Iron losses in sweat

Am J Clin Nutr. 1986 Mar;43(3):438-43. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/43.3.438.


The losses of iron in whole body cell-free sweat were determined in eleven healthy men. A new experimental design was used with a very careful cleaning procedure of the skin and repeated consecutive sampling periods of sweat in a sauna. The purpose was to achieve a steady state of sweat iron losses with minimal influence from iron originating from desquamated cells and iron contaminating the skin. A steady state was reached in the third sauna period (second sweat sampling period). Iron loss was directly related to the volume of sweat lost and amounted to 22.5 micrograms iron/l sweat. The findings indicate that iron is a physiological constituent of sweat and derived not only from contamination. Present results imply that variations in the amount of sweat lost will have only a marginal effect on the variation in total body iron losses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ferritins / analysis
  • Hemoglobins
  • Humans
  • Iron / analysis*
  • Iron / blood
  • Iron Radioisotopes
  • Male
  • Steam Bath
  • Sweat / analysis*
  • Transferrin / analysis


  • Hemoglobins
  • Iron Radioisotopes
  • Transferrin
  • Ferritins
  • Iron