IRON absorption has been shown to be increased by a variety of substances. Ascorbic acid is perhaps the best known of these1. The activities of inosine2, succinic acid3, fructose4 and cysteine5,6 have been discovered more recently. Several different hypotheses have been offered in explanation of the action of these substances. (1) That ferrous iron is more readily absorbed than ferric iron and that the ferrous form is maintained by an intra-luminal intestinal reducing agent (ascorbic acid); (2) that iron transport is linked with oxidative metabolism (succinic acid); (3) that iron transport depends on a carrier or chelating agent (fructose, cysteine).
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