Iron Toxicity: What Are The Effects Of Iron Overload? -Guide 2023

overload iron
Industrial pollution may enter the food chain with aluminum, lead, cadmium, arsenic, and mercury. Heavy metals compete for mineral uptake and enzyme binding sites.
Heavy metals reduce the body’s mineral functions.

Our world today exposes us to significantly more heavy metals and toxins than we have ever been exposed to. These heavy metals directly influence our Physical and Mental Health by disturbing our Brain’s Chemical Homeostasis. (For example, excessive fluoride exposure affects our Melatonin Sleep Hormone production)

Okay, how do we get those heavy metals? Well, we obtain heavy metals through skin care products, shampoos, and drugs, in addition to metropolitan environments, fossil fuels, tap water, and food. 

We have certain defensive mechanisms for protecting heavy metals in our system. (Thanks For Glutathione) But if it’s excess, our system becomes not function correctly.

Yet, we all have some kind of desire to live with vitality, strong, and happy life. For that, we need the control our exposure to “heavy metals.” coming from the environment that causes mitochondrial problems and inflammation. That is why I published an amazing quality guide for optimizing mitochondrial health.

Don’t forget that aging is the process of excessive inflammation and reactive species around the body, yet, we can only defense against those inflammatory processes by reducing to heavy metals toxicity and improving the health of our cells by regular biohacks strategies.

Preventing earlier aging is mostly related to our antioxidant levels in the body, depending on the body’s mineral and heavy metal status.

Understanding Heavy Minerals Overload

Like others, iron overload can cause mitochondrial damage and impair health. Also, there is certain Heavy metal exposure that can be more common than others. The five most common heavy metal toxins in the body are:

  1. Aluminum (9.4%) 
  2. Lead (3.0%)
  3. Cadmium (0.8%)
  4. Mercury (0.1%)
  5. Arsenic (0.1%)

These are the most popular, but we have other minerals, such as “iron, which” can be dangerous if they are too much in the body.  

Sure, we don’t want to deficiency to iron; both iron deficiency and iron toxicity can be dangerous health states. But especially men might be more valuable to iron toxicity.

In this article, we will cover what iron overload is, how it can lower exposure to it, what we can do, and which supplement we can use.

Before You Might Know

Industrial pollution may enter the food chain with aluminum, lead, cadmium, arsenic, and mercury. Heavy metals compete for mineral uptake and enzyme binding sites and these Heavy metals reduce the body’s mineral functions.

  • Too much iron is linked to aging and shorter life and health spans. It would be best to monitor blood iron levels for anyone interested in quality of life.
  • High iron levels induce cardiac cell death, leading to decreased heart function and mitochondrial malfunction.
  • Excess Iron can impacts blood pressure and glucose levels and suppress the functions of the cells utilizing energy.
  • There are things you can do to protection iron overload. One of the simplest and quickest methods to lower your ferritin and iron overload could be through regular blood donation, which may help save someone else’s life.
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Iron Overload: You Can’t Ignore

Most biohackers, nootropics experts, and people who want to live healthy miss the part of the dangerous process that occurs, especially to men, called “iron overload,”

Negative effects on the bodyIron overload
Reduced oxygen delivery (anemia)Yes
Increased risk of neurodegenerative disordersYes
Fatigue, mitochondrial dysfunction, and reduced oxygenYes

Iron overload exists when your body stores an excessive amount of iron. Iron attacking the cells creates oxidative stress far more than any other when it happens and impairs oxygen utilization. 

Don’t forget that if you can’t properly use oxygen, you will become more acidic, you will feel tired, and even have cognitive problems such as brain fog.

Another reason why iron is dangerous is that the mineral itself attacks the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Mitochondria is critical to creating energy, enzymes, and as well as the aging process. Anything that attacks the mitochondria can cause mitochondrial dysfunction.

What does it mean?

It means that high levels of cellular iron cause inflammation and damage mitochondria, cells, oxygen intake, and overall health.

If you don’t know how important mitochondria health is for longevity, aging, and health, I would suggest the article we mentioned.

High iron levels also increase the availability of free iron, which promotes heart cell death, leading to impaired heart function and mitochondrial dysfunction.

Here: Free Alternative For Optimizing Mitochondria, And Longevity

Protecting Your Mitochondria For Mental Health

Mitochondria not just play an important role in the physical body, as well as the mental body. How?

