Vitamins 564


What is transferrin?



Transferrin is a protein that plays a critical role in transporting iron in our bodies. Transferrin is produced by the liver, binds to iron in the blood and then transports the iron to various tissues and organs where iron is needed. Transferrin also helps regulate the immune system and supports the development and growth of cells.

Normal transferrin levels indicate that your iron transportation is efficient, suggesting a normal iron metabolism.

Measuring transferrin levels in the blood can provide important information on overall iron status. Since transferrin production is triggered by low iron levels, measuring transferrin can be relevant for identifying and diagnosing conditions related to iron metabolism.

Such conditions include iron deficiency anemia and hemochromatosis. Furthermore, transferrin levels can help monitor the progress of these conditions as well as the effectiveness of treatments. Another important area of use is enabling calculation of certain laboratory tests, where transferrin values are needed, such as TIBC (total iron-binding capacity) and transferrin saturation.



Low levels of Transferrin



Low levels of transferrin indicate one of two things:

Too much iron
Causes transferrin production to go down in order to not transport excess iron to organs and tissues. Extreme iron excess is also known as hemochromatosis, which is a genetic disorder in which the body absorbs too much iron from the diet

Impaired transferrin production
Transferrin production can be impaired or decreased due to conditions such as liver disease, chronic inflammation and cancer.

Important note: Since low transferrin levels may indicate iron overload, and iron overload may cause organ damage, it is important that you get help in interpreting the results by a healthcare provider to better understand underlying causes and potential needs for further investigation.



High levels of Transferrin



High transferrin levels indicate low iron levels.

Important note: High transferrin levels may also be caused by other factors including chronic inflammation or liver disease (or pregnancy). In these cases, iron levels might be normal alongside a high transferrin.