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Thesis (M.S.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1942. Department of Home Economics.


Copyright 1942, the author. Used by permission.


A total of eighteen studies were made of the iron excretion of thirteen young women, before, during, and after a period of high iron intake. The ingestion of 882 mg. of iron in one week resulted in an average storage of 492 mg., or 56% of the supplement taken.The excretion of iron rose from an average of 6.67 mg. per day before the ferrous sulfate was given to 47.10 mg during the period of high intake and then fell rapidly thereafter; the average daily excretion for each succeeding three days after the period of high intake was 31.10, 9.77, and 7.35 mg. until by the ninth day after its use the supplement was no longer excreted.The excretion was followed for three weeks longer, and it was found to remain at the low level which had characterized the foreperiod.The amount of iron stored was not consistent with any possible demands of the body and represented a tremendous storage in relation to the formation of hemoglobin.The retained iron, therefore, appeared unnecessary to the iron economy of the body, and its reexcretion could well have followed.That it did not is evidenced by the return, as quickly as the intestinal lag would permit, of the iron excretion values of the various individuals to levels similar to those they had before the iron was given.This is additional proof of the inability of the gastrointestinal tract to reexcrete iron.

Advisor: Ruth M. Leverton