Test Detail
Understanding the Test
Test Measures
Interpreting Results
Other Tests
Content created by
Written by
Dr. Shreya Gupta
BDS, MDS - Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
Reviewed by
Dr. Ashish Ranjan
MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)
Want to know more?
Read our Editorial Policy

Transferrin Saturation

You need to provide
This test is for
Male, Female
Test Preparation
  1. Do not eat or drink anything other than water for 8-12 hours before the test

Understanding Transferrin Saturation

What is Transferrin Saturation?

Transferrin saturation is a lab test used to determine the amount of transferrin that is saturated (bound) with iron. Transferrin saturation is calculated by dividing iron concentration by total iron-binding capacity (TIBC). Transferrin is the primary protein that helps in transporting iron to different parts of the body. TIBC measures the total number of proteins available in the blood to bind iron.

The reference range for transferrin saturation is 20-50 % and 15-50 % in the male and female populations, respectively. A low transferrin saturation percentage is seen in patients with low iron levels, anemia, and pregnant women. High transferrin saturation levels are observed in Haemochromatosis (iron overload).

Normal transferrin saturation levels can be maintained by consuming iron-rich foods like pulses, nuts, seeds, red meat, etc.

What is Transferrin Saturation used for?

A transferrin saturation test is ordered when iron deficiency or iron overload is suspected. The symptoms of iron deficiency are dizziness, headaches, chronic fatigue, pale skin color etc. The symptoms of iron overload are joint pain, weakness, abdominal pain, abnormal heart rhythm, weight loss. Whenever a person shows such symptoms, he/she is prescribed the test.

What does Transferrin Saturation measure?

A Transferrin Saturation test determines an individual’s iron status by using the ratio of serum iron concentration and total iron binding capacity (TIBC) as a percentage. The test tells us how much iron in the blood is bound to transferrin, the main protein in the blood that binds to iron and transports it throughout the body. Under normal conditions, transferrin is one-third saturated with iron, so about two-thirds of its capacity is held in reserve. This test is often employed alongside others to evaluate iron levels and diagnose conditions like iron deficiency anemia, if transferrin saturation is low, or hemochromatosis (an iron overload disorder), if transferrin saturation is on the higher side than normal.

Interpreting Transferrin Saturation results


In healthy adults, the transferrin saturation is supposed to be in the range of 20%-50%. A number lower or greater than that implies iron deficiency or iron overload respectively.


Orders Delivered
Get the link to download App

All products displayed on Tata 1mg are procured from verified and licensed pharmacies. All labs listed on the platform are accredited


Tata 1mg uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) 128-bit encryption and is Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliant


Find affordable medicine substitutes, save up to 50% on health products, up to 80% off on lab tests and free doctor consultations.

Know more about Tata 1mgdownArrow

Access medical and health information

Tata 1mg provides you with medical information which is curated, written and verified by experts, accurate and trustworthy. Our experts create high-quality content about medicines, diseases, lab investigations, Over-The-Counter (OTC) health products, Ayurvedic herbs/ingredients, and alternative remedies.

Order medicines online

Get free medicine home delivery in over 1800 cities across India. You can also order Ayurvedic, Homeopathic and other Over-The-Counter (OTC) health products. Your safety is our top priority. All products displayed on Tata 1mg are procured from verified and licensed pharmacies.

Book lab tests

Book any lab tests and preventive health packages from certified labs and get tested from the comfort of your home. Enjoy free home sample collection, view reports online and consult a doctor online for free.

Consult a doctor online

Got a health query? Consult doctors online from the comfort of your home for free. Chat privately with our registered medical specialists to connect directly with verified doctors. Your privacy is guaranteed.