Does Your Iron Have Anything to Do With Your Blood Platelets?

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A lab technician dropping blood from a dropper into a test tube. (Image: Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Iron is an essential mineral contained in your red blood cells and is what allows them to carry oxygen to every cell in your body, the University of Maryland Medical Center notes. Iron is also stored in your liver, muscles and bone marrow. Iron deficiency is a typical cause of anemia. Iron deficiency anemia causes your platelet count to increase, according to a study published in a 2009 issue of “Platelets." This suggests that iron levels play a role in platelet production.

Iron Dose

Your body’s daily iron needs vary according to age and gender, the University of Maryland Medical Center says. Infants between the ages of 7 to 12 months need 11 mg/day. Children between the ages of 1 and 3 need 7 mg/day. This increases to 10 mg/day between the ages of 4 and 8. Iron needs drop to 8 mg/day between the ages of 9 and 13. Males between the ages of 14 and 18 need 11 mg/day, while females in the same age group need 15 mg/day. Males over the age of 19 need only 8 mg/day, while females between the ages of 19 to 50 need about 18 mg/day. Females over the age of 50 need about 8 mg/day.

Iron Deficiency Anemia and Thrombocytosis

Thrombocytosis is a disorder that causes your body to produce too many platelets, MayoClinic.com explains. One of the possible causes of thrombocytosis is iron deficiency anemia. The problem with thrombocytosis is your elevated risk of developing potentially fatal blood clots throughout your body. A study published in a 2009 issue of “Platelets” examined the link between iron deficiency anemia and elevated platelet counts. The study took place from November 2006 to April 2008 and involved more than 600 participants with iron deficiency anemia. Only about 13 percent of the participants had thrombocytosis. This suggests that even though iron deficiency anemia causes thrombocytosis the actual degree of elevated platelet count is not necessarily severe.

Platelet Aggregation

The “European Journal of Clinical Investigation” published a study in a 2009 issue that examined the relationship between iron and platelet aggregation. The study involved 111 participants that underwent acute ST segment elevation myocardial infarction, and iron-induced platelet aggregation was measured after clopidogrel, acetylsalicylic acid and tirofiban treatment. An hour after receiving treatment, blood samples were taken from the participants and were added to 100 mg of low carbon steel and incubated for about 15 minutes. The study discovered that iron-induced platelet aggregation was a viable means of gauging platelet aggregation inhibition treatment in patients undergoing stenting for a ST segment elevation myocardial infarction.

Iron and Platelet Function

A 1999 issue of the “European Journal of Clinical Nutrition” published a study that examined the effect of iron and vitamin C antioxidant supplementation on platelet function and low-density lipoprotein oxidation in healthy volunteers. The study used two groups of 20 people who received both iron and vitamin C supplements. The results demonstrated that iron supplements have a positive effect on overall platelet function.

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