Iron oxide is an important biological agent that has a key role in medical processes; however, the mechanism whereby it provides iron for human and animal cells and its biological uses remains unclear. We aimed to evaluate the effects of oral iron oxide on serum iron status and compare the results with those of iron sulfate as a reference salt. Fifteen adult rabbits were divided into 3 groups of 5 each: control group, iron sulfate group, and iron oxide group. The groups received doses of 3.3, 10, and 33 mg/kg in 3 experiments. Venous blood samples were obtained just before the oral administration of iron sulfate and iron oxide (3.3 mg/kg). More blood samples were taken 3 times at the time points of 1, 6, and 12 hours after the administration of the solutions. Serum was separated for the measurement of iron (Fe) and total iron-binding globulin (TIBG) with routine methods. One week later, the same experiment was repeated with 10 mg/kg of iron sulfate and iron oxide; and 1 week later after the second experiment, again the same experiment was repeated with 33 mg/kg of iron sulfate and iron oxide. The results showed that 33 mg/kg of iron sulfate 1 hour after treatment caused a significant difference in the Fe and TIBG levels between all the groups (P=0.014 for Fe and P=0.027 for TIBG). Our data showed that the absorption of iron oxide was similar to that of ferrous sulfate and in high doses was as useful as iron supplement.
Keywords: Blood iron; Ferric oxide; Ferrous sulfate; Rabbit.