8.23_iron_abs_uses_loss

8.23_iron_abs_uses_loss - Iron like any other nutrient must...

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Iron, like any other nutrient, must be present in sufficient amounts to perform its functions, yet not in amounts high enough to cause damage. Too much iron is particularly toxic to cells and once inside the body iron is not easily excreted. So, to protect against toxicity the amount that enters the body is carefully regulated. Figure 8.23 describes the absorption and loss of iron. Iron enters the body from the diet in two main forms, heme and non-heme iron. Heme iron can more easily enter the mucosal cells and the amount absorbed is not affected by other dietary factors. Non-heme iron is less readily absorbed and other factors in the diet can enhance or reduce absorption. For example, vitamin C consumed along with iron can increase its absorbability, while the presence of a large amount of fiber or substances in plant foods, such as phytates and oxalates, impair its absorption. After entering the mucosal cells of the intestine both heme and non-heme iron uptake is regulated by the same
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