Researchers said men could be more prone to type 2 diabetes as they accumulate more iron than women. As compared to one-fifth of women, two-fifth of men were at risk of the disease.  Iron is a micronutrient, which is required in the formation of some essential body proteins and enzymes, like hemoglobin, cytochromes and peroxidase.  Though it is harmful when stored in excess in the body, it promotes the release of free radicals that damage the secretion capacity of beta cells of the pancreas that produces insulin.  The findings said it also decreases insulin sensitivity in peripheral tissues and organs involved in glucose metabolism. The study showed that men have 61% higher prevalence and 46% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes when compared with women.  Excess body iron accumulation is a known risk factor of type 2 diabetes in hereditary hemochromatosis — a disorder that causes the body to absorb too much iron from the diet. However, the study showed that even mildly elevated body iron contributes to the prevalence and incidence of type 2. This excess iron was found to disturb the glucose metabolism in the body. On the other hand, moderate iron stores were found safer than depletion toward iron deficiency. Iron depletion toward deficiency did not offer protection against type 2 diabetes. The type of association between iron stores and the risk of type 2 diabetes showed that the risk was lowest on moderate levels, the researchers said. — Journal Annals of Clinical Biochemistry, Dec 2016