Iron (Fe) is taken up from the diet and is used by the body for oxygen transport in blood, oxygen storage in muscle tissue, and as an enzyme cofactor in the liver. In March 15 Science Thomas Walczyk and Friedhelm von Blanckenburg from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich and University of Berne, Switzerland show that isotopic analysis of human blood and liver and muscle tissue indicates that each individual bears a long-term iron (Fe) isotope signature in the blood.

Walczyk and von Blanckenburg used multicollector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS) and assessed whether the human body discriminates between Fe isotopes. They found that blood and tissue differ slightly in isotopic composition and are depleted by up to 2.6 per mil in 56Fe relative to 54Fe when compared to dietary Fe. In addition, the 56Fe/54Fe isotope ratio in the blood of males...

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