Iron On The Primal Diet, Is It A Problem ?

Answer to subscriber's question

by aajonus vonderplanitz, phd nutrition

Question: I began eating raw meat a year ago, and I would say about 85% has been red meat, the rest fish and fowl. In Asheville there are some very nice local farms that sell grass fed beef, so I've been living almost exclusively on that. After listening to a presentation by Dr. Mercola, I was concerned about the iron levels.
-- Richard Kent

Hi, Richard,
Dr. Mercola speaks from a theoretical view rather than empirical. That theory has little basis in reality. Several healthy tribes eat almost exclusively raw red meat and do not have iron problems. An iron problem can develop when eating a lot of cooked red meat because much of the iron is rendered “free-radical” because of the cooking process. Often, the free radical iron can bind with bioactive iron and cause a bioactive iron deficiency and toxic free radical iron level. Also consider that much of the absorbed free-radical iron that is not properly isolated in fat rusts in the body. That further causes toxic excessive iron problems.

Also, if our bodies try to discard contaminated free-radical iron deposits, a high toxic iron level will show up in blood and possibly urine and feces. Raw meat-eating may help our bodies detoxify toxic iron deposits but does not cause toxic iron levels.

High consumption of red meat, however, could be a problem for hyperactive individuals who do not exercise enough because red meat often stimulates adrenaline production which can cause irritability and hyperactivity. In such a case, fish and fowl are preferable.