Iron and Total Iron-Binding Capacity - Laboratory Testing

Research has shown that reducing excess iron in the brain can alleviate Alzheimer's-like symptoms in mice,2 while measuring brain iron has been suggested as a way to detect Alzheimer's disease in its early stages.3

High iron levels in your blood can lead to the production of free radicals that can damage neurons in your brain (and probably eyes too). It's also believed that iron accumulates at high levels, and is extremely reactive, in the beta-amyloid plaques found in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.

Iron is definitely an oxidant and glaucoma patients already have too much oxidative stress, so too much iron is not good for glaucoma!

Iron plays a principle role in the synthesis of red blood cells. It is necessary for proliferation of red cells and is required for hemoglobin production. Of the body’s normal 4 grams of iron, approximately 65% resides in red blood cells.

A small amount is also found in muscle and in cellular enzymes throughout the body’s tissues. Any remaining iron is stored mostly in the liver as ferritin.

Low levels of iron are associated with iron deficiency anemia. Anemia is associated with fatigue, low energy and, in some cases, can manifest as muscle aches and headaches. High levels of iron are associated with liver disease, kidney disease and vitamin B6 deficiency.

Iron is transported in the blood as transferrin, a major transport protein. Transferrin carries 60-70% of the body’s iron. The total amount of iron bound to transferrin is referred to as total iron-binding capacity (TIBC). TIBC will help your doctor differentiate between different types of anemia.

TIBC is high in iron deficiency anemia and low/normal with anemia of chronic disease. TIBC is also used to help doctors diagnose iron overload, which is called hemochromatosis.

Iron & Total Iron-Binding Capacity test includes: Percent of saturation, serum iron, total iron binding capacity, and unsaturated iron binding capacity.

A fast of 8 to 12 hours is required for this test. Blood should be drawn in the morning because of the normal daily fluctuations of iron. Take all medications as prescribed. Do not take your supplements the morning of the blood draw.

Iron measurements following blood donations or transfusions should be delayed for one week.

A fast of 8 to 12 hours is required for this test. Blood should be drawn in the morning because of the normal daily fluctuations of iron. Take all medications as prescribed. Do not take your supplements the morning of the blood draw.

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So is understanding your results!

  1. Your results will be sent directly to you … by mail, e-mail or fax. Or you can view them online. It’s your call.
  2. Results take 3 days to 3 weeks to receive, depending on the complexity of the blood tests ordered and your chosen method of delivery.
  3. Once you receive them, discuss them with your own doctor. You can also call 1-800-226-2370 and ask a knowledgeable Life Extension Health Advisors for help in understanding your blood test results.

*Blood testing services are available only in the continental United States and Anchorage, AK. Not available in Maryland.

†Your blood test requisition options are a LabCorp requisition form or a blood draw kit. Certain restrictions apply for residents of MA, NY, NJ, RI, and PA. Customers in MA, NY, NJ, and RI will receive a blood draw kit, and an additional local blood draw fee may be incurred. PA customers must go to LabCorp for their blood draw.

**DISCLAIMER:

The laboratory services are for informational purposes only. It is not the intention of National Diagnostics, Inc and Life Extension to provide specific medical advice but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health. Specific medical advice including diagnosis and treatment will not be provided. Always seek the advice of a trained health professional for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Both the physician and the testing laboratory are independent contractors with whom National Diagnostics, Inc makes arrangements for your blood tests. Neither National Diagnostics, Inc or Life Extension will be liable for any acts or omissions of the physician, the testing laboratory, or their agents or employees.

Information on this page is not intended as a substitute for advice provided by a competent health care professional. You should not use this information in diagnosing or treating a health problem. No claim or opinion expressed on this web site is intended to be, nor should be construed to be, medical advice. If you are now taking any drugs, prescribed or not, or have a medical condition, please consult a competent physician who is aware of herb/drug interactions before taking any herbal supplements. The information presented herein has not been evaluated by the FDA or the Department of Health and is not intended to diagnose, prevent or treat any disease or illness.

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