Papers And Originals

Effects of Iron Overload on Ascorbic Acid Metabolism

Br Med J 1968; 3 doi: (Published 21 September 1968) Cite this as: Br Med J 1968;3:704
  1. A. A. Wapnick,
  2. S. R. Lynch,
  3. P. Krawitz,
  4. H. C. Seftel,
  5. R. W. Charlton,
  6. T. H. Bothwell


    Studies of the ascorbic acid status in two subjects with idiopathic haemochromatosis and in 12 with transfusional siderosis showed that all had decreased levels of white cell ascorbic acid. The urinary excretion of ascorbic acid was also diminished in those subjects in whom such measurements were made. The administration of ascorbic acid was followed by only a small rise in the urinary ascorbic acid output, while the oxalic acid levels (measured in two subjects) showed a significant rise. These findings resemble those described in siderotic Bantu, and support the thesis that increased iron stores lead to irreversible oxidation of some of the available ascorbic acid.


    • * From the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Iron and Red Cell Metabolism Group, Department of Medicine, University of the Witwatersrand Medical School, Johannesburg, South Africa.