Dietary Iron and Colorectal Cancer Risk: A Review of Human Population Studies

Joseph H. Ashmore, Connie J. Rogers, Shannon L. Kelleher, Samuel M. Lesko, Terryl J. Hartman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Iron is an essential micronutrient that is involved in many redox processes and serves as an integral component in various physiological functions. However, excess iron can cause tissue damage through its pro-oxidative effects, potentiating the development of many diseases such as cancer through the generation of reactive oxidative species. The two major forms of iron in the diet are heme and nonheme iron, both of which are found in several different foods. In addition to natural food sources, intake of nonheme iron may also come from fortified foods or in supplement form. This review summarizes the results of human population studies that have examined the role of dietary iron (heme and nonheme), heme iron alone, and iron from supplements in colorectal carcinogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1012-1020
Number of pages9
JournalCritical reviews in food science and nutrition
Issue number6
StatePublished - Apr 25 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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