Iron absorption in male C282Y heterozygotes

Mark A. Roe, Anne Louise M. Heath, Sarah L. Oyston, Cate Macrow, Jurian A. Hoogewerff, Rob Foxall, Jack R. Dainty, Gosia Majsak-Newman, Gavin Willis, Susan J. Fairweather-Tait

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The suggestion that carriers of the HFE C282Y mutation absorb nonheme iron more efficiently than do carriers of the wild type has public health implications for countries where the C282Y mutation is common and foods are fortified with iron. Objective: We investigated the effect of C282Y heterozygosity on nonheme-iron absorption from a diet high in bioavailable iron and from iron-fortified cereals. Design: The subjects were recruited from a parallel study investigating the relation between HFE mutations, habitual diet, and iron status. Iron absorption was measured in 15 wild-type carriers and 15 C282Y heterozygotes aged ≥40 y. Each subject consumed 3 meals of high iron bioavailability (labeled with Fe-57) for 2 d and 2 meals with fortified cereal products (labeled with Fe-54) for the next 3 d. Iron absorption was measured from isotope incorporation into red blood cells 14 d after the last labeled meal and was corrected for utilization of absorbed iron by means of an intravenous infusion of Fe-58. Results: Absorption of Fe-57 with the high-iron- bioavailability diet was 6.8 ± 6.8% (0.6 ± 0.6 mg/d) in the wild-type carriers and 7.6 ± 3.2% (0.7 ± 0.3 mg/d) in the C282Y heterozygotes. Absorption of Fe-54 with cereal products was 4.9 ± 2.0% (0.7 ± 0.3 mg/d) in the wild-type carriers and 5.3 ± 1.3% (0.8 ± 0.2 mg/d) in the C282Y heterozygotes. Conclusions: There was no overall significant difference between C282Y heterozygotes and wild-type men in iron absorption from either dietary nonheme iron or fortified cereal products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)814-821
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


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