Iron is the most common trace element in the human body. The iron content of a healthy adult is approximately 4 g in men and 2.5 g in women. Iron is distributed in the body essentially into three main compartments7:
The functional pool: active iron bound to hemoglobin (65% of total iron), myoglobin (10%) and other enzymes (5%).
The storage pool: inactive, depot iron in the form of ferritin and haemosiderin. About 20% of iron is in this form, mainly bound to ferritin, which is the most readily available form of storage. The liver plays an essential role in the storage pool.
The transit pool: less than 0.2% of the total iron exists as transport iron in the form of transferrin. Under normal and healthy conditions, approximately 30 mg of iron is transported every day between the functional and storage compartments back and forth.
Iron Distribution in Adult
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