Iron Overload and the Biliary Route
Iron, like other metals, is not destroyed within the body and therefore, in order to limit its biological and/or toxic effects, must be eliminated. Various elimination pathways exist physiologically, ensuring a balance with the amount of iron absorbed by the intestine, Le.1 to 2 mg per day corresponding to about 10 per cent of a normal diet containing 10-20 mg of iron 1. Iron losses occur mainly through exfoliated intestinal epithelial cells, smaller amounts being lost via the skin (desquamated cells and sweat) or by urinary route (0.1 mg daily). The biliary elimination of iron has classically been considered as a minor pathway. However, recent data from both human and experimental studies emphasize the importance of the biliary excretion route.
KeywordsBile Salt Iron Overload Biliary Excretion Carbonyl Iron Iron Excess
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