Effects of Iron in Neonates and Young Infants: a Review

Author

Via San Andrea 32, 56127 Pisa, Italy.

Abstract

Iron is essential to erythrocyte oxygen transport and is a catalyst for oxidative metabolism in all cells. Iron is absorbed by the duodenum and requires an acidic environment for optimal absorption. Iron is found for 70% in erythrocytes, and 30% in storage, and a small amount in myoglobin and cytochromes. Iron supplementation reduces anemia in breastfed infants and increases in significant dose-dependent effects hemoglobin and ferritin levels, transferrin saturation, mean cell volume, and transferrin receptor levels. The prevalence of iron deficiency at 6 months of age is 36% in the placebo, 8.2% after 1 mg/kg per day, and 3.8% after 2 mg/kg per day iron (p

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