March 13, 2018 | John Paul Catanzaro
I’m asked a number of different health-related questions pretty much on a daily basis. People are searching for natural alternatives to the conventional approach. A topic that comes up often is birth control – that’s one area that I can’t offer much assistance with.
You see, my wife and I used a method of birth control known as natural family planning, and we had three wonderful surprises! I’ve been able to help a few couples with fertility struggles achieve their “wonderful surprise,” but don’t ask me about birth control!
Recently, however, I discovered a natural alternative that may be better than a condom, which usually contains toxic chemicals and hormone disruptors. Here’s how it happened.
Once a year, I like to get extensive blood work done to check all my levels. An area of concern for me is ferritin, the storage form of iron. My ferritin levels are typically elevated, most likely due to my high red meat intake, so I monitor it to make sure that it doesn’t get out of hand.
One way to deal with iron overload is a phlebotomy (i.e., giving blood), but unless it’s extremely high, a doctor won’t recommend it. You could always donate blood instead. Since I have a condition known as thalassemia (a blood disorder that occurs most often in people of Meditarreanean origin), they don’t want my blood!
There’s a supplement known as inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) that can be used for this purpose, but it’s not selective for iron – it will bring down other minerals as well and that can be detrimental (e.g., sore teeth can occur if it lowers calcium too much).
On the other hand, curcumin (the active ingredient of the spice turmeric) seems to be more selective and can do a good job at lowering iron levels, particularly in a topical cream form. You can read more about this at https://www.myhemochromatosishelp.com/products/hemochromatosis-help-turmeric-cream
There may be another use for turmeric cream as well. Check out this study:
Then read this article:
A word of warning: in vitro doesn’t mean in vivo! Just sayin’…
Curcumin has shown to have many health benefits. It’s a popular “anti-aging” supplement. If you decide to take it in capsule form, make sure there’s a key ingredient along with it to improve the absorption (see Vitality In A Pill for more information).
In cream form, curcumin may be an effective way to reduce iron overload. I’m doing a little n=1 experiment right now. So far, the results are decent but not earth-shattering. After four weeks of applying the cream before bed, my ferritin levels have dropped from 348 ug/L to 332 ug/L. The reference range is 22-275 ug/L, so there’s still a ways to go, but at this rate, I should be able to get within that range by six months. I’ll keep you posted.
Take-Home Message: Curcumin can reduce the build-up of iron in the body. It may also be a great “natural” method of birth control. More studies are needed, of course, but the preliminary results look promising.