IRON• The total body iron content of normal adults is 4.3 and 2.3gms in men and women respectively.• Iron is an essential mineral that carries oxygen and forms part of the haemoglobin in our red blood cells and myoglobin in muscle.• Iron is primarily stored in the liver, spleen and bone marrow in the form of ferritin.
FUNCTIONS• The purpose of Iron is to help red blood cells carry oxygen to all parts of the body.• Almost two-thirds of the iron in your body is found in hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to your body’s tissues.• Smaller amounts of iron are found in myoglobin, a protein that helps supply oxygen to muscle, and in enzymes that assist biochemical reactions in cells
SOURCES FOR IRON• Liver, egg yolk red meat, fish and shellfish, lentils, beans and soy foods, green leafy vegetables, and raisins.• Milk is very low in iron.• Iron utensils also increases iron content of food.
ABSORPTION• Site :proximal portion of intestine• The absorption of iron in normal persons is only 5-10 % of iron taken in food is absorbed.• Normal absorption is about 0.5 to 1 mg/day in adult male. 1 to 2 mg/day in normal menstruating women. 3 to 4 mg/day during pregnancy.• Loss of iron :The body use iron very efficiently and very little amount is lost which amounts to 0.5 to 1 mg iron loss/ day
FACTOR INCREASES IRON ABSORPTION• Low body stores of iron.• Condition associated with increased rate of erythrpoiesis.• Taking ascorbic acid, succinic acid , fructose and sorbitol along with iron.• Intake of inorganic iron.• Pathological conditions Hemochromatosis Cirrhosis of liver Pancreatic insufficency
FACTOR INHIBITING IRON ABSORPTION• Malabsorption syndromes.• Diarrheal disease.• An excess of phosphates, oxalates and phytic acid.• Subtotal gastrectomy• Surgical removal of the upper small intestine.• Food intake along with iron.• Antacid therapy.• Chronic infections.• High body stores of iron.
DISEASE STATES• Iron deficiency Anemia.• Hemochromatosis.• Hemosiderosis.• Iron deficiency during pregnancy.