this is certainly a useful idea..
>On the horizon, said Potrykus, is genetically modified rice with
>twice the amount of iron. Iron deficiency anemia, the most common
>nutritional disorder in the world, affects nearly 2 billion people,
>capabilities. Between 40 and 50 percent of children under 5 in
>developing countries are iron deficient. To double the iron
>content in the rice, researchers added a ferritin gene derived from
>a French bean.
while that isn't, but just a perfect example, why initially we
should distrust such ways of "improvement" of nutrition.
it is known for at least 20 years, that iron (or better its
absence or low rates in blood) plays an important part in the
body's defence mechanism against bacteria. there are a lot of
research papers (not just a few), which clearly show, that
well-meant supplementation of iron (and especially
supplementation among malnutrient african people in hot climates
with high risks of epidemics spreading) leads to a highly !!
increased (about 80-90%) infection rate among the supplemented
people. the same with your black "top gunners", which the usaf set
off from their planes because of the risk of oxygen deficiency.
put your fighting crews to a country with malaria and you will see,
that you made a big error with setting them off their flying job;-
))). oxygen deficiency is nature's heterocygots answer to malaria...
nature itsself shows the way to avoid such infections. you know,
that an egg as a whole contains high levels of free iron. BUT:
only in the egg yolk, not in the albumen. in the white of the egg
iron is strongly bound to conalbumin. so any bacteria (which for
growth highly depend on enough free iron) invading the eggshell
will lack this essential nutrient and will starve and thus not
human breast milk contains 20% lactoferrin, also strongly binding
free iron (in contrast to cows's milk with 2%). that's one of the
most important reasons, why breastfed children get less
infections that bottle-fed ones. lactoferrin is also found in
high concentrations in wound regions, in tears and saliva. what
does these findings tell you ? and the researchers, who found
conalbumin, predicted, that there must be a similar molecule for
binding iron. yep, it was sound found: transferrin !! transferrin
is binding iron VERY strongly and is only donating it to cells
with a special marker. guess why ? NO bacteria DO have that
now comes the tricky part. people with a lack of iron also have
only about 20-10% of the normal transferrin serum levels. if you
offer iron supplementation to these people (esp. if underfed),
they will very soon show signs of dangerous infections (mortality
is also much higher).
here is the real problem with these reductionist researchers.
their knowlegde in own field it the limit for the sky. you can
easily replace a 2 hours' research in the library by 2 months
just working in the lab. !! the simple thing they should have
done was a medline search with "leucocyte endogenious mediator"
or "LEM". dozens of related articles.
one of them:
There is growing evidence that normal or only mildly increased
amounts of iron in the liver can be damaging, particularly when
they are combined with other hepatotoxic factors such as alcohol,
porphyrogenic drugs, or chronic viral hepatitis. Iron enhances
the pathogenicity of microorganisms, adversely affects the
function of macrophages and lymphocytes, and enhances fibrogenic
pathways, all of which may increase hepatic injury due to iron
itself or to iron and other factors. Iron may also be a
co-carcinogen or promoter of hepatocellular carcinoma, even in
patients without HC or cirrhosis. Based on this and other
evidence, we hope that the era of indiscriminate iron
supplementation will come to an end. Bloodletting, a therapy much
in vogue 2 centuries ago, is deservedly enjoying a renaissance,
based on our current understanding of the toxic effects of iron
and the benefits of its depletion.
NLM PUBMED CIT. ID: 8723325
SOURCE: Semin Liver Dis 1996 Feb;16(1):65-82
or (a deep view)
E.D. Weinberg; Physiological reviews, 64:65-102
(1984) (yes 1984!!)
also very informative
V. Gordeuk et al; NEJM 327: 1473-1477 (1992)
science could be a real advancement/benefit for mankind, if only
these researchers would be willing to discuss their views with
researchers from other disciplines prior to claim to be the
redeemer everyone waited for and to offer the ultimate solution for
the starving rest of the world. instead some of them "play" (for
them it is merely a play, they do not get ill) the devil in sheep's
clothes. why don't they stick to their field of knowledge and
just say : we are able to breed rice with high levels of iron and
then stop any ill-bred speculation before talking to nutritional
experts. pure arrogant behaviour: we are experts in breeding, so
we are also educated for being experts for the rest of science...
