Written by Daniel Roytas, MHSc (Nutrition), BHSc (Naturopathy), Dip. RM, MANTA
Taking vitamin C with iron is commonly recommended by clinicians to enhance the bioavailability and metabolism of iron. Vitamin C has been shown to stimulate a number of physiological mechanisms involved in the intestinal absorption, cellular uptake and metabolism of iron including;
- Up-regulation of the intestinal iron transporter (ferroportin)1.
- Maintaining iron in its ferrous state (Fe2+), which is required for incorporation in to haeme2.
- Acting as an enzyme co-factor to facilitate the interaction between transferrin and iron3.
- Stimulating hepatic ferritin synthesis3.
- Stimulating the release of iron from ferritin stores within reticuloendothelial cells, making iron available for haemoglobin synthesis3.
- Protecting iron against oxidation and subsequent sequestration within hepatocytes and macrophages4, via the up-regulation of antioxidants like glutathione and superoxide dismutase5.
- Reducing iron loss...