Our brain cells mostly utilize energy called “ATP,” created by mitochondria. This ATP can be used by the Brain, especially in some of the Brain areas such as the Prefrontal Cortex and Hippocampus. The “hippocampus” area, is highly responsible for learning-related neural activity patterns, mood regulation, and memory formation.

That’s why people can experience better mental clarity when using mitochondrial booster supplements such as Creatine.

Without proper energy feeding in that area, you will feel cognitive disabilities, brain fog, and even mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.

Optimize Your Mitochondria, And, Avoid Iron Overload

Prevention MethodEffectiveness
Donating blood regularlyHighly effective in reducing iron levels
Avoiding the use of iron cookwareModerately effective in reducing iron intake
Avoiding alcoholModerately effective in reducing iron absorption
Drinking black teaModerately effective in reducing iron absorption

For that, everyone should carefully watch iron intake and blood ferritin levels. This is especially for men. Because I remember that I have too much ferritin level (up to 250 ) that affects my health. 

Another important, actually crucial thing that some of the studies show is that iron directly impacts our brain chemicals such as dopamine, serotonin as well as other chemicals. 

For example, one research found that Iron overload has been clearly shown to disrupt neurotransmitter homeostasis and balance. 

Other studies showed that exposure to too much iron disrupts monoaminergic systems, notably the dopaminergic pathway, which results in Parkinson-like symptoms of motor impairment. (source)

Not for that, we all want to optimize dopamine as the crucially impactful brain chemist highly responsible for our mental well-being, motivation, and even libido. For that, “limiting” exposure and “monitoring” our iron are key factors for optimizing neurotransmitters and brain chemicals.

Relationship Between Erectile Dysfunctions, And Iron Overload

Erectile Dysfunction might not relate to just simple things. However, Iron overload affects men’s libido as well as erectile functions like other factors you can check on the table.

See also  Hormesis and Longevity
Erectile Dysfunction CausesPornIron overloadAnxiety
Psychological factorsYesYes
Hormonal imbalancesYes
Neurological issuesYes
Physical conditionsYes

Before, I want to emphasize that the number one reason people nowadays experience Erectile Dysfunction because of exposure to Pornography consumption.  

When you watch binge porn, the brain secrets a reward chemical called “dopamine”.

The main reason porn is addictive is that it highjacks the reproduction system and actually hacks our “primitive part.” It floods the brain with dopamine, which creates a sensation of ecstasy.

The problem is that the excess dopamine causes desensitization and a constant desire to seek novelty; eventually, you won’t feel to motivate keep your erectile “real” partner. For that, avoiding pornography is the number one thing when it comes to long-term libido, as well as dopamine production.

Excess Iron Might Cause Your Erectile Dysfunctions

Don’t be surprised to hear that iron overload can cause erectile dysfunction. Yes, it might be.

According to research, Sexual dysfunction (including erectile and ejaculatory dysfunction) is a typical issue among men with iron overload conditions.

If you experience a lack of sexual desire, you might also address the issues of iron toxicity and test the blood sample to see if it’s too much or not. In my opinion, it should not be more than 50 micrograms per liter for men.

Black Tea Can Lower Iron Overload

Drinking too much Caffeine rich foods isn’t the best choice, but there is some kind of expectation about it. It’s called: “Black Tea.”

I like Black tea because it can help prevent “iron” overload by reducing iron absorption by up to 95 percent. 

On the other hand, Tea(Tannins) also has a significant inhibitory impact on non-heme iron absorption, which contributes to 70-90% of dietary iron.

A unique component called “tannins” is responsible for black tea’s delicious flavor) can help to prevent iron overload.

What do I suggest?

You can use Black Tea after a meal, especially if it’s a high amount of “animal product”; that way, you can prevent yourself from exposure to iron overload. 

If you have high caffeine intolerance and it makes you anxious, you can use high-quality decaffeinated Black Tea or coffee.

It doesn’t actually matter whether caffeinated or not when it comes to polyphenols and health benefits. Also, it won’t change the iron status, because Decaffeinated Black Tea also reduces iron overload coming from meals you eats.

Melatonin Protects Overload Iron

Melatonin is the “sleep hormone” responsible for regulating the sleep cycle. Yet, there are tons of new research showing that it’s not for just “sleep”; Melatonin is also a free radical scavenger, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects.

Melatonin also protects against iron overload. The study suggested that melatonin might reduce the production of destructive free radicals produced by iron toxicity.

