The hazards of iron loading

Metallomics. 2010 Nov;2(11):732-40. doi: 10.1039/c0mt00023j. Epub 2010 Sep 24.

Abstract

Excessive or misplaced tissue iron now is recognized to pose a substantial health risk for an extensive array of endocrinological, gastrointestinal, infectious, neoplasmic, neurodegenerative, obstetric, ophthalmic, orthopedic, pulmonary and vascular diseases. Ingested, injected, inhaled and decompartmentalized iron contributes not only to disease, but also to aging and mortality. Iron is dangerous by catalyzing free radical formation and by serving as an essential nutrient for microbial and neoplasmic cell invaders. Our body cells exhibit wide variation in sensitivity to iron toxicity. Efficacy of our iron withholding defense system is modulated by numerous environmental, behavioral and genetic factors. A notable variety of methods for prevention and therapy of iron toxicity are now becoming available.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Iron Overload* / prevention & control
  • Iron, Dietary

Substances

  • Iron, Dietary