Iron Absorption in Human Body

Medical / Biology Notes on Iron Absorption Process in body & Role of Vitamin C as Reducing Agent in word/ .doc / .ppt Format

Iron Absorption

Ease with which this varies depends upon whether the iron is haem iron or non-haem iron. Haem iron is easily absorbed. Most of the non haem iron is ferric (Fe+++) iron and is insoluble.

For absorption, it has to become soluble and ferrous (Fe++) iron. Gastric HCl makes the iron soluble and vitamin C (a strongly reducing agent) converts ferric into ferrous iron.Thus, persons whose stomach has been removed or persons deficient in vitamin C suffer from iron deficiency.

The non-haem iron after becoming soluble and ferrous iron enters within the epithelium of the intestinal mucosa → here (1) a part of this iron binds with apoferritin and becomes ferritin which may be lost via feces or may be absorbed in future. (ii) Another part of iron enters plasma and is transported being bound with a protein called 'transferrin'. Iron is delivered from this transferrin (rather, iron-transferrin complex) to the various cells which utilise the iron (eg. RBM and others).

Haem iron absorption

Hb enters the within of the intestinal mucosal cell and for this neither Vitamin C nor HCI is required. Within the cell the iron comes out of the Hb.

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