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Article
April 1937

RETENTION AND UTILIZATION OF ORALLY ADMINISTERED IRON

Author Affiliations

IOWA CITY

From the Department of Internal Medicine, the State University of Iowa.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1937;59(4):561-571. doi:10.1001/archinte.1937.00170200003001
Abstract

Although there is a voluminous literature on both iron balances and hypochromic anemia, no systematic study has been made to determine the amount of iron retained by patients with anemia who recover after the administration of massive doses of iron. We wish to present the results of such studies of patients with hypochromic anemia who were given large amounts of iron by mouth.

The effectiveness of iron in the treatment of hypochromic anemia has been repeatedly demonstrated, and failure to obtain the expected therapeutic response is usually due to a complicating infection or to the employment of a suboptimal amount of iron. It has been recognized, however, that the intake of iron is greatly in excess of the amount retained or utilized by the body, and Heath,1 in confirmation of this view, has shown that only 3.4 per cent of the iron administered orally is utilized in the production

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