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April 16, 1927


JAMA. 1927;88(16):1236-1237. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02680420026013

From a quantitative standpoint the amount of iron—less than 3 Gm.—in the body almost places that element in the category of the "little things" which have pronounced physiologic significance. The part that it plays as a component of hemoglobin, the respiratory pigment of the blood, has long been well recognized. Discussions of hematologic changes, such as the anemias represent, commonly involve questions of the supply and assimilation of iron. The school child is taught that iron helps "to build rich, red blood," and the more expert student presently is made to realize that some compounds of iron may furnish the element in a more readily available form than do others. The debates regarding the efficiency of organic versus inorganic iron have not yet died out. Of late, the iron problem in nutrition has been enlarged through the realization that the element is a component of the chromatin substances which appear