Monday, August 24, 2009

Creatures Called "Men"

I gave blood today to Lydia Of The Red Cross, who was named for the Biblical woman who played some part in the Judeo-X'ian story; she was also the dyer of the royal robes, I was told. So, I told this Lydia about Murex (a seashell with a violet inner layer) and its discovery by the Phoenicians as the sole source of a purple dye so precious that only royalty could afford it. That's why purple is associated with royalty, by the way.

So, having bonded with this historically-aware blood-taker, she taught me something important about men and iron. Whereas women lose blood monthly and need to replace it, which requires prodigious quantities of iron, men do not lose blood monthly (unless they live in a leech-infested lagoon, or are REALLY clumsy with a kitchen knife ;). We men get plenty of iron from red meat and other sources, and if we are lucky enough to reach our 50's or 60's, and if we diligently take multivitamins that contain iron, we often work up an iron excess, which can be VERY bad for our continued survival. Seems the body is not able to reduce its iron level. I had my blood tested last week, and it was OK, but my doc confirmed that iron excess in men is a problem and is to be avoided. Donating blood is one way to work off an excess of iron. Switching to a "men's" multivitamin, which does not contain iron, is another way. So, meat-eating men, check your vitamins for content!

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