Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Feb;89(2):533-8. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2008.26589. Epub 2008 Dec 10.

Serum hepcidin is significantly associated with iron absorption from food and supplemental sources in healthy young women.

Author information

Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA.



Hepcidin is a key regulator of iron homeostasis, but to date no studies have examined the effect of hepcidin on iron absorption in humans.


Our objective was to assess relations between both serum hepcidin and serum prohepcidin with nonheme-iron absorption in the presence and absence of food with the use of dual stable-iron-isotope techniques.


The study group included 18 healthy nonpregnant women. Women received in random order a supplemental iron source (7.6 mg FeSO4 providing 0.9 mg 58Fe as FeSO4) and 6.8 mg 57Fe ferrous sulfate tracer administered with a nonheme food source [orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP): 1.4 mg native Fe]. Iron absorption was determined by analyzing blood samples taken 14 d after dosing with the use of magnetic sector thermal ionization mass spectrometry. Serum hepcidin was assessed by a new competitive serum enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) specific for the refolded, mature 25-amino acid form, and serum prohepcidin was assessed by an ELISA specific for amino acids 28-47 of the hepcidin prohormone.


In these women, iron absorption averaged 14.71 +/- 10.7% from the supplemental iron compared with 3.63 +/- 6.5% from the OFSP. Absorption of nonheme iron assessed in the presence (P = 0.038) and absence (P = 0.0296) of food was significantly associated with serum hepcidin but was not significantly related to serum prohepcidin.


Serum hepcidin, but not prohepcidin, was inversely associated with iron absorption from supplemental and food-based nonheme-iron sources in iron-replete healthy women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center