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Title: IRON ABSORPTION BY HEALTHY WOMEN WAS NOT ASSOCIATED WITH EITHER SERUM OR URINARY PRO-HEPCIDIN

Author
item HADLEY, KEVIN
item JOHNSON, LUANN - UNIV OF NORTH DAKOTA
item HUNT, JANET

Submitted to: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/15/2006
Publication Date: 7/7/2006
Citation: Hadley, K.B., Johnson, L.K., Hunt, J.R. 2006. Iron absorption by healthy women was not associated with either serum or urinary pro-hepcidin. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 84:150-5.

Interpretive Summary: Iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia are one of the most common nutrition deficiencies world-wide, with consequences that impair physical performance, reproductive health, and cognitive development. Hepcidin is a newly identified small protein that may be involved in the biological control of iron absorption. This study compared serum and urinary measurements of pro-hepcidin, a measurable precursor of hepcidin, with iron absorption and other blood measures of iron nutriture in 28 healthy premenopausal women. As in previous studies, women with lower iron stores (measured as serum ferritin) absorbed more iron. However, the serum and urinary pro-hepcidin measurements were not related to iron absorption in these women. These results suggest that pro-hepcidin measurements may not be good indicators of hepcidin activity, or that additional factors other than hepcidin may be involved in controlling iron absorption in relation to body iron stores.

Technical Abstract: The relationship between serum pro-hepcidin and iron absorption was assessed in healthy premenopausal women. Participants were 28 healthy females, 21-51 y, with normal hemoglobin (120-152 g/L). Absorption of 0.5 mg iron with 0.2 µCi 59Fe tracer, both as FeSO4, was measured by whole body scintillation counting 13 d after oral administration. Fasting blood was collected the day of and 16 weeks after the absorption measurement. Serum pro-hepcidin concentrations were measured by an enzyme linked immunoabsorbent assay (ELISA) using antibody against amino acid residues 28-47 of the pro-region (DRG Intl. Inc., Germany). Iron absorption was (mean±SD, range) 36±19% (4 to 81%), and serum ferritin (geometric mean, range) was 27 µg/L and 4 to 122 µg/L, as commonly observed with healthy premenopausal women. Serum pro-hepcidin was 209±78 (99 to 376) µg/L and was relatively consistent for individuals (36 and 15%, for inter- and intra-individual variation, respectively, n=2, separated by 16 wk). Pro-hepcidin correlated directly with serum ferritin (R2 = 0.22, <0.01), but was unrelated to 59Fe absorption, in contrast to serum ferritin (R2 = 0.33, p<0.0.01). In conclusion, serum pro-hepcidin concentrations were relatively stable within subjects, and correlated with serum ferritin. However, unlike serum ferritin, pro-hepcidin concentrations were unrelated to iron absorption in healthy women.