Iron Functions in the Body


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The body uses iron for a variety of purposes. The human body requires approximately 20 grams of iron per kilogram of body weight. In addition to carrying oxygen, iron acts as a free radical and can damage tissues. This article will cover some of the key functions of iron in the body. Read on to learn more.

blood vessels

What is The Role of Iron in Healthy Individuals?

When you eat foods containing iron, the iron is stored in your body as ferritin. This is then transported throughout the body by proteins called transferrin. This protein is responsible for transporting iron throughout the body and helps protect it from the formation of harmful compounds. In addition to transporting iron throughout the body, iron is recycled in the body to reduce the need for external iron sources. Ferritin is a key factor in this process.

Haemoglobin contains iron and plays an important role in oxygen transportation. In fact, blood containing oxygen travels from the lungs through the left side of the heart where it is pumped to the rest of the body. Once it reaches the rest of the body, it is handled by a protein called a monooxygenase, which contains iron in its active site. Monooxygenases catalyze the insertion of one oxygen atom from O(2) into an organic substrate. Free iron is toxic to cells, so it is associated with enzymes and proteins. The diagnosis of abnormal iron levels is usually achieved with the help of an iron overload blood test.

blood test

Iron Abnormalities

An iron deficiency affects the body’s normal defences against infection. T lymphocytes are affected, which inhibits the cell-mediated immune response, and DNA synthesis is reduced. A deficiency also affects neutrophil leukocytes, which kill bacteria by phagocytosis. These are all important components of the defence against infections, but iron deficiency impairs their functions.

On the other hand, too much iron can be toxic to certain organs, so finding the right balance is vital for our bodies. When it enters the bloodstream, excess iron can cause damage anywhere since the body has no way of eliminating this excess iron, so it can stay in the body for long periods of time. In some cases, high levels of iron have been found in patients with Parkinson’s disease. This has been shown to worsen neurological disorders. It is important to understand how iron works in the body before beginning any new treatment.

Whether you have hemochromatosis in your family or not, you should be aware of the symptoms of iron overload. These symptoms are not a result of poor nutrition, but of excess iron absorption. Usually, healthy intestines limit iron absorption. If you have iron overload disorder, the body cannot excrete iron as quickly as it should. This leads to an accumulation of iron in organ tissue, including the liver, heart, and pancreas. There are different ways to test your iron levels and the quickest one is to get an iron overload blood test. Early diagnosis enables early treatment and prevents the symptoms from evolving and causing more harm to the body.

Hereditary hemochromatosis is a genetic disorder in which individuals have a defect in a gene that produces hemochromatosis. While men and women with this mutation share the same abnormal gene, women lose iron during pregnancy and menstruation. Most people develop symptoms in adulthood. For men, symptoms generally appear after age 40, while in women, the condition is diagnosed even later when their menopause starts.



Iron works as an oxygen carrier, attracting oxygen from the lungs and passing it around the body. As a result, iron is essential for healthy body functioning. It also promotes circulation, enhances tissue oxidation, and improves the ability of cells to absorb oxygen. These functions of iron in the body make it vital for human health but in excess quantities, the iron becomes very dangerous and has the ability to harm the body. To verify their iron levels, patients should undergo iron overload blood tests. Genetic tests may also reveal the presence of iron overload in an individual. It is best to consult a doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with iron overload. The condition can become very dangerous if not treated in time.

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