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Levels Of Dietary Iron In Adolescents Affects Structure Of Developing Brain

January 12, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A lack of iron in the diet in the early years of life can affect the brain’s physical structure, according to a study by U.S. researchers who measured levels of a protein (transferrin) that transports iron throughout the body and the brain in adolescents. They found that transferrin levels were related to detectable differences in the brain’s macro-structure and micro-structure when the adolescents reached young adulthood. The researchers hope that their discovery may shed some light on the neural mechanisms by which iron affects, neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration.
N. Jahanshad et al., "Brain structure in healthy adults is related to serum transferrin and the H63D polymorphism in the HFE gene", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, January 12, 2012, © National Academy of Sciences
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