Pediatrics

Why do children hold their breath until they faint?

It's time to leave the playground but your 12-month-old daughter doesn't want to. She gets angry, cries out loudly, breathing all the way out and then holds her breath. She turns blue around the mouth and faints.

Medical research

Iron release may contribute to cell death in heart failure

A process that releases iron in response to stress may contribute to heart failure, and blocking this process could be a way of protecting the heart, suggests a study in mice published today in eLife.

Health

Teatime can be good for your health

Next to water, tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world, and at just a couple of calories per serving, it's loaded with flavonoids that make it one of the world's healthiest beverages as well.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Iron deficiency can be managed better

Australian and European researchers have released updated, evidence-based guidance for managing iron deficiency, a serious worldwide health problem.

Health

Iron infusion proves effective to treat anemia in rural Africa

Over 1 billion people globally are affected by iron-deficiency anemia. In sub-Saharan Africa, anemia is a major public health concern with roughly 60% of the population suffering from anemia. Around half of those cases are ...

Medications

Iron deficiency during infancy reduces vaccine efficacy

About 40 percent of children around the globe suffer from anemia because they do not consume enough iron. Now, studies by ETH researchers show that iron deficiency also reduces the protection provided by vaccinations.

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Iron deficiency (sideropenia or hypoferremia) is one of the most common of the nutritional deficiencies. Iron is present in all cells in the human body, and has several vital functions. Examples include as a carrier of oxygen to the tissues from the lungs in the form of hemoglobin, as a transport medium for electrons within the cells in the form of cytochromes, and as an integral part of enzyme reactions in various tissues. Too little iron can interfere with these vital functions and lead to morbidity and death.

The direct consequence of iron deficiency is iron deficiency anemia. Children and pre-menopausal women are the groups most prone to the disease.

Total body iron averages approximately 3.8 g in men and 2.3 g in women. In blood plasma, iron is carried tightly bound to the protein transferrin. There are several mechanisms that control human iron metabolism and safeguard against iron deficiency. The main regulatory mechanism is situated in the gastrointestinal tract. When loss of iron is not sufficiently compensated by adequate intake of iron from the diet, a state of iron deficiency develops over time. When this state is uncorrected, it leads to iron deficiency anemia.

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