Iron absorption in relation to iron status. Model proposed to express results to food iron absorption measurements.Scand J Haematol. 1981 Sep; 27(3):201-8.SJ
The absorption from a 3 mg dose of ferrous iron was measured in 250 male subjects. The absorption was related to the log concentration of serum ferritin in 186 subjects of whom 99 were regular blood donors (r = -0.76), and to bone marrow haemosiderin grading in 52 subjects with varying iron status. The purpose was to try and establish a percentage absorption from such a dose that is representative of subjects who are borderline iron deficient. This information is necessary for food iron absorption studies in order (1) to calculate the absorption of iron from the diet at a given iron status and (2) compare the absorption of iron from different meals studied in different groups of subjects by different investigators. The results suggest that an absorption of about 40% of a 3 mg reference dose of ferrous iron is given in a fasting state, roughly corresponds to the absorption in borderline-iron-deficient subjects. The results indicate that this 40% absorption value corresponds to a serum ferritin level of 30 microgram/l and that food iron absorption in a group of subjects should be expressed preferably as the absorption corresponding to a reference-dose absorption of 40%, or possibly a serum ferritin level of 30 microgram/l.