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Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2014 Nov;65(7):856-61. doi: 10.3109/09637486.2014.918589. Epub 2014 Jun 4.

Iron-rich drinking water and ascorbic acid supplementation improved hemolytic anemia in experimental Wistar rats.

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Department of Chemistry, Defence Research Laboratory , Tezpur, Assam , India .


Anemia is a frequent problem in both the primary and secondary health care programs. In contrast, most areas of northeast India are vulnerable to iron toxicity. In the present study, we documented the effect of administration of iron rich water on hemolytic anemia in a Wistar rats' animal model. Hemolytic anemia was induced by phenyl hydrazine through intraperitoneal route and diagnosed by the lowering of blood hemoglobin. After inducing the hemolytic anemia, 24 Wistar rats (n = 6 in four groups) were randomly assigned to 1 mg/l, 5 mg/l, and 10 mg/l ferric oxide iron along with 1 mg/ml ascorbic acid administered through drinking water; a control group was treated with iron-free water. The hematological and biochemical parameters, iron levels in liver, spleen, and kidney were estimated after 30 d of treatment. In the group treated with 5 mg/l iron and ascorbic acid, a significant increase of serum iron and ferritin, and a decrease of TIBC (total iron binding capacity) were observed without changes in other biochemical parameters and histopathological findings. However, in the group treated with 10 mg/l iron and ascorbic acid, hematological changes with significantly higher values for white blood cell count, serum glutamic phospho transaminase, serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase, alkaline phosphatase, glucose, splenic, and liver iron content, indicate potential toxicity at this supplementation level. Data suggest that the optimum concentration of iron (5 mg/l) and ascorbic acid solution may improve anemic conditions and may be therapeutically beneficial in the treatment of iron deficiency anemia without any negative impact, while 10 mg/l in drinking water seems to be the threshold for the initiation of toxicity.


Anemia; Wistar rat; ascorbic acid; iron; iron sulfate; liver

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