The iron absorption 

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The iron absorption window is located in the small intestine. Iron absorption is performed by the villi of the duodenum and proximal jejunum.

Insofar as the majority of the iron present in the intestinal lumen is in an oxidized form (Fe3 +), a first processing step referred to as chemical reduction is carried out enzymatically (DcytB). Then the iron in its reduced form (Fe 2 +) can cross the membrane through specific membrane transporters (DMT1).

The iron disposability of his reduced form (Fe 2 +) offers the great advantage to improve greatly the efficiency of its absorption.


intestinal villus.jpgThe oxidized form (Fe 3 +) has many other disadvantages such as the precipitation with molecules like phytates and tannins which reduces even more its absorption.

It is recognized that the absorption of iron in its reduced form is about ten times better assimilated than the oxidized form.