You should optimize your melatonin production when it comes to protection from Heavy metals exposure. Without enough melatonin, sorry, but you can’t achieve maximum health.

Related: Why Is Melatonin Important For Well-Being, Anxiety, And Depression? 

Magnesium: Protective Effect On Damage Caused By Iron Overload

Magnesium has become the “best” mineral these days. Why? because we starting to understand a lot of people have deficiency magnesium and show magnesium deficiency-related symptoms.

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But Magnesium does not directly affect iron metabolism and absorption like calcium and vitamin C; magnesium is responsible for more than 250 enzymes, and utilizing these enzymes creates antioxidant protection and damages from Iron overload.

Magnesium And B6 combination can enhance to sleep hormone we talked about “Melatonin” Production, which also protective affects iron overload.

Other Ways To Get Rid of Excess Iron With These Strategies

  • Exercise: If you ask yourself, “is exercise good for iron overload?” I can say YES. Exercise helps you use excess iron for energy and mitochondrial energy, and the body and muscles utilize more iron while exercising and sweating.
  • Milk Thistle: According to studies, milk thistle may reduce ferritin levels, improve liver health, and address other issues related to iron overload. Milk thistle polyphenols, such as silymarin and silybin, have been demonstrated to aid liver function and promote health. 
  • Turmeric (Curcumin): One study found that curcumin supplementation might provide beneficial effects during chronic iron overload via chelating with free iron 
  • Donate blood: The best strategy for optimizing your iron level and helping others is donating blood. On average, you can give 20% of your iron in just one session of blood donation, which will help to overcome iron overload.

Donating blood can be the best strategy because it’s not just to help with “iron overload”; it actually stimulates new blood-creating processes and helps to, overall, better clean blood. (sure, if you feed yourself healthy foods and avoid toxins)

My Favorite Supplement Use For Iron Overload

There is some kind of supplements that can be beneficial for iron overload.

Protection of mitochondria and cells, activating the “cell detox” process, and enzymes are the key factors when it comes to iron overload.

For that, I think the best supplement for protecting environmental toxins and iron that Astaxanthin.

It’s a potent antioxidant and mitochondrial booster, so trout and salmon can survive in hard environments. Astaxanthin helps in anti-aging, protecting cells from excess iron damage.

Astaxanthin has fewer side effects, and even high dosages such as 4-40 mg-s a day are safe.

Another supplement for Iron Overload is Curcumin, Milk Thistle, And Melatonin.

If you are interested in aging, longevity, and health, please read our articles to increase your knowledge. Here: Longevity Lifestyle, Tips, Tricks, And Supplements

Reason You Might Have You Have High Iron Level

Certain kinds of genetic mutation can lead to “iron overload.” But, I think men tend to have twice more iron than their ancestors nowadays because we are not fighting the “war” regularly, and we don’t lose our blood through that process. Also, we tend to use more supplements than past, and most multivitamins have iron inside.

  • Alcohol And Liver Disease: You increase your chance of iron overload significantly if you drink alcohol excessively over an extended period. Also, elevated blood iron measurements (transferrin saturation, ferritin) and hepatic iron content are common in alcoholic liver disease patients. Even modest drinking increases iron overload.
  • People who use high-level B-12: Your blood iron level may be raised to a healthy range with the help of vitamin B-12, which is indirectly linked to the process.
  • Iron Rich Supplements: For men, avoid Iron rich multivitamins and minerals because that can cause iron-overload risk.
  • Hemochromatosis (Iron Overload): There are also genetic conditions that can cause iron overload called hemochromatosis. What happens is that when you eat foods or take supplements, your body absorbs too much iron from the food you eat or the vitamins you take.


I hope this article helped you understand the harmful effect of iron overload on our physical and mental health. My solution is iron overload is Donating blood regularly.

Besides other strategies such as Optimizing gut and health, eating probiotic-rich food such as “kefir” and “sauerkraut” is also good for heavy metal accumulation like excess iron and other heavy metals.

In summary, the main key to whatever you are doing is “reducing inflammation” and becoming healthier via optimizing mitochondria. Heavy metals and excess iron acts opposite; they cause excessive oxidative stress in the body and damage cells.

Thank you!

I teach people about the biohacks and science of optimizing their health and performance. I like to write about Philosophy, Biohacks, Supplements, and Spiritual information supported by science.