Finding Gaps in Our Knowledge of Iron Deficiency and Anemia
Currently it is widely accepted that half of the anemia is caused by iron deficiency. However, recent national surveys in developing countries have reported that it may not always be the case. Moreover, putting together facts about iron metabolism in humans raise questions about our traditional beliefs: human organism under optimal conditions rejects iron absorption; breast-milk has a very low content of iron; and iron supplementation to children favors growth of intestinal pathogenic bacteria. This field is further complicated by the influence of inflammation and infection over common iron-status indicators, and the lack of accuracy and precision of popular analytical methods. This session attempts to motivate the audience to challenge critically the actual concepts of iron deficiency and anemia.