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The Hemochromatosis Myth


It is a myth that hemochromatosis is a rare condition!  

Two recent studies – Pilling et al, 2019; Tamosauskaite et al, 2019 – have shown that GH / HH can affect unto 20 times more people that previously thought!  The recent report by Professor David Melzer (who we are in contact with regarding our research project) – Exeter University (2019) – showed that having HH ‘quadruples the risk of liver disease and doubles the risk of arthritis, and frailty in older age groups.’

Genetic hemochromatosis is the most common inherited genetic disease in European populations (Powell et al, 2016). Alleles are different forms of the same gene, and if an organism has two copies of the same allele, it is homozygous. In the HFE gene, a homozygous mutation C282Y reduces concentrations of the protein hepcidin – a regulator of iron’s release into the circulation – and could cause excess iron accumulation, also known as iron loading (Pilling et al, 2019).

This mutation is reportedly present in around one in ten northern European people  – so for the UK that is c. 6.7million people, that certainly isn’t rare!  Conventional wisdom suggests that around one in 200 people will be homozygous, – in Ireland that number is reported to be as high as 1 in 83 people!

Let’s keep spreading the word and please keep checking our website for an exciting (soon to be released) announcement about our research project, which will be starting in March 2019.