What does iron do for the body?

Iron is an essential mineral for our life. It does several important functions in the body. Do you know what these functions are? There are many. I will tell you some of the most important functions.

Iron carries oxygen to produce energy:

Oxygen is essential for the life of every cells in the body. When we breath, the oxygen in the atmospheric air goes into the lungs. From the lungs, the oxygen is transported by the blood throughout the body. Actually haemoglobin; the red pigment found inside the red blood cells do this job. Then what does iron do?

Well! iron is a main component of the haemoglobin. One hemoglobin molecule have four iron molecules.The oxygen is temporarily bind with the iron molecule and transported. Without iron, our body cannot produce haemoglobin. Low levels of this red substance in the blood is called anaemia (anemia).

Do you know that iron deficiency anaemia is the major nutritional disorder in the world?
Our muscles contain a molecule called myoglobin. Like hemoglobin, this substance stores oxygen inside the muscle cells. When the muscles need energy to contract, this oxygen is utilized. So, the main function of iron is carrying oxygen, which is vital for life.

What else does iron do in the body?

  • It is needed for the production of an enzyme called cytochrome oxidase. This enzyme is important for the destruction of toxins in the body.
  • Iron is needed for the immunity against infections such as bacteria and viruses. Having healthy levels of iron is a good way of boosting your immunity.
  • It is necessary for the synthesis of DNA; the genetic material found in chromosomes.Chromosomes are thread-like molecules that carry hereditary information for everything from height to eye coluor. They are made of protein and one molecule of DNA, which contains genetic instructions, passed down from parents.
  • It does an important role in the transmission of nerve signals. We need iron to produce neurotransmitters. These are hormones needed for the transmission of signals along the nerves.
  • We need iron for the production of many proteins. Proteins are the building blocks of our body.
In summary, iron does many important jobs in our body including transport of oxygen, energy production, fighting against infections and production of vital hormones.

Do you know what foods contain iron?
Read my article about iron rich foods.

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