Objective - To determine the correlation between plasma iron concentrations and gastric pH in a population of captive Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Animals - 6 adult female dolphins that ranged from 16 to 30 years of age. Procedures - Blood and gastric samples were collected from each dolphin to allow measurement of plasma iron concentrations and gastric pH, respectively. Samples were collected each month for 12 months. Results - Within each dolphin, plasma iron concentrations and gastric pH did not differ significantly over time. There was a strong negative correlation (r = -0.85) between plasma iron concentration and gastric pH, which suggested that dolphins with a lower gastric pH had a higher plasma iron concentration. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - Analysis of results reported here suggested that gastric pH may play an important role in iron absorption in dolphins.
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