Tissue levels of iron, copper, zinc and magnesium in iron deficient rats
The effects of iron deficiency on the levels of iron, copper, zinc and magnesium in the brain, liver, kidney, heart and lungs of albino rats (Rattus novergicus) was investigated. Forty rats were divided into two groups and the first group was fed a control diet containing 1.09g iron/kg diet while the test group was fed diet containing 9ppm iron/kg diet. Tissue iron level reduced in all the dietary groups which may be a reflection of the diet fed to the animals. Copper level increased significantly (p < 0.05) in all the tissues studied. This may be a consequence of increased absorption or altered metabolism. It could also mean that the copper binding proteins have a greater affinity for copper during iron deficiency. It was observed that iron deficiency caused a significant (p < 0.05) increase in zinc concentration in the tissues studied and magnesium level was found to reduce in all the tissues except the liver. It is proposed that magnesium may be utilized more for some processes that require iron during iron deficiency. It is hereby proposed that the complications of iron deficiency are not due to anaemia alone but also due to its effect on the metabolism of some other trace elements especially copper, zinc and magnesium.
Keywords: Iron, copper, zinc, magnesium