You might want to toss those iron-fortified vitamins, because absent a diagnosed deficiency too much of a good thing can be bad.
Dietary iron imbalances either way spell trouble for healthy cells, triggering a chain of cellular events in the brain that increases the odds of developing Parkinsons disease, a degenerative condition affecting movement and balance in more than 1 million Americans each year. But excessive iron levels are worse -- much worse.
The findings from a study by Florida State University scientist Cathy Levenson are described in "The Role of Dietary Iron Restrictions in a Mouse Model of Parkinsons Disease" and will appear in an upcoming edition of Experimental Neurology. Levenson is an associate professor of nutrition, food and exercise sciences in FSUs College of Human Sciences and a faculty member in both the Program in Neuroscience and graduate program in molecular biophysics. "We define our work here at the cellular level," said Levenson from her laboratory at FSUs Biomedical Research Facility. "Our primary research objective is to better understand how trace metal imbalances, which are associated with neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases, affect the molecular mechanisms that regulate gene expression."
Cathy Levenson | EurekAlert!
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