Abnormal levels of iron are characteristic of many diseases, including iron-deficiency anemia and hemochromatosis. As much as 70% of iron in the body is found in the hemoglobin of the red blood cells (RBCs). The other 30% is stored in the form of ferritin and hemosiderin. Iron is supplied by the diet.
About 10% of the ingested iron is absorbed in the small intestine and transported to the plasma. There the iron is bound to a globulin protein called transferrin and carried to the bone marrow for incorporation into hemoglobin.
Transferrin exists in relationship to the need for iron: When iron stores are low, transferrin levels increase, whereas transferrin is low when there is too much iron. Usually about one-third of the transferrin is being used to transport iron. Because of this, the blood serum has considerable extra iron-binding capacity, which is the Unsaturated Iron Binding Capacity (UIBC). The TIBC equals UIBC plus the serum iron measurement. Some laboratories measure UIBC, some measure TIBC, and some measure transferrin.
Normal Ranges for Iron in ug/dL:
- Children: 50 to 120
- Newborns: 100 to 250
- Iron for Females: 26 to 170
- Iron for Males: 65 to 198
Find out more about Iron here: https://healthmatters.io/understand-blood-test-results/iron-2 and here: https://healthmatters.io/understand-blood-test-results/iron