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Abdelaziz Elamin MD, PhD, FRCPCH Professor of Child Health College of Medicine Sultan Qaboos University Muscat, Oman azizmin@hotmail.com. IRON DEFICIENCY & IDA. HIDDEN HUNGER.

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iron deficiency ida
Abdelaziz Elamin

MD, PhD, FRCPCH

Professor of Child Health

College of Medicine

Sultan Qaboos University

Muscat, Oman

azizmin@hotmail.com

IRON DEFICIENCY & IDA
hidden hunger
HIDDEN HUNGER
  • The term was coined by WHO in 1986 & refers to the problems associated with the deficiency of 3 essential micronutrients:
    • Iron
    • Iodine
    • Vitamin A
learning objectives
LEARNING OBJECTIVES
  • At the end of the lecture you will be able to:
    • Discuss iron absorption, transport & stores
    • Know the burden of IDA in the world
    • Identify the causes & consequences of IDA
    • Know how to diagnose IDA
    • Recognize the strategies for control & prevention of IDA
iron in nature
IRON IN NATURE
  • Iron is among the abundant minerals on earth.
  • Of the 87 elements in the earth’s crust, Iron constitutes 5.6% and ranks fourth behind Oxygen (46.4%), Silicon (28.4%) and Aluminum (8.3%).
  • In soil, Iron is 100 times more than Ca, Na & Mg and1000 times more than Zinc and 100,000 times more than Iodine.
iron deficiency
IRON DEFICIENCY
  • Iron deficiency is the most common micronutrient deficiency in the world affecting 1.3 billion people i.e. 24% of the world population.
  • In comparison only 275 million are iodine deficient and 45 million children below age 5 years are Vitamin A deficient.
iron deficiency 2
IRON DEFICIENCY /2
  • Iron deficiency can range from sub-clinical state to severe iron deficiency anemia.
  • Different stages are identified by clinical findings & lab tests.
  • Anemia is defined as a hemoglobin below the 5th percentile of healthy population.
  • Most studies showed this cutoff point to be around 11 g/dl (-2SD below the mean).
at risk groups
AT RISK GROUPS
  • Infants
  • Under 5 children
  • Children of school age
  • Women of child bearing age
prevalence of id
PREVALENCE OF ID
  • Region0-4yr 5-12yr Women
  • South Asia 56% 50% 58%
  • Africa 56% 49% 44%
  • Latin Am 26% 26% 17%
  • Gulf Arabs 40% 36% 38%
  • Developed 12% 7% 11%
  • World 43% 37% 35%
etiology
ETIOLOGY
  • Inadequate intake of iron & of food, which enhances iron absorption.
  • High intake of inhibitors of iron absorption
  • Hookworm infestation.
  • Blood loss (heavy menses & use of aspirin & NSAID).
  • High fertility rate in womem.
  • Low iron stores in newborns.
dietary iron
DIETARY IRON
  • There are 2 types of iron in the diet; haem iron and non-haem iron
  • Haem iron is present in Hb containing animal food like meat, liver & spleen
  • Non-haem iron is obtained from cereals, vegetables & beans
  • Milk is a poor source of iron, hence breast-fed babies need iron supplements
iron absorption
IRON ABSORPTION
  • Haem iron is not affected by ingestion of

other food items.

  • It has constant absorption rate of 20-30%

which is little affected by the iron balance

of the subject.

  • The haem molecule is absorbed intact and the iron is released in the mucosal cells.
iron absorption 2
IRON ABSORPTION (2)
  • The absorption of non-haem iron varies greatly from 2% to 100% because it is strongly influenced by:
      • The iron status of the body
      • The solubility of iron salts
      • Integrity of gut mucosa
      • Presence of absorption inhibitors or facilitators
inhibitors of iron absorption
INHIBITORS OF IRON ABSORPTION
  • Food with polyphenol compounds
    • Cereals like sorghum & oats
    • Vegetables such as spinach and spices
    • Beverages like tea, coffee, cocoa and wine.
    • A single cup of tea taken with meal reduces iron absorption by up to 11%.
other inhibitors
OTHER INHIBITORS
  • Food containing phytic acid i.e. Bran, cereals like wheat, rice, maize & barely. Legumes like soya beans, black beans & peas.
  • Cow’s milk due to its high calcium & casein contents.
inhibition how
INHIBITION-HOW?
  • The dietary phenols & phytic acids

compounds bind with iron decreasing

free iron in the gut & forming

complexes that are not absorbed.

  • Cereal milling to remove bran reduces

its phytic acid content by 50%.

promoters of iron absorption
Promoters of Iron Absorption
  • Foods containing ascorbic acid like citrus fruits, broccoli & other dark green vegetables because ascorbic acid reduces iron from ferric to ferrous forms, which increases its absorption.
  • Foods containing muscle protein enhance iron absorptiondue to the effect of cysteine containing peptides released from partially digested meat, which reduces ferric to ferrous salts and form soluble iron complexes.
iron absorption 3
IRON ABSORPTION (3)
  • Some fruits inhibit the absorption of iron although they are rich in ascorbic acid because of their high phenol content e.g strawberry banana and melon.
  • Food fermentation aids iron absorption by reducing the phytate content of diet
iron transport
IRON TRANSPORT
  • Transferrin is the major protein responsible for transporting iron in the body.
  • Transferrin receptors, located in almost all cells of the body, can bind two molecules of transferrin.
  • Both transferrin concentration & transferrin receptors are important in assessing iron status.
storage of iron
STORAGE OF IRON
  • Tissues with higher requirement for iron

( bone marrow, liver & placenta) contain more transferrin receptors.

