High dosage of iron can damage DNA, study

According to a new study, a high dosage of iron in human body can result in DNA damage within a period of 10 minutes.

Experts said that physicians should carefully look at the amount of iron given in standard treatments including tablets and infusions. They should also be careful about the effects of iron intake on human body. They said that iron is for the body to function and it plays an important role in transporting oxygen.

Claire Shovlin, from the Imperial College London, said, "We already knew that iron could be damaging to cells in very high doses. However, in this study we found that when we applied the kinds of levels of iron you would find in the blood stream after taking an iron tablet, this also seemed to be able to trigger cell damage, at least in the laboratory."

The researchers studied human endothelial cells that line blood vessels and added an iron solution of 10 micromolar. They studied genes used within cells and examined cells in more detail to find cells treated with the iron solution had activated DNA repair systems within ten minutes. Experts also warned that low level of iron may cause anaemia resulting in tiredness and lethargy.

The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.