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September 15, 1956

METABOLISM AND REQUIREMENTS OF IRON IN THE HUMAN

Author Affiliations

St. Louis

From the Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1956;162(3):197-204. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.72970200006009
Abstract

Disturbances of iron metabolism may lead to the development of either iron deficiency or iron excess in the body. The latter state, although comparatively rare, is of increasing clinical importance. It occurs in hemochromatosis, in transfusion hemosiderosis as a result of prolonged excessive iron therapy, and as a part of cytosiderosis, an interesting nutritional abnormality found among the Bantus in Africa. Iron deficiency anemia is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies and one of the most prevalent anemias the world over. In order to understand the pathogenesis and treatment of these disorders, one must know the dietary requirements for iron, how the body uses iron, and how the body normally maintains a positive balance while providing safeguards against excessive accumulations of the metal.

An Outline of Iron Metabolism  Iron, as an essential component of hemoglobin, myohemoglobin, the cytochromes, and other enzyme systems, is required for the important physiological functions

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