Serum Iron and Serum Ferritin Tests.
Q. Does Serum Iron and Serum Ferritin (the biochemical state in which iron is stored in the body) relate to hair growth/loss?
An increasing number of trichologists recognise that iron deficiency is relatively common and that chronic iron deficiency due in part to a low intake of red meat in favour of white meat or vegetarianism can lead to the development of diffuse hair loss. The author – a practising UK trichologist since 1964 records that during his trials approx. 62% of female patients aged 16 – 60 with diffuse terminal hair loss had serum ferritin 10 -17, and that as this level rose the hair losses reduced significantly.
Red blood cells contain haemoglobin the oxygen bearing protein (an iron rich biochemical).
Iron is a fundamental requirement of body cells, especially muscle cells which contain myoglobin (another oxygen transporting protein similar to haemoglobin).
Iron distribution in the healthy human body:
65% in haemoglobin.
4% in myoglobin (in skeletal muscle).
30% stored as ferritin or hemosiderin in the liver, bone marrow and spleen.
1% is transient in association with Transferrin (syn. Siderophilin). This iron-transporting beta-globulin facilitates its transportation to the bone marrow and tissue storage areas, or is a component of enzymes in cells throughout the body.
Free Iron is reactive.
Low Iron levels can lead to anemia (inadequate production of red blood cells) and a consequential reduction in levels of essential oxygen transportation. Symptoms: pale skin, fatigue. So for the body in general, iron is important.
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