Tag Archives: Ioav

Reincarnation or Atavism in the Iron Field? By Ioav Cabantchik


The medieval practice of bloodletting was based on the Moslem medical writers who emphasized revulsion (bleeding from a site located as far from the ailment as possible). This position was attacked in 1514 by Pierre Brissot (1478-1522), a Paris physician, who stressed the importance of bleeding near the locus of the disease (derivative bleeding). He was declared a medical heretic by the Paris Faculty of Medicine and derivative bleeding was forbidden by an act of the French parliament. In 1518, Brissot was exiled to Spain and Portugal. In 1539, the celebrated anatomist, Andreas Vesalius, continued the controversy with his famous Venesection Letter, which came to the support of Brissot“. 

From T.A. Appel and A.B. Davis  “Bloodletting Instruments in the National Museum of History and Technology” 1–103, 1979  https://doi.org/10.5479/si.00810258.41.1

That venesection runs in the veins of our Pierre Brissot (former President of Bioiron and leading authority in hemochromatosis) may not come as a surprise to our members, but is the profession an hereditary trait or is that an atavistic feature of PR?….

In fact, Pierre Brissot is not only aware of his distinguished ancestry profession but also shared that information publically in his recently published historical article in the Revue du Praticien ( Vol. 67 _ Décembre 2017 ) titled “LA SAIGNÉE EN MÉDECINE : une très longue histoire qui n’est pas encore terminée”  (“Bleeding in medicine: a very long story that is not over yet”).


The An old ironic fact worth knowing by: Ioav Cabantchik


Many of us use commercial ferric ammonium citrate (FAC) as a soluble source of iron(III) for biological experiments. The commercial product appears often in different colors, primarily brown or dark green or mixtures of both.

What is in the bottle?

What is in the solution?

In an “old” article published in 2015 in Eur J Inorg Chem. 4159-4162 Tenne-et-al. described a trinuclear ferric citrate complex as major component of both brown and green FAC but the green product contained also a substantial (often equal) amount of dinuclear ferric citrate complex.

When applying FAC in biological studies and seeking reproducibility within and across laboratories, we should be aware of the above facts about FAC. Similar considerations should be used when using commercial Ferric-citrate or fresh salt prepared with citric acid and inorganic-iron salts. In nature, the chemically relevant forms of iron might differ from those often prepared in laboratories for biological experimentation. Therefore, in publications using FAC, it is recommended that the Methods section include the CAS Reg. No. for the exact FAC compound used.

Ioav Cabantchik