Iron deficiency medications are widely prescribed treatments around the world. A new study has found that a deficiency in this mineral leads to a decrease in a key quality of white blood cells, which leads to a weakening of immunity.
The study was led by researchers from the German Center for Cancer Research and they were surprised by the significant decrease in iron-deficient white blood cells.
Close examination showed that the decline was caused by a lack of neutrophils, which account for two-thirds of white blood cells in humans.
According to the report published in the journal Science Advances, due to iron deficiency, it was found that primary bone marrow cells do not turn into mature neutrophils, as their differentiation appears to depend on iron.
Other types of white blood cells, such as monocytes, were not affected by the iron level.
“This strong dependence on iron on neutrophils was not previously known. It can affect the immune defense against bacterial pathogens,” said Bruno Galli, who led the study.
“Interestingly, iron deficiency is one of the body’s defense strategies in bacterial infections, as many pathogens depend on iron. To slow their reproduction, the body stores the metal in some cells as a warehouse which makes it difficult for them to reproduce. ‘access to valuable resource pathogens. “