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Medical Iron and vitamin C

  1. Feb 20, 2008 #1
    I might be posting this in the wrong area. If so, sorry about that. :<)

    From what little I understand of the subject oral vitamin C helps the body absorb iron. Should this be the case, could topical vitamin C in combination with penetration enhancers also enhance dermal absorption of iron oxide?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 20, 2008 #2

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    Here is an abstract of a paper about iron absorption and ascorbic acid (Vit C) in the human gut - field trials.

    My view on your question is no. Dermal absorption depends on the moleule or a nanoparticle in question being able to pass through membranes. Vitamin C in the gut has a very different effect on absorption of minerals in the gut than it would have dermally.
    I don't know of any research on the subject, so this is a guess.

    Why are you interested? If you are considering increasing the iron available to your body as a nutrient - don't. Unless you have malabsorptive disorders, you are probably already getting more iron in your diet than you need. If you are working around iron particulates, don't use vitamin C skin cream if you think it has an effect.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2008
  4. Feb 20, 2008 #3
    Thanks, Jim.

    I was more concerned with dermal absorption. A number of cosmetics and skin preparations contain nano-particles of coated or uncoated iron oxide with various penetration enhancers and vitamins, C being a typical additive. Due to the reduced particle size the question came to mind.
  5. Feb 21, 2008 #4

    jim mcnamara

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    Bare Minerals makeup

    People have been putting fine mineral particulates on their skin for a lot of reasons for a very long time. There is even archeological data to believe other human species may have used used ochre on the skin.

    The addition of other goodies, ascorbic acid and tocopherols, is new to the skin preparation market. I'd vote for something like Bare Minerals if I needed makeup. But since they do not let me out, it doesn't matter.
  6. Feb 22, 2008 #5
    I'm sure you'd look smashing in the misty mauve eyeshadow I saw earlier. *<) Seriously, quite a few men have been using mineral makeup as a light sunscreen and to add a little color in winter.

    A few mineral makeup companies choose not to use nano-particles so there are choices out there. Until more studies are done I think I'd rather err on the side of something simple and effective without the bells and whistles.
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