btw: hemochromatosis (iron overload) is also the most common
recessive disorder in america - 10% of you are carriers for these
genes and iron is cause #1 in poisoning among children
(swallowing iron supplementation pills)
imagine this nice situation: an agricultural scientist, a farmer,
a biologist and a (don't know, maybe a geologist, a soil or
nutrition expert, a veterinary or even an historian or a sales
manager) trying to discuss and solve a problem TOGETHER..... btw:
our BML/FAL (counterpart of your USDA) highly praises your
american land grant colleges for working in a more
interdisciplinary way (research, education and counseling in one
institution) than our research institutes....
the whole is not a special problem of medicine, but also of
agriculture. if only organic and conventional farmers would be
willing to sit together on one table and discuss their knowledge
and experiences. it would be an advantage for both of the groups.
i tried to get them together for years, but in vain. it seems, as
if they are in a war of the worlds against each other. the
conventional farmers do "nothing but spending their leasure time
to look, if and where they might find a spraying window", the
others are "digging cats at fullmoon and consulting witches and
throwing bones to fight scab".......
i learned something very interesting in a study of treating
mealdew on cucumbers. organic growers treat their plants BEFORE
any visible infection with equisetum (and according to maria von
thun and steiner they have to stirr the melting pot with the
plant-extract and water with a special ritual - something like 20
times to the left , then 20 times to the right at at a given
speed, a special time of the day and a special moon phase). i
tried it on cucumbers and it worked. i tried it with just
stirring the way, speed and time i liked it - it worked !!! then
i put the leaves under an electronic microscope and i saw: the
cuticula of the leaves got hurt by the silicium crystals and the
plant reacted by building stronger cell walls and adding lignin
to the cuticula. which the fungi then are less easily to
penetrate by cell lysis !!! nothing mysterious about moon phases
and "gaia" energies, pure physics and chemistry, but also no
"biologic-dynamic mumbo-jumbo", which should be forbidden by law.
just a real good working solution for a real problem.
same problem for the other side:
if organic matter is so important: on our experimental station we
get about 12 to/ha/y of organic residues in the soil for
conventional farming and only half of it for the organic plots.
so contemplating production of organic matter conventional
farming should add more humus (although i see a VERY big problem
here: organic matter is NOT humus. add tons of sawdust to your
fields and you highly improve your % of organic matter. do we
agree, that this does not have an adequate advantage ?. there is
not easy and cheap way to analyse real HUMUS, usually you get %
of organic matter from the lab !!) nevertheless leaching of
nitrate under "organic" production is reduced, although o.m. is
lower. no answer for that fact !!!
and over the years i could see one of the
advantages/disadvantages of the two systems in our experimental
station, when it's time for plowing the fields and you ask, who
is going to plow. in dry years lots of voluntaries for the
organic field plots and few for the conventional plots. in wet
years: noone to find for the "organic" parts of the station,
everyone wants to plow the conventional farmed areas.....
farming isn't just about black and white...(or organic versus
THAT'S a real problem. noone of the two opposite groups is
willing to listen to the other one, although they BOTH could
learn from each other. times are not so favorable to farmers
as a whole, that they can tear themselfes to pieces ignoring
their global bad situation. to me sustainable agriculture is not
about organic or conventional, but more to survival as independant
and one of the most important parts of society...
a special european problem ??
again a question to misha (comments from others by all means also
welcome) : how would a PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION manager deal
with this situation ? how would you bring these TWO groups
together on ONE roundtable ??? (did you?). an invitation to a
free beer or wine did not work !!
Landwirtschaftl. Untersuchungs- u. Forschungsanstalt (LUFA)
(Governm. Inst. for Agricult. & Environm. Res.)
67346 Speyer, Obere Langgasse 40 (GERMANY)
Dept. of Seed Sci., Microscop. Analysis & Plant Pathol.
To Unsubscribe: Email email@example.com with the command
"unsubscribe sanet-mg". If you receive the digest format, use the command
To Subscribe to Digest: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the command
All messages to sanet-mg are archived at: