Serum Ferritin: Which Reference Range Do I Use?

Presently, normal ranges for serum ferritin (SF) vary from lab to lab. SF ranges also differ by gender, ethnicity and age. Such variations limit the consistency with which a healthcare provider can determine abnormal iron levels. Standardizing ranges for serum ferritin is a slow and complex process. In 2010, the Iron Disorders Institute’s Scientific & Medical Advisory Board took the first steps toward standardization and issued an Opinion Statement that the ideal serum ferritin range for adults is 50-150ng/mL.

We know this ideal range has limitations. The 50-150ng/mL range applies mostly to adults undergoing therapeutic phlebotomy for hemochromatosis related iron overload. These individuals are healthy or patients whose iron reduction therapy has achieved a one time target of SF ≤50ng/mL. Iron Disorders Institute board members also concluded that there is no known benefit to a serum ferritin below 10ng/mL. However, they note that lower ferritin levels, even mild iron deficiency provides an advantage to life span.

Ferritin is the only iron test that can distinguish between iron deficiency and anemia of inflammatory response because it is the only test that demonstrates the amount of iron one has in storage. Other tests such as transferrin-iron saturation percentage (TS%), serum transferrin receptor (STfr), reticulocyte content hemoglobin (CHr) or C-reactive Protein (CRP) are helpful tests to determine why ferritin is elevated or depleted.

For now, we recognize serum ferritin lower than 20ng/mL as iron deficiency and a serum ferritin elevated above 150ng/mL as potential iron overload. For both conditions, TS% and hemoglobin are important to determine anemia.

What is Ferritin?

Ferritin is protein produced by nearly every cell of the body. Ferritin molecules are huge; each molecule can hold 4,500 atoms of iron. The greatest concentrations of ferritin are in the brain and the liver.  One function of ferritin is to serve as the primary iron reservoir from which iron can be mobilized and used in the production of new red blood cells to circulate in hemoglobin. Another function of ferritin is to contain iron as part of the Iron Withholding Defense System. Free iron, a powerful oxidant, can severely damage healthy tissues and alter DNA. Functioning in a defensive mode, ferritin keeps iron away from invading cancer and pathogenic microorganisms. These invaders need iron in order to multiply and grow. For this reason, ferritin rises when inflammation is present even though hemoglobin or serum iron might drop slightly. Were it not for this sequestering function, iron would be free to nourish and increase the growth of cancer cells as well as harmful and opportunistic bacteria. When serum ferritin is elevated along with an elevated gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) the risk of disease and premature death is increased.

Serum ferritin is a good measure of iron stores, especially for someone who is iron-deficient. Serum ferritin can be elevated in people with iron overload, hemochromatosis, Wilson’s disease (copper overload); aceruloplasminemia, porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT), African siderosis, fatty liver disease (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis [NASH]), alcoholic liver disease, dysmetabolic iron overload syndrome (DIOS); or from excessive consumption of supplemental iron. SF can also be elevated in conditions where both iron overload and anemia are present, generally seen in patients with red blood cell production abnormalities (thalassemia, sickle cell disease, sideroblastic anemia). Often these individuals require long term red blood cell transfusions to correct anemia and to sustain life. Additionally, ferritin can be elevated in chronic renal (kidney) insufficiencies, infections, chronic inflammation, some forms of leukemia and cancers.

Elevated SF can also be seen in patients as a response to medication or hormone replacement therapy or in chronic users of nicotine gums or alcohol. Serum ferritin can be highly elevated in conditions not categorized as iron overload: inflammatory bowel disease, thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis or hereditary hyperferritinemia-cataract syndrome (HFCS). HFCS is a disorder that results in early onset cataracts; SF will be dramatically increased in these individuals. Phlebotomy is not warranted and could actually do harm if performed therapeutically to lower serum ferritin in a person with HFCS.

Tips to discuss with your healthcare provider: 

If you’re iron deficient; boost your ferritin with these approaches: Consume meals rich in vitamin C and lean cuts of red meat avoid calcium supplements, coffee or tea 2 hours before & after meat meals. If iron supplements are recommended, take them with vitamin C-rich foods or beverages.

If you have elevated body iron, lower your ferritin with these approaches: Donate blood.  For others, iron chelation therapy, consuming calcium rich foods, drinking coffee and tea at mealtime, and limiting supplemental vitamin C at mealtime can help.

Lifesaver tip from HealtheIron: Lower GGT and protect against oxidative stress by consuming foods rich in antioxidants.


KEY RESOURCES:

—McLaren CE, Barton JC, Eckfeldt JH, McLaren GD, Acton RT, Adams PC, Henkin LF, Gordeuk VR, Vulpe CD, Harris EL, Harrison BW, Reiss JA, Snively BM. Heritability of serum iron measures in the hemochromatosis and iron overload screening (HEIRS) family study. American Journal of Hematology. 2010 85(2):101-5.

—Bacon BR, Olynyk JK, Brunt EM, Britton RS, Wolff RK HFE genotype in patients with hemochromatosis and other liver diseases. Annals of Internal Medicine. 1999 130(12):953-62.

—Phatak P, Brissot P, Wurster M, Adams PC, Bonkovsky HL, Gross J, Malfertheiner P, McLaren GD, Niederau C, Piperno A, Powell LW, Russo MW, Stoelzel U, Stremmel W, Griffel L, Lynch N, Zhang Y, Pietrangelo A. A phase 1/2, dose-escalation trial of deferasirox for the treatment of iron overload in HFE-related hereditary hemochromatosis. Hepatology. 2010 52(5):1671-779.

—Ghaziani T, Alavian SM, Zali MR, Shahraz S, Agah M, Jensen KP, Ansari S, Sendi H, Lambrecht RW, Covault J, Bonkovsky HL. Serum measures of iron status and HFE gene mutations in patients with hepatitis B virus infection. Hepatology Research 2007 37(3):172-8.

—Olynk J, Cullen D, Aquilia S, Rossi E, Summerville L, Powell L. A Population-based study of the clinical expression of the hemo-chromatosis gene. New England Journal of Medicine 1999; 341:718–724.

—McLaren C, McLachlan G, Halliday J. Distribution of transferrin saturation in an Australian population: relevance to the early diagnosis of hemochromatosis. Gastroenterology 1998; 114:543–549.

—Fargion S, Mattioli M, Fracanzani A, et al. Hyperferritinemia, iron overload, and multiple metabolic alterations identify patients at risk for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. American Journal of Gastroenterology 2001; 96:2448–2455.

—Lim M, Lee C, Ju Y, et al. Serum ferritin as a serologic marker of activity in systemic lupus erythematosus. Rheumatology International 2001; 20:89–93.

—Harrison, S.A, B. R. Bacon. Hereditary hemochromatosis: Update for 2003. Journal of Hepatology 38 (2003): S14-S23.


15 comments (Add your own)

1. Daniela Andrino wrote:
Hi, everyone, I'm here to share my testimony all around the globe in respect to the help that Doctor Zakuza did for me. I was devastated and confused when I got divorced by my husband 2 years ago because he wanted to go back to his mistress. I searched for help from those that i knew but all was to no avail not until i was directed to Doctor Zakuza the spell caster. I contacted Doctor Zakuza and told him everything that I've been going through and he gave me full assurance that he will help me. I did everything he told me to do and I put my trust and hope on him. Could you believe that my husband came back to me pleading within 12 to 16 hours just as Doctor Zakuza told me after i contacted him and now, my husband is back home and we are living together again. I will recommend anyone in need of help to reach him now for he's also specialized in money spells, lottery spells, pregnancy spells, sickness spells E.T.C. Email: doctorzakuzaspelltemple@yahoo.com & Whats-app, call/text him on +1 (845) 400-7115.

Fri, August 10, 2018 @ 11:58 AM

2. Olivia Stephen form Tx,USA wrote:
Save Your Relationship and Get Your Ex Boyfriend/Girlfriend Back!contact: Unityspelltemple@gmail.com is certainly the best spell caster online and his result is 100% guarantee.
My Name Olivia Stephen form Tx,USA. After 12years of marriage, me and my husband has been into one quarrel or the other until he finally left me and moved to California to be with another woman. I felt my life was over and my kids thought they would never see their father again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i could not control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my husband. Every day and night i think of him and always wish he would come back to me, I was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Unity can help get ex back fast. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a Love spell for me. 28 hours later, my husband really called me and told me that he miss me and the kids so much, So Amazing!! So that was how he came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and he apologized for his mistake,and for the pain he caused me and the kids. Then from that day,our Marriage was now stronger than how it were before, All thanks to Dr Unity. he is so powerful and i decided to share my story on the internet that Dr.Unity real and powerful spell caster who i will always pray to live long to help his children in the time of trouble, if you are here and you need your Ex back or your husband moved to another woman, do not cry anymore, contact this powerful spell caster now. Here’s his contact
Call/WhatsApp: +2348071622464 ,
Email: Unityspelltemple@gmail.com ,
Website:https://unityspelltmple.blogspot.com .

Sat, August 11, 2018 @ 4:07 AM

3. Cathy wrote:
My names is Cathy i want to testify about the great spell caster called Priest Ade my husband and i have been married for 5 years now we don't have a child and the doctor told us i can't give birth because my womb have been damaged due to wrong drugs prescription this got me so worried and my husband was not happy so he decided to get married to another girl and divorce me i was so sad i told my friend about it she told me about a powerful spell caster she gave me his email address well i never believe in it that much though i just decided to give him a try and he told me it will take 24hrs to get my husband back to me and i will get pregnant i doubted him the 3rd day my husband came back to me and was crying he said he didn't want the divorce anymore 3 weeks after the doctor confirmed that i was pregnant he can also help you contact him at

ancientspiritspellcast@yahoo.com or ancientspiritspellcast@gmail.com

Blog: https://effectivespell1.blogspot.com

Website http://ancientspiritspellcast.website2.me

WhatsApp +2347059715465

Mon, August 13, 2018 @ 4:04 AM

4. Olivia Stephen form Tx,USA wrote:
Save Your Relationship and Get Your Ex Boyfriend/Girlfriend Back!contact: Unityspelltemple@gmail.com is certainly the best spell caster online and his result is 100% guarantee.
My Name Olivia Stephen form Tx,USA. After 12years of marriage, me and my husband has been into one quarrel or the other until he finally left me and moved to California to be with another woman. I felt my life was over and my kids thought they would never see their father again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i could not control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my husband. Every day and night i think of him and always wish he would come back to me, I was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Unity can help get ex back fast. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a Love spell for me. 28 hours later, my husband really called me and told me that he miss me and the kids so much, So Amazing!! So that was how he came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and he apologized for his mistake,and for the pain he caused me and the kids. Then from that day,our Marriage was now stronger than how it were before, All thanks to Dr Unity. he is so powerful and i decided to share my story on the internet that Dr.Unity real and powerful spell caster who i will always pray to live long to help his children in the time of trouble, if you are here and you need Love-spell to Win your Man Back from Another Woman or Win your Boyfriend/girlfriend back forever. Do not cry anymore, contact this powerful spell caster now. Here’s his contact
Call/WhatsApp: +2348071622464 ,
Email: Unityspelltemple@gmail.com ,
blogsite:https://unityspelltmple.blogspot.com .
Website:https://unityspelltempleblog.wordpress.com

Wed, August 22, 2018 @ 8:20 PM

5. Lauren wrote:
Hello my name is Lauren i'm from USA i want to testify of a great and powerful spell caster my husband left me and the kids for 2 weeks when i called him he didn't pick up when he came back home the 3rd week he told me he wanted a divorce i was so sad i cried all night he left again i was so lonely the next day i was searching for something online when i found a spell caster called Priest Ade who have helped so many people with their problems so i contacted him with my problems he told me it will take 24hrs and my husband will be back to me i did every thing he told me to do and the next day my husband came back kneeling and begging he canceled the divorce we are now happy together Priest Ade can help you too Email him at

ancientspiritspellcast@yahoo.com or ancientspiritspellcast@gmail.com

Blogs: https://relationshipspell.blogspot.com

Website http://ancientspiritspellcast.website2.me

WhatsApp +2347059715465

Thu, August 23, 2018 @ 1:51 AM

6. briana sherry wrote:
Greetings to every one that is reading this testimony. I have been rejected by my husband after three(3) years of marriage just because another woman had a spell on him and he left me and the kid to suffer. one day when i was reading through the web, i saw a post on how this spell caster on this address gbojie spiritual temple , have help a woman to get back her husband and i gave him a reply to his address and he told me that a woman had a spell on my husband and he told me that he will help me and after 2 days that i will have my husband back. i believed him and today i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the power to bring lovers back. because i am now happy with my husband. Thanks for Dr,gbojie . His email: gbojiespiritualtemple@gmail.com OR.His WhatsApp Number:+2349066410185 or check out his website: http://gbojiespiritualtemple.website2.me

Thu, August 30, 2018 @ 7:14 AM

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Wed, September 5, 2018 @ 9:47 AM

8. Skye wrote:
Not certain where to begin, I was overwhelmed lately trying to get out of a funk situation in a relationship. My fiancé was a whole other story. He was downright hurtful and ungrateful; his life and belongings were in shambles. He was someone addicted to drugs and women. He liked hiding behind excuses, giving me reasons to live a reckless life.
But we share great bond, we can’t let go because we aren’t perfect after all.
One thing we needed was someone or a spell doctor that will place himself in our spot to cure or tell us how easy it is to maintain or build a relationship surrounded by true love and healthy living.
However, the reality of my story is that Dr. Wakina via (dr.wakinalovetemple@gmail.com) with a succeeding love spell made sure none of my pipe dreams at the expenses of a broken heart become reality.

Wed, September 12, 2018 @ 12:15 PM

9. Melissa Helen wrote:
Effective spell to bring your ex back with Dr Winner powerful love spell.....

I can't really believe that i am with my Ex-Husband after when he broke up with me with 4 kids i thank Dr WINNER for helping me getting my man back. My happiness turn to bitterness,my joy turn to sorrow,my love turn to hate when my husband broke up with me. I was so unthinkable and i could not concentrate any more, i love my husband so much but he was cheating on me with another woman and this makes him broke up with me so that he can be able to get marry to the other lady and this lady i think cast a spell on my husband to make him hate me and my kids and this was so critical and uncalled-for me,I cry all day and night for God to send me a helper to get back my man until i went to Westmoreland to see a friend and who was having the same problem with me but she later got her husband back and i asked her how she was able to get her back and she told me that there was a powerful spell caster name Dr Winner that he help with love spell in getting back lost lovers back and i decided to contact him. He told me what is needed to be done for me to have my man back and i did it although i doubted it but i did it and i was garantee that i will see result after 48hours, and he told me that my husband was going to call me by 9pm in my time and i still doubted his word, to my surprise my husband really called me and told me that he miss me so much Oh My God i was so happy, and today i am happily with my man again and we are joyfully living together as one good family and i thank the powerful spell caster Dr Winner. He is so powerful and i decided to share my story on the internet that good spell casters still exist and is Dr. Winner. if you are there and your lover is turning you down, or you have your husband moved to another woman, do not cry anymore contact the powerful spell caster Dr Winner and he will answer you, i am a living testimony and i will continue to testify of his goodness in my family,he turn my family to paradise and today we are all happy together Dr Winner i say thank sir,for you guenie help. Email him now:
Winnersspellcast@gmail.com or contact him on his website: https://winnersspellcast.blogspot.com or you can also contact him now: +2348138289852

Sun, September 16, 2018 @ 8:51 PM

10. Olivia Stephen form Tx,USA wrote:
Real love spell to get ex back and Stop a Divorce or Breakup Revealed by Olivia Stephen form Tx,USA. After 12years of marriage, me and my husband has been into one quarrel or the other until he finally left me and moved to California to be with another woman. I felt my life was over and my kids thought they would never see their father again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i could not control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my husband. Every day and night i think of him and always wish he would come back to me, I was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Unity can help get ex back fast. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a Love spell for me. 28 hours later, my husband really called me and told me that he miss me and the kids so much, So Amazing!! So that was how he came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and he apologized for his mistake,and for the pain he caused me and the kids. Then from that day,our Marriage was now stronger than how it were before, All thanks to Dr Unity. he is so powerful and i decided to share my story on the internet that Dr.Unity is real and powerful spell caster who i will always pray to live long to help his children in the time of trouble, if you are here and you need love spell to Win your Man Back from another woman or Win your Boyfriend/girlfriend back forever. Do not cry anymore, contact this powerful spell caster now. Here’s his contact:
Call/WhatsApp: +2348071622464 ,
Email: Unityspelltemple@gmail.com ,
Blog:https://unityspelltmple.blogspot.com .
Website:https://unityspelltempleblog.wordpress.com

Tue, October 2, 2018 @ 8:27 PM

11. London Parker wrote:
This are things I did not overlook while I was listing the things I wanted from a love spell in my relationship after breakup.
1) I requested that I get back my ex and our relationship last for the rest of our earthly lives.
2) I asked that the love spell should strengthen EACH of our abilities that we may utilize them in order to sustain our relationship which I so hope to become a marriage one day.
3) That we BOTH may resolve all conflicts with peaceful words, while remaining cognizant of one another’s feeling and come to a compromise when benefits all parties involved.
4) That whatever haunts HIM in his childhood, that he can let that go and he know that I hold none of that against him and I accept and love him for the person he is today.

Through all of this with Dr. Wakina via dr.wakinalovetemple@gmail.com, we were worked on to be humble and accept accountability for our actions. I have apologized for my incompetent behaviors. on the other hand, I can count the amount of time HE has apologized to me. The love spell made us understand that relationship is not about a tit-for-tat affair. An equal relationship is what we have at the moment, HE holds himself to the same level of accountability where I am concerned after the graceful love spell from Dr. Wakina.

Mon, October 8, 2018 @ 5:22 PM

12. Brenda wrote:
Love Spell To Get Him Or Her Back Call +55 (11) 97732-4658

My name is Brenda from United State. My husband left me a month ago and he was living with another woman who is 7 years older than him,i feel like my life is completely over. I read over the internet how a spell caster have help several people to get there love back. I have been depress for the past one month and what i need is to get him back and live with him happily. So i decided to give it a try and i contacted the spell caster called Dr. Davi and explain my problems to him and he cast a love spell which i use to get my husband back and now my life is complete and both of us are very happy with the relationship. I am truly grateful to this man,his contact him now if you need urgent help on your broken relationship or marriage. Thank you very much and i am extremely grateful. There is know evil attach to his spell. It will only make your relationship very stronger and make your relationship stable and balance. Contact him now....

Email Spelltemple@fastmail.com

Call him: +55 (11) 97732-4658

Via website for more details of him: http://spelltemple.website2.me/

Tue, October 9, 2018 @ 12:08 AM

13. Brenda wrote:
Love Spell To Get Him Or Her Back Call +55 (11) 97732-4658

My name is Brenda from United State. My husband left me a month ago and he was living with another woman who is 7 years older than him,i feel like my life is completely over. I read over the internet how a spell caster have help several people to get there love back. I have been depress for the past one month and what i need is to get him back and live with him happily. So i decided to give it a try and i contacted the spell caster called Dr. Davi and explain my problems to him and he cast a love spell which i use to get my husband back and now my life is complete and both of us are very happy with the relationship. I am truly grateful to this man,his contact him now if you need urgent help on your broken relationship or marriage. Thank you very much and i am extremely grateful. There is know evil attach to his spell. It will only make your relationship very stronger and make your relationship stable and balance. Contact him now....

Email Spelltemple@fastmail.com

Call him: +55 (11) 97732-4658

Via website for more details of him: http://spelltemple.website2.me/

Tue, October 9, 2018 @ 12:09 AM

14. Lauren wrote:
Hello my name is Lauren i'm from USA i want to testify of a great and powerful spell caster my husband left me and the kids for 2 weeks when i called him he didn't pick up when he came back home the 3rd week he told me he wanted a divorce i was so sad i cried all night he left again i was so lonely the next day i was searching for something online when i found a spell caster called Priest Ade who have helped so many people with their problems so i contacted him with my problems he told me it will take 24hrs and my husband will be back to me i did every thing he told me to do and the next day my husband came back kneeling and begging he canceled the divorce we are now happy together Priest Ade can help you too Email him at

ancientspiritspellcast@yahoo.com or ancientspiritspellcast@gmail.com

https://ancientspiritspellcast12.wordpress.com

Website http://ancientspiritspellcast.website2.me

WhatsApp +2347059715465

Thu, October 11, 2018 @ 9:20 PM

15. Herbert Wilson wrote:
My name is Herbert Wilson Out of respect for you and your spells I must make this testimony know to all. I've been to other spell casters without seeing any result.I just wished I came to you earlier,i got the best from you. My ex husband was gone for a year and I went everywhere and other spell casters for help but no result until my friend introduce me to Dr Aziba After the Love Spell was done, I finally got a calls from him.His spells worked wonders and my husband is back with full of love. It's a miracle! He suddenly came back with flowers saying that i should forgive him, i was truly flabbergasted and shocked when my husband kneel down begging for forgiveness and for me to accept him back..I'm really short of words and joyful,you are a God sent to me and my entire family.. And now i am a joyful woman once again.Thank you so much Dr Aziba To everyone who is looking for a real spell caster should contact Dr Aziba On Email: priestazibasolutioncenter@gmail.com or call him on WhatsApp: +2348100368288

Mon, October 15, 2018 @ 7:46 PM

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