Serum lipids in suckling and post-weanling iron-deficient rats.


Sherman AR.






Serum lipids were studied in iron-deficient and control rats during suckling and after weaning at 21, 30, and 60 days of age. Diets providing 5 or 307 ppm iron were fed to dams and their offspring during gestation, lactation, and after weaning. Rats on the deficient diet throughout the experimental period developed a hyperlipidemia characterized by elevated triglycerides, cholesterol, and phospholipids which was present at 21, 30, and 60 days. Control pups weaned to the deficient diet developed anemia at 30 days of age and hypertriglyceridemia at 60 days of age. Repletion of deficient rats with iron after weaning caused a rapid decline in serum lipid levels after only 9 days on the control diet. The hyperlipidemia of iron deficiency thus appears to be reversible with iron supplementation. The time required to develop hypertriglyceridemia in iron deficiency is longer postweaning than during suckling.