Can Draining Blood Cut Cholesterol and Ward Off Cancer? (The Daily Mail)


A story in The Daily Mail about bloodletting as a possible method for reducing blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and even cancer risk points to the body’s level of iron as a health factor for good or bad, and quotes Professor Leo Zacharski as saying that the modern-day craving for red meat means too many people have elevated levels of iron.

Zacharski, a professor of medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine, tells The Daily Mail that studies suggest many people have nearly double the ideal level of iron in their blood. “We take in a little bit more iron than we need each day, and over the years it accumulates and contributes to the diseases of aging, such as vascular disease and cancer,” he says.

The effect of bloodletting on iron levels is quite direct: Red blood cells contain large amounts of iron, so bloodletting reduces the body’s iron level. But Zacharski points out an alternative method for reducing the body’s iron intake. “I advise my patients to limit red meat to once a week and reduce alcohol intake, as this increases iron absorption,” he says.

Read the full story, published 12/3/12 in The Daily Mail.

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