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April 21, 1945


JAMA. 1945;127(16):1056. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860160032009

Since the latter part of the seventeenth century it has been known that the red blood cell contains iron; this element forms part of the molecule of hemoglobin and with it is associated the remarkable ability of this pigment to carry oxygen. One of the most direct therapeutic technics is the administration of salts of iron in certain types of anemia; when the condition is due largely to low iron intake or to defective utilization of iron, and when a trace of copper is present, regeneration of hemoglobin follows such treatment. Once it was believed that iron in organic combination is superior to inorganic iron salts. Likewise the debate regarding the efficacy of ferric or trivalent iron salts like ferric ammonium citrate, as compared to that of ferrous or divalent iron such as is present in ferrous carbonate, has persisted. Part of the difficulty undoubtedly has arisen from the variation