Vitamins 564

Iron Saturation

What is Iron Saturation?



Iron saturation is a measurement presented in percent, telling you the amount of transferrin (a protein that both binds to and transports iron) that is bound to iron in your blood compared to the total amount of transferrin that is available. To calculate iron saturation, you need to know your level of iron and your level of transferrin.

A normal iron saturation suggests normal levels of circulating iron in the body.

Being an indicator of iron levels, iron saturation is most often measured when investigating iron deficiency or iron overload disorders. Iron saturation is also relevant when monitoring such conditions and is sometimes also used to evaluate effectiveness of treatment.



High levels of Iron Saturation



A high iron saturation indicates iron overload.
In addition, excess of iron in the body can be caused by a number of factors, such as:

- Hemochromatosis where the body absorbs too much iron
- Multiple blood transfusions
- Excessive iron intake (through iron-rich diet or supplements)
- Liver disease such as alcoholic liver disease and viral hepatitis



Low levels of Iron Saturation



A low iron saturation indicates iron deficiency.
Iron deficiency can, in turn, be caused by a number of reasons, such as:

- Insufficient iron intake
- Blood loss
- Malabsorption from conditions such as celiac disease, Crohn’s disease and bariatric surgery.

If a blood test shows low iron saturation levels, it may be necessary to further investigate underlying cause and potential treatment.