Narrator: This is Science Today. Iron intake is a tricky subject in medicine. Too little of it in kids can cause cognitive problems, whereas too much of it later in life can promote neurodegenerative diseases. UCLA psychiatrist George Bartzokis, who led a study suggesting that reducing iron may lower age-related brain disease risk, says the problem is that iron accumulates in the body with age.
Bartzokis: The data we have shows that iron in the brain keeps increasing and beyond a certain point, it's actually not healthful and that usually occurs when you're in middle age or older.
Narrator: Since the body has no good system of getting rid of excess metals like iron in the body, Bartzokis recommends having your iron levels checked to avoid unnecessary supplementation.
Bartzokis: And then really cutting down on red meat because by far that's the best source of iron is meat and then the other thing as an aside is that drinking freshly brewed tea or a glass of red wine even when you have red meat, that would actually bind some of the iron so you don't absorb as much of it.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.