Do low iron stores protect women from heart attacks?

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters

Women are somewhat protected from developing heart disease – until we hit menopause, that is.

Many cardiologists believe that the hormone estrogen is women’s secret cardioprotective weapon, until our production of estrogen tapers off and our heart attack rates rise dramatically at menopause to surpass men’s rates. That’s an increasingly  controversial theory, however.

Researchers from Finland, for example, now question this estrogen theory in light of a remarkable study that appears to link iron depletion with protection of heart health. This hypothesis has actually been kicked around by scientists since 1981, when they first observed that the lower rate of heart attacks in menstruating women was associated with relatively low levels of stored iron.   click to continue reading