Inorganic iron rarely exceeds 10−4 molar concentration in the stomach after a meal. Natural sugars, ascorbic acid, citric acid, and amino-acids form iron complexes, and if they are present in the meal complexing occurs when the gastric contents are neutralized. In their absence an iron complex is formed with gastric mucopolysaccharide, which acts as a carrier, stable at neutral pH. Iron can be detached from this carrier at neutral pH by some low molecular weight substances, of which citric acid, ascorbic acid, and cysteine are particularly effective at low concentrations. Under normal circumstances most of the iron released from food in the stomach becomes bound to the mucopolysaccharide carrier.