The secret to a long life isn’t sipped from the fountain of youth or hidden in a mushroom deep in the forest. It’s not even a code to be “hacked” by anxious billionaires in Silicon Valley. Longevity might hinge — at least partially — on a decidedly less fantastical thing: iron.
Before you go buy iron supplements or tuck into a steak, know this: Your genes may have more influence than anything you put into your body when it comes to how iron relates to longevity. But somewhat counterintuitively, the science does seem to lean toward too much iron being a bigger problem for age-related issues than too little.
“Of course, when you eat a lot of red meat, your iron can also be higher. But the question is if that is directly related,” Joris Deelen tells Inverse. Deelen is a research group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Germany. “We cannot say that if you have a high iron intake that that is also directly related to your mortality,” he says.
Excerpted from Inverse