Any discussion of blood building must begin with iron. Why is iron needed? The hemoglobin in our red blood cells delivers oxygen to our tissues, and the major function of iron is to form hemoglobin. Iron must also be present for the formation of myoglobin, a red, iron-containing protein pigment in the muscles. Similar to hemoglobin, myoglobin delivers oxygen to the muscle cells.
Equally important, but not generally known, is iron’s role in the production of energy (ATP). (Iron plays a central role in “oxidative phosphorylation,” the process by which ATP is produced aerobically, or with the use of oxygen.) This energy production occurs in the mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell.
How does the process work? Iron is contained in carrier molecules called “cytochromes.” Electrons move through the cycle and lose their energy to ATP, which is a form of energy the body can use. The electrons are carried through the cycle by iron. In the final step of this process the electrons are added to oxygen, which combines with hydrogen to form water. The oxygen is supplied by the iron-rich hemoglobin.
The bottom line of all these scientific processes is simple: more energy for the bodybuilder.
Anemias are conditions in which the blood becomes deficient in hemoglobin, in red blood cells or in total volume. Iron deficiency is the most common type of anemia, but it is only one of many types. The nutritional anemias can also result from any one of the following causes:
- Inadequate intake (dietary deficiency);
- Poor absorption or utilization;
- Increases in requirement, excretion or destruction.
Iron-deficiency anemia usually results from inadequate intake or increased requirements (e.g., pregnancy or menstruation). We should remember, however, that clinical anemia is the result of subtle changes at the cellular and storage levels, with a resultant decrease in iron concentration. (The liver stores 15-30% of the body’s total iron as ferritin.)
These early changes are not obvious, even on the usual screening lab tests, but they could be evident as reduced energy, power and endurance in the weight room. If iron depletion is more profound, we see alterations in certain blood tests (such as transferrin, cytochrome oxidase, serum iron levels, etc.), but still no pathological changes of the red blood cells. When iron deficiency is overt, we see pathological changes, signs and symptoms. Now anemia is obvious.
Is an iron supplement really needed? According to one source, up to 25% of all infants, 6% of all children, 15% of all menstruating women and 30% of pregnant women suffer overt iron deficiency anemia. Iron deficiency not severe enough to cause overt anemia may be seen in 50% of all infants, 50% of menstruating women and 90% of pregnant women.1
The World Health Organization reports that 20% of the people in the world lack adequate iron. The USDA reports about 10% of this country’s diets are deficient in iron. A 1969 Public Health Survey showed 15% of the total US population to be anemic. Male adolescents showed more evidence of malnutrition than females. Iron stores were found to be absent in a large number of the females in a study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association.2
A bodybuilder must have iron. And he or she cannot afford to have anemia of any type. That’s why the In-vigerol supplement is so important in your diet.
But, as mentioned earlier, blood is not built by iron alone. And that’s why Invigerol does not end with iron — in fact, iron is only the beginning with this supplement.
Folic acid and Vitamin B12 deficiencies cause another type of anemia called “megaloblastic anemia.” Folic acid anemia is usually due to dietary deficiencies, poor absorption or increased requirements. Lack of folic acid intake is the single most common vitamin deficiency in the United States. About 33% of the pregnant women in the world develop megaloblastic anemia, and many more suffer less obvious folate deficiencies.3 Folic acid comes in many forms, but I believe only the monoglutamic folate is absorbed well. That is why Invigerol contains 100% of the RDA of monoglutamic folate.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is almost invariably due to poor absorption. The absorption of B12 is complicated. After the vitamin is separated from food by digestion it can combine with a substance called “intrinsic factor” (secreted by the stomach), or with nonintrinsic factor B12 binding proteins.
What happens? Only the B12 bound to intrinsic factor is absorbed; the nonintrinsic factor B12 is not. For best absorption, B12 must be removed from nonintrinsic B12 and then combined with intrinsic factor. This requires the enzyme trypsin. So we have added pancreatic enzymes containing trypsin to Invigerol.
Invigerol also contains Vitamin B6.
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