Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Biochem Mol Med. 1995 Feb;54(1):1-11.

Proposed role for a combination of citric acid and ascorbic acid in the production of dietary iron overload: a fundamental cause of disease.

Author information

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, California 90045, USA.


This paper presents a review of the significant body of literature liking dietary iron overload, not only to heart disease, but also to cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, and possibly other disorders. Following an analysis of our understanding of the mechanistic role iron plays in oxidative damage, an interpretation of the fact that plasma concentrations of several antioxidants are decreased in the presence of disease is offered. Evaluation of (1) age-related dietary trends over time and (2) factors involved in iron absorption leads to the hypothesis that the combination of citric acid and ascorbic acid (a synergistic pair of strong enhancers) is instrumental in causing a deleterious increase in iron load in aging populations. Iron overload may be the most important common etiologic factor in the development of the diseases mentioned; therefore, the synergistic combination of citric and ascorbic acids may play a major role in our worsening disease statistics. Evidence to support this hypothesis and possible experiments to test it are included. This combination needs further study, particularly because the iron overload produced may be correctable.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center