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Re: reducing agents

> From: "James Purchase" <jpurch at interlog_com>
> Subject: RE: Iron supplementation
> > A third advantage to the gluconate is that it is a reducing agent
> > and so helps to keep the Fe+2 from being oxidized Fe+3 (the product
> > also contains other reducing agents to aid in this process as well).
> To which, Dave (eworobe at cc_UManitoba.CA) commented:
> > In an oxic environment "reducing agents" will not prevent the oxidation
> > of ferrous iron.

	What is more, gluconate will not be an effective reducing agent
for metal ions.  Glucose itself can be, but the aldehyde group on
glucose has already been oxidised when we get to the acid.  The OH
groups won't reduce metal ions.

HOCH2(HCOH)4COOH    Five OH groups and one COOH
> Is this difference (E.D.T.A. vs. gluconate) merely one of two equally
> effective alternatives or is one product to be preferred over the other?

	I would (and do) go with the EDTA or other chelating agent.  The
idea of the chelating agent is to keep the iron in solution, not to
maintain a II oxidation state.  The main advantage of gluconic acid is,
I suspect, that it is very cheap.  It is used in cleaning solutions
because (under alkaline conditions, at least) it will hang on to metal
ions.  EDTA will be a lot more effective.

Paul Sears        Ottawa, Canada