Dietary Iron Absorption | Action Medical Research | Children's Charity | Children's Charity

Dietary iron absorption

This research was completed on 31 October 2004

Project LeaderDr J Powell PhD, FRSC, Dr A C Y Li MRCP, Dr R P H Thompson DM, FRCP, Dr A Warley PhD and Dr A McKie PhD.
LocationGastrointestinal Laboratory and the Department of Ophthalmology, The Rayne Institute, St Thomas' Hospital and the Departments of Molecular Medicine and Nutrition, King's College London, London.
Grant awarded7 November 2002
Start date1 November 2002
End date31 October 2004
Grant amount£101,154.00
Grant codeSP3840

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Iron is an essential nutrient for many body processes. Iron deficiency is the most prevalent nutritional disorder in developing countries, whilst each year in the UK, thousands of people are hospitalised with either iron deficiency or unspecified anaemia. Shortage may lead to anaemia or fatigue, which affects 30% of the World's population. On the other hand, the common and inherited condition haemochromatosis, is characterised by excessive absorption of dietary iron, and if untreated can lead to diabetes, heart disease and liver cirrhosis. Recently, proteins have been discovered in intestinal cells that are responsible for iron absorption. Using electron microscopes, the team aims to locate these iron proteins within human intestinal cells and compare them with the distribution of iron within the same cells. A better understanding of iron transport and storage will help explain how we all absorb iron and why some people absorb too little and others too much.

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