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Clinical Implications of New Insights into Hepcidin-Mediated Regulation of Iron Absorption and Metabolism

Hepcidin is a liver-derived hormone discovered in the late 2000s, considered to be the master regulator of iron. The article describes the interaction of hepcidin and ferroportin (a cellular iron exporter) and highlights that prolonged inflammation reduces bioavailable iron and makes supplemented iron less effectively absorbed, potentially causing iron deficiency and anemia. Prior to this discovery, most research focused on dietary factors leading to iron deficiency and anemia. With the new understanding of the role of hepcidin, researchers acknowledge the importance of infection and inflammation, providing better evidence for effective preventative and therapeutic interventions to address iron deficiency and anemia.

Andrew M. Prentice Annuals of Nutrition & Metabolism (December, 2017).