Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Ascorbate enhances iron uptake into intestinal cells through formation of a FeCl3-ascorbate complex

By Alfred E. Thumser, Aswir Abd Rashed, Paul A. Sharp and John K. Lodge


It has been well documented that ascorbate enhances iron uptake, with a proposed mechanism based on reduction to the more absorbable ferrous form. We have performed a study on the effects of ascorbate on ferric iron uptake in the human epithelial Caco-2 cell-line. Ascorbate increased uptake in a concentration- dependent manner with a significant difference between iron uptake and reduction. Uptake kinetics are characteristic of a non-essential activator and the formation of an Fe3+-ascorbate complex. This investigation provides evidence that ascorbate enhances the apical uptake of ferric iron into Caco-2 cells through the formation of a Fe3+-ascorbate complex. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

Topics: Enterocyte iron uptake Ascorbate Ferric iron caco-2 cells nonheme iron colorimetric assay epithelial-cells expression transport absorption dmt1 bioavailability humans
Publisher: Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam.
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2010.04.031
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Cranfield CERES

Suggested articles


  1. (1994). Alternate iron transport pathway. Mobilferrin and integrin in K562 cells. doi
  2. (2003). DMT1: a mammalian transporter for multiple metals. doi
  3. (2005). Duodenal ascorbate and ferric reductase in human iron deficiency. doi
  4. (2008). Duodenal cytochrome B expression stimulates iron uptake by human intestinal epithelial cells.
  5. (2008). Effects of dietary factors on iron uptake from ferritin by Caco-2 cells. doi
  6. (1975). Enzyme Kinetics. Behavior and analysis of rapid equilibrium and steady-state enzyme systems. doi
  7. (1999). Ferric reduction is a potential iron acquisition mechanism for Histoplasma capsulatum.
  8. (2006). Inhibition of iron and copper uptake by iron, copper and zinc. doi
  9. (2000). Iron absorption and transport - an update. doi
  10. (2004). Iron availability: An updated review. doi
  11. (2006). Iron status and food matrix strongly affect the relative bioavailability of ferric pyrophosphate in humans.
  12. (2008). Melatonin and the circadian entrainment of metabolic and hormonal activities in primary isolated adipocytes. doi
  13. (1997). Milk inhibits and ascorbic acid favors ferrous bis-glycine chelate bioavailability in humans. doi
  14. (2002). Molecular and functional roles of duodenal cytochrome B (Dcytb) in iron metabolism. Blood Cells Molecules and Diseases, doi
  15. (2007). Molecular mechanisms involved in intestinal iron absorption.
  16. (1990). MTT colorimetric assay for testing macrophage cytotoxic activity in vitro. doi
  17. (2000). Nramp2 expression is associated with pH-dependent iron uptake across the apical membrane of human intestinal Caco-2 cells. doi
  18. (2002). Pathways of iron absorption. doi
  19. (1983). Rapid colorimetric assay for cellular growth and survival: application to proliferation and cytotoxicity assays. doi
  20. (2002). Rapid regulation of divalent metal transporter (DMT1) protein but not mRNA expression by non-haem iron in human intestinal Caco-2 cells. doi
  21. (1995). Reduction of Fe(III) is required for uptake of non heme iron by Caco-2 cells.
  22. (2005). Regulation of divalent metal transporter expression in human intestinal epithelial cells following exposure to non-haem iron. doi
  23. (2005). Regulation of vitamin C transport. doi
  24. (2000). Separate pathways for cellular uptake of ferric and ferrous iron.
  25. (1983). Studies on the bioavailability of zinc in humans: mechanism of the intestinal interaction of nonheme iron and zinc.
  26. (2006). Vesicular transport of Fe and interaction with other metal ions in polarized Caco2 cell monolayers. doi
  27. (2001). Zinc regulates the function and expression of the iron transporters DMT1 and IREG1 in human intestinal Caco2 cells. doi
  28. (2006). Zip14 (Slc39a14) mediates non transferrin bound iron uptake into cells. doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.