  • Once in tissues, iron is stored as ferritin & hemosiderin compounds, which are present in the liver, RE cells & bone marrow.
  • The amount of iron in the storage compartment depends on iron balance (positive or negative).
  • Ferritin level reflects amount of stored iron in the body & is important in assessing ID.
role of iron in the body
ROLE OF IRON IN THE BODY
  • Iron have several vital functions
  • Carrier of oxygen from lung to tissues
  • Transport of electrons within cells
  • Co-factor of essential enzymatic reactions:
    • Neurotransmission
    • Synthesis of steroid hormones
    • Synthesis of bile salts
    • Detoxification processes in the liver
diagnosis of ida
DIAGNOSIS OF IDA
  • Clinical: symptoms (fatigue, dizziness , palpitations..etc) & signs (pallor, smooth tongue, Koilonychia, splenomegaly & dysphagia in elderly women).
  • Laboratory
  • Stainable iron in bone marrow
  • Response to iron supplements
lab findings in ida
LAB FINDINGS IN IDA
  • Microcytic hypochromic anaemia
  • Low Hb level (< 11.0 g/dl)
  • Low MCV, MCH, MCHC
  • Low serum ferritin
  • High RWD
  • High iron binding capacity
  • High erythrocyte protoporphyrin
consequences of iron deficiency
Consequences of Iron Deficiency
  • Increase maternal & fetal mortality.
  • Increase risk of premature delivery and LBW.
  • Learning disabilities & delayedpsychomotor development.
  • Reduced work capacity.
  • Impaired immunity (high risk of infection).
  • Inability to maintain body temperature.
  • Associated risk of lead poisoning because of pica.
management of ida
MANAGEMENT OF IDA
  • Blood transfusion if heart failure is eminent
  • IV or IM iron in pregnant women
  • Oral iron 3-5 mg Fe/kg/day
  • Treat underlying cause
  • Dietary education
prevention of ida
PREVENTION OF IDA
  • Dietary modification
  • Food fortification
  • Iron supplementation
prevention of ida 2
PREVENTION OF IDA /2
  • Diet & nutrition education
      • eat more fruits and vegetable
      • no coffee or tea with meals
      • programmes should be targeted to

at risk groups

      • reduce phytic content of cereals and

legumes by fermentation

prevention of ida 3
PREVENTION OF IDA /3
  • Short term approach:
    • supplementation with iron tablets.
  • Long-term approach:
    • food fortification with iron either for the whole population (blanket fortification) or for specific target groups like infants. It requires no cooperation from users unlike taking iron supplements.
food fortification
FOOD FORTIFICATION
  • Iron compounds used in food fortification can be divided into 4 groups
  • Freely water soluble (ferroussulphate, gluconate, lactate & ferric ammonium citrate).
  • Poorly water soluble (ferrous fumarate, succinate

& saccharate).

  • Water insoluble (ferric pyrophosphate, ferric orthophosphate & elemental iron).
  • Experimental (sodium-iron EDTA & bovine Hb concentrate).
which iron form to use
Which iron form to use?
  • The major factors governing the choice of iron compound include:
    • Bioavailability
    • Organoleptic problems
    • Cost
    • Safety
  • Ideally we should go for a safe, cheap, highly bioavailable iron, which causes no organoleptic side-effects
which iron form to use35
Which iron form to use?
  • Freely water soluble iron are the most bio-available, but causes unacceptable colour & flavour change in many foods.
  • Insoluble iron compounds are inert with no organoleptic effects but it is poorly absorbed
  • Cost-wise elemental iron is the cheapest, ferrous sulphate costs 10 times more, but most expensive is EDTA
  • Safety is of concern with EDTA & Bovine Hb only because of potential problems
common practice
COMMON PRACTICE
  • Ferrous sulphate is commonly used in Rx & prevention of IDA because of good absorption & high bioavailability, but it has its drawbacks
  • GIT disturbances & staining of teeth are frequent
  • Effects on fortified foods may include:
    • Fat oxidation & rancidity
    • Colour changes
    • Metallic taste
    • Precipitation
experimental compounds
EXPERIMENTAL COMPOUNDS
  • EDTA (Ethylene Diamine Tetra-Acetate) molecule has 4 negative charges to which any metal can be attached to form stable complex. The metal incorporated into EDTA can be replaced by a metal of higher affinity or released at a certain PH.
  • Food is usually fortified by both Fe-EDTA & Na or Ca EDTA.
how edta acts
HOW EDTA ACTS?
  • Fe EDTA is stable in the acidic PH of the stomach, but dissociate in the alkaline PH of the duodenum releasing ferrous ions ready to be absorbed. while the Na-Ca EDTA dissociate in the stomach releasing Na & Ca and taking iron from the food instead to form Fe EDTA which dissociate in the duodenum.
advantages of using edta
ADVANTAGES OF USING EDTA
  • Iron absorption is 6 times greater than with ordinary methods even in the presence of inhibitors.
  • No need to add vitamin C or other promoters to enhance iron absorption.
  • No change in colour or flavour of food with EDTA even when stored for long time.
limitations of edta use
LIMITATIONS of EDTA USE
  • EDTA fortification is 7 times moreexpensive than ordinary fortification using iron salts.
  • Health care providers have littleexperience with this new technique.