One of the key biomarkers is the level of iron in the blood. Of course, iron can be normal, high or low. It is vital to the health of each person to keep that iron in an ideal range. Too low and we will either be looking at lack of dietary iron, absorption problems or loss from bleeding. Too high and we will be looking at problems with digestion and elimination and ways to lower iron. It is vital to lower high iron into normal range as excess iron is highly toxic.
To help lower iron you can donate blood or use IP-6. IP-6 can have a number of desirable effects for the body besides binding free iron. These include boosting activity of NK (natural killer) cells and lowers inflammatory cytokine TNF-alpha. Excess free iron has been associated with some cancers, bacterial overgrowths, susceptibility to viral and fungal infections and fatty liver. As a side note, some studies indicate that this is one of the few agents that can safely bind and eliminate uranium as well as iron. Uranium levels can be ascertained with a hair analysis.
If you are reading about taking IP-6 for iron overload, you may have considered donating blood to help lower iron. Each donation can lower your iron by about 30 points and then only once every two months. So even if you are an acceptable donor, this probably won't be adequate to control high iron. Personally, I can't donate blood as I lived in Europe for several years during the Mad Cow scare. The FDA has ruled that anyone living in Europe during that time for more than a long vacation is banned from contributing to the blood supply.
IP6 should always be taken on a very empty stomach (4 to 6 hours after meals and at least 30 minutes before eating) with a full glass of water to carry IP6 through your stomach and into your intestine swiftly for proper absorption. Any food at all present in your stomach will largely deactivate most of the benefit you might get from IP6. Similar problems will occur if you take it without adequate water to carry it swiftly through your stomach. Mucus, prostaglandins, acids and gastric secretions can damage IP6 if they are not diluted with water.
Don't confuse IP-6 with simple inositol. Some people need fairly large doses of inositol to get their desired effect. IP-6 should work just fine with one or two doses of 500mg each per day.
Some people recommend three weeks on and one week off of IP-6 therapy. This will minimize any collateral binding of zinc or other important metals. A general recommendation is 3 months of daily use then begin with something like 3 weeks on and one week off. Let your blood test be your guide here.
The list of potential negative effects from IP-6 seem to be short and include dental sensitivities.
Like most treatments, you should test, treat and retest. If your iron levels are not dropping with IP-6, it may be due to not paying attention to the empty stomach and lots of water just mentioned. You may also need to add regular inositol along with the IP-6.
Although studies indicate that mineral depletion of zinc and magnesium do not occur if taken away from food, you might supplement these anyway just to be sure. Be sure to take zinc and magnesium and other minerals apart from the IP-6.
To read up more on IP-6: