So much Iron!

Life as it is can be very funny.

Iron is a very important substance to our very existence.

According to dictionary.com, there are about thirty different contexts in which iron can be correctly defined. Click here if you are interested in the various meanings.

For the non biology enthusiasts, (for lack of a better word) Iron is a nutrient that is necessary for nearly all living things to function.

About 65 – 75 % of the body’s iron is found in the blood in the form of hemoglobin which is a major component of our red blood cells. In fact, hemoglobin happens to be the one component of blood that gives is it the characteristic red colour. So, in other words, if there was no iron, blood will probably be another colour.

Maybe pink, maroon or even blue… Talk about the blue bloods.

  • A lack of iron in the diet may result in the development of iron deficiency anemia.
  • The greatest need for iron is during growth or periods of blood loss. Women take note.

Iron is a very important part of our diet. We’ve got to have it and we cannot live with out it. Ironically, too much of it can be a bad thing for us. Iron in moderately high levels can even cause cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes, and congestive heart failure. So what is the difference between consuming large doses of alcohol and iron now? Unless of course that alcohol encourages iron absorption into the blood stream, I am at the same average risk of getting a heart attack or liver cirrhosis as the woman who has never taken alcohol in her life but consumes large doses of iron supplements every month.

The irony of life: ALL DIE NA DIE…

We consume this seemingly high level of iron in an effort to keep anemia away and then there are others who consume it because they believe iron increases their strength. Iron is also a poison when we consume too much. Research in the United States found that all those sweet tasting and colorful iron pills poison about 20,000 children a year, sometimes fatally and that Iron is the most frequent medication associated with pediatric poisoning deaths.

Let’s leave the U.S.A for a bit and come a little close home…. Another irony awaits.

Scene change: Mother Africa. * For this side we dey chop iron!* 😀 😀 😀

For example, members of the Bantu tribe in South Africa consume large quantities of an alcoholic beer that is brewed in iron pots. This beer contains 750 times more iron in it than American beer. Mkomboti I believe it is called…Rumors have it that some members of this tribe have been known to set off metal detectors at airports and other security check points. Talk about winning!

That’s some wolverine stunts right there… I want!

In Nigeria however, when we chop iron, we chop it in style. From childhood, majority of Nigerians do not even have a choice. From carrying heavy metal buckets and traveling long distances to fetch water to lifting heavy weights at make shift gyms at our backyards. Iron is being chopped in large amounts in Nigerian ghettos.

Chopping Iron from Childhood.

The irony of the situation in this case is that this doesn’t give you any of the previously mentioned sicknesses but can actually help to prevent the likelihood of getting them. This ‘ironisation’ method will also not enable you set off alarms at metal detectors world over which sucks really, but there you go… at least you end up having killer muscles and abs.

He is work in progress!

Plus, don’t think that this sort of iron chopping is indigenous to Nigeria o!

There is an American body building magazine also called the ironman magazine which promotes the iron chopping sport. Yes, there are professional iron choppers out there. Pro body builders they call themselves. I know, sick- sick world we live in but hey, if there are professional wrestlers, (the WWE kind) I guess the pro body builders have a point to do what they do. But kai…

Another irony is there is a real sport out there partaken by hardworking men and women (triathlon) and they gather once a year in the USA to compete in the Ironman U.S Championship. These are real athletes and I wonder how they do it. You swim for miles, then cycle more miles and then run a few more kilometers.

* Shrugs & shivers*. I will just die.

Shout out to the dry cleaners, washa men, abokis, gatemen, etc who iron press our clothes. I suck at ironing and really don’t wanna learn how to do it.

*Insert Kanye shrug*

Irony man.

As a side note, would you find it rather ironic that ironman is my 2nd favourite super hero? Only if Iron man knows how to iron will he beat Batman to second place.

P.S:

  1. There are 50 occurrences of the word iron in this post.
  2. Irony is actually pronounced: /A – yuh –nee/.
  3. If you have time to go and count the number of times iron occurs in this post you are jobless.
  4. If you don’t believe me, your face should be stamped with a hot iron.

Larry Sushey say so.