The effect on urinary iron excretion (UIE) of vitamin C administered orally 2 h after the start of an 8-hour desferrioxamine (DF) i.v. infusion was studied in 12 patients with untreated idiopathic hemochromatosis (IH). Mean ± SEM basal UIE of 324.6 ± 84.6 μ g/24h increased after a 1-gram i.v. DF infusion to 8,778.5 ± 1,191.4 μ g/ 24 h; when vitamin C 1 or 2 g were added to DF i.v. infusion, there were further increases to 11,241.5 ± 1,486.1 (p < 0.01) and 13,531.2 ± 1,697.2 μ g/24h (p < 0.05 versus the last value), respectively. Basal UIE did not significantly increase after oral vitamin C administration alone. No side effects were observed.

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