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Iron Deficiency

ferritinWhat Is Iron?

Iron is an essential mineral that is required for normal body function.

Almost two-thirds of iron in the body is found in hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to tissues. Smaller amounts of iron are found in myoglobin, a protein that helps supply oxygen to muscle, and in enzymes that assist biochemical reactions.

Iron is also found in proteins that store iron for future needs and that transport iron in blood.

Q: How are iron stores regulated?

A:Iron stores are regulated by intestinal iron absorption.1That is, whenever iron is needed, more iron is absorbed than when iron is sufficient. This mechanism prevents excess iron in the body which is harmful.

In the brain, iron is necessary to ensure oxygenation and to produce energy in the cerebral parenchyma (via cytochrome oxid. ase), and for the synthesis of neurotransmitters and myelin.

Iron concentrations in the umbilical artery are critical during the development of the fetus, and in relation with the IQ in the child.2

What Is Iron Deficiency In Celiac Disease and/or Gluten Sensitivity?


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  1. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iron-HealthProfessional accessed 12/11/12 

  2. Bourre JM. Effects of nutrients (in food) on the structure and function of the nervous system: update on dietary requirements for brain. Part 1: micronutrients. J Nutr Health Aging. 2006 Sep-Oct; 10(5):377-85. 

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