The Douglass Report November 2013

November 2013 PDF

Beat dementia with this one mineral...?


It’s the superhero with the power to save your brain, protect your memory and prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

It’s IRON MAN——or, for you ladies, IRON WOMAN——but I’m not talking about the clown in the metal suit on movie screens or in comic books. You can be your OWN superhero, because new research shows how “iron power” could turn out to be the ultimate weapon in the fight against cognitive decline.

But here’s the problem: If you’re like a growing number of seniors, you might be falling short when it comes to iron. And odds are, you can thank a doctor for that. You know, the kind who will tell you to pass on the meat and stick to a diet of bunny chow.

He’ll claim a veg-heavy diet is the key to healthy aging, especially the brain protection we’re all so desperately looking for. But the real key is in the fats, proteins, vitamins and IRON you’ll find in all the foods he’s urging you not to eat: beef, dark meat poultry, fatty pork and organ meats such as liver.

In low-but-essential doses, the iron you’ll find in these and other meats is critical to your hair, skin, immune system and more.

But none of that’s as important as what it can do upstairs, because without iron...


Iron is critical to hemoglobin, and hemoglobin is needed to carry oxygen around your body via your red blood cells.

Your entire body needs that oxygen, of course, but there’s no part of your body that’s quite as thirsty for it as your brain. Your brain makes up just 2 percent of your body weight, but it sucks up 20 percent of all your oxygen. And when it doesn’t get what it needs, it starts to shut down. You lose brain cells, and memories with them.

Yes, it’s that important——and that’s why seniors who have the low levels of iron that mark anemia have a 41 percent higher risk of dementia, according to a major new study.

And while there are other possible causes of anemia——including low B12 (another nutrient you’ll get from meat)——the big one, especially among seniors, is low iron.

And that brings me back to that doctor I just mentioned... the one who gets giddy when he gets to lecture you like a child about what you eat. The one who is practically ordering you to eat all the wrong foods.

It’s time to turn those orders around and give your body what it REALLY needs for healthy aging and brain protection——what it really needs to be an IRON MAN or IRON WOMAN. So forget his low-fat veg-heavy diet advice. Instead follow my DOS and DON’TS for healthy iron lev-els and you’ll build an iron shield to protect your brain and prevent dementia caused by anemia:

DO eat plenty of fresh meats, especially liver, as they’re among the best natural sources of iron around. As a bonus, fresh meats are also a great source of brain-protecting B vitamins——and B vitamins can also help prevent dementia.

DON’T overcook your steak. The more you cook it, the more iron it’ll lose——so be sure to enjoy it so rare that you can still hear the “moo.”

DO make an appointment with a naturopathic physician to have your blood work checked so he can go over your iron levels and make sure you have what you need.

DON’T stop with a single test. Your risk of anemia rises with each turn of the calendar. You’ll find it in less than 10 percent of young adults and the middle-aged, but in a quarter of all seniors——so be sure to have your iron levels checked at least once a year.

DO watch for the other signs of iron deficiency and anemia, including fatigue, dizziness, a superfast heartbeat, headaches and unusually cold hands and feet. If you experience any of that, get in touch with your doc right away.

DON’T start popping iron supplements unless you’ve been diagnosed with an iron deficiency. Too much iron can be as bad as too little——maybe even worse, as buildups of iron can actually damage the brain rather than save it.

DO make sure you get plenty of vitamin C, which can quadruple the amount of iron you absorb from your food.

DON’T eat soy. I can write a book on all the reasons to avoid this toxic non-food, but let me stick to iron——because one of the (many) dangerous compounds in soy is phytate, which can impair your body’s ability to absorb iron.

Not by a little bit, either——because even a small amount of phytate can slash your iron absorption by up to 65 percent.

Care to guess what the nutritional bars and supplement drinks marketed to seniors are usually loaded with? Yes... soy. No wonder iron deficiencies are on the rise!

Finally, let me give you the best DO of all: DO drink up. While most alcoholic drinks don’t contain much iron, the booze itself can enhance your body’s ability to absorb the iron that’s in your food. (Isn’t that great?)

So grill yourself a juicy steak and crack open an ice-cold beer——you’ve got a brain to protect and a disease to prevent.