Iron metabolism involves a balance between dietary intake, absorption, transportation, storage, recycling and excretion. The total body iron content in an adult ranges between 4 and 5 grams, mainly in haemoglobin of red blood cells. The liver is the major site of storage. Three milligrams of the total body iron circulates in the plasma in an exchangeable pool, bound to transferrin. The average losses, mainly from epithelial desquamation, amount to about 1 mg per day in the adult, with around 1.5-2 mg per day in the menstruating female.
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