Balancing systemic iron levels within narrow limits is critical for human health, as both iron deficiency and overload lead to serious disorders. There are no known physiologically controlled pathways to eliminate iron from the body and therefore iron homeostasis is maintained by modifying dietary iron absorption. Several dietary factors, such as flavonoids, are known to greatly affect iron absorption. Recent evidence suggests that flavonoids can affect iron status by regulating expression and activity of proteins involved the systemic regulation of iron metabolism and iron absorption. We provide an overview of the links between different dietary flavonoids and iron homeostasis together with the mechanism of flavonoids effect on iron metabolism. In addition, we also discuss the clinical relevance of state-of-the-art knowledge regarding therapeutic potential that flavonoids may have for conditions that are low in iron such as anaemia or iron overload diseases.
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