What role does irony play in cell creation?
This could be due to iron being an essential component in the rapid multiplication of normal and abnormal cells. This is not a new association, as iron has long been thought of as a carcinogenic due to its pro-oxidative qualities and its ability to encourage the production of free radicals and the peroxidation of lipids. It is haem iron in particular which has undergone speculation due to it having a higher bioavailability than non-haem iron. It has been thought that haem iron also increases cytotoxicity and mucosal proliferation and thus has a greater risk of inducing cancer compared to other forms of dietary iron.
Studies suggest that iron promotes the formulation of reactive oxygen species or ROS from peroxidases through the Fenton reaction in the colon. It is this reaction and the production of hydroxyl radicals which is thought to contribute to the development of pro-mutagenic lesions and cellular toxicity. A study published in 2002 supports the previous statement, with results that identify an iron-overload induces oxidative damage to DNA causing breaks in the DNA strands and oxidized bases in the colon carcinoma cell line HT29 clone 19A, when ferric-nitrilotriacetate (a powerful hepatic tumor promoter) or hemoglobin, incubates the tumor cells. Hemoglobin was used as physiological iron, and when compared to FE-NTA it was discovered to be just as effective at causing DNA damage. These results show that iron is a potential colon cancer risk factor due to its capability of catalyzing reactive oxygen species formation.