There is a critical need for iron intake during the first period of life. The growing infant requires iron to synthesize hemoglobin and to supply expanding tissues with iron-containing enzymes. A lack of iron will eventually lead to iron deficiency anemia, one of the most common single nutrient deficiencies in the world. Today, detailed information has increased our understanding of iron bioavailability from different dietary sources, uptake mechanisms of iron into the small intestinal mucosa for transport to hepatocytes and erythropoietic cells and subsequent receptor mediated cellular acquisition. Metabolic effects of iron deficiency have also been investigated in several tissues.
This comprehensive text integrates recent information and address it from a nutritional perspective. It takes this focus because of the increased knowledge on the interrelationship between iron and other essential nutrients. Specific problems of iron nutriture and oxidant stress in prematurely born infants are also addressed in this informative new text
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