check out my supplements guide for more information on these natural iron chelators.
As of this writing, Life Extension still has a sale on ferritin testing.