Friday, 11 March 2016


Ferritin is a protein that stores iron and releases it in a controlled fashion. Ferritin typically lies in the cells of the liver (hepatocytes) and immune system (reticuloendothelial cells). When the body releases ferritin, it goes and binds to transferrin. Transferrin is a protein that helps to transport ferrin to where the new red blood cells are made. A serum ferritin test indicates the amount of iron stored in the body. This is a very important test because it helps to distinguish between iron deficiency anaemia and anaemia of chronic disease.
  •  High levels of ferritin: Hemochromatosis, Alcoholic liver disease
  •  Low levels of ferritin: Anaemia, Heavy menstrual bleeding
Ferritin parameters:

Normal levels of ferritin are:
Male: 22-300ng/ml
Female: 22-150ng/ml

How can ferritin levels be increased?

  • Iron rich sources

Heme iron: Red meat, chicken breasts, salmon etc
Non heme iron: Mainly dark leafy vegetables, beans, rice, wheat, oats, fruits, vegetable, nuts and seeds.

  • Vitamin C rich sources

Vitamin C increases the absorption of non heme iron.

If you’re consuming a diet rich in iron but your ferritin levels are still low, it may be due to these factors:
  •     Iron cannot be absorbed in the body, if there are medical conditions such as:
Ø  Crohn’s disease
Ø  Celiac disease
Ø  Autoimmune disease and hormonal imbalance

  •  In case of kidney disease, the kidneys are unable to make enough hormones that signal the  body to make red blood cells.
  •  Tannins present in coffee, tea can inhibit the absorption of non heme iron.