Iron intake of Phytoplankton/Seafood by pounds

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Iron intake of Phytoplankton/Seafood by pounds

Postby GrimR4per » Sun Jan 06, 2013 11:59 pm

Is it possible to eat "self grown" phytoplankton by the pound like whales with no worry of iron and other minerals building up in the body and mind?

So its impossible to overdose from iron in seafood?

How is it regulated in the human body?
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Project Question: Want to find out how iron intake works in the body.
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Re: Iron intake of Phytoplankton/Seafood by pounds

Postby donnahardy2 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:41 am

Hi,

Welcome to Science Buddies! You have a very good question and this should be an excellent topic for a science project. Humans are very efficient in regulating iron uptake and it is usually not possible to overdose from dietary sources, except in the case of individuals with genetic iron metabolism disorders. The Wikipedia article includes a good review of iron metabolism:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_iron_metabolism

Iron is a limiting nutrient in the ocean and phytoplankton have an amazing ability to concentrate iron from the water.

http://www.tos.org/oceanography/archive/4-2_morel.pdf

Phytoplankton can be a good source of nutrients and an once of plankton contains 2.55 grams of iron. (Try to find a source from the scientific literature; this is a commercial website, so I don't know if the information is reliable).

http://www.livestrong.com/article/47484 ... nutrition/

Generally iron from plant sources is not absorbed efficiently because plants contain phytic acid and other chemicals than inhibit iron absorption. I recommend doing additional searches to find out the chemical composition of phytoplankton because I don't know if they contain phytic acid. I would be concerned about trace concentrations of trace metal ions that might be toxic when consumed in large quantities, but phytoplankton should be a good food source.

What other nutrients would you need to consume along with phytoplankton to make a balanced diet? What essential nutrients are missing?

What type of experiment were you thinking about doing?

Donna Hardy
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Re: Iron intake of Phytoplankton/Seafood by pounds

Postby GrimR4per » Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:03 pm

Hello,

Thank you so much i extremely appreciate. I have read two of those links before among many many others and i try my best to find the information i seek but theres so much false information claimed to be true.

Nearly all the essential nutrients seem to be there and apparently is enough to support all life in the ocean, but like you said large amounts i worry could be toxic, but i still have doubts.

I would like to see the differences in the body and mind between #1 Average diet, #2 Table Spoon of phytoplankton daily with Average diet, #3 Algae only diet, and other custom diets.

What do you think? Is there a diet you think i should research?
GrimR4per
 
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Project Question: Want to find out how iron intake works in the body.
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Project Status: Not applicable

Re: Iron intake of Phytoplankton/Seafood by pounds

Postby donnahardy2 » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:32 am

Hi,

You have made a good observation; it is difficult to find accurate information on this topic. I could not find any references from the scientific literature.

You might consider doing the analysis yourself for a science project and determine the protein, lipid, and carbohydrate profile for phytoplankton. You could also try contacting one of the companies that offers this product, and ask if there is any data available from a qualified testing laboratory. You could also analyze the iron and find out what form it is in, or do an analysis of heavy metal ions.

For your science project, you would not be able to do the testing on humans, but you could compare the nutrients available in the various diets with the recommended levels of selected nutrients:

http://ods.od.nih.gov/Health_Informatio ... takes.aspx

If you analyzed the metal ions in the phytoplankton supplements, you could determine if there are toxic levels of any elements such as cadmium or nickel present.

There are many possible areas of investigation possible on this topic, and each would make a unique project.

Donna Hardy
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