Every single cell that lives in plants and animals contains iron.
The majority of the iron found in the human body is found in one of two proteins known as myoglobin in the muscle cells and haemoglobin found in the red blood cells.
The haemoglobin in your blood is what transports oxygen around the body and carries oxygen to all of the body’s cells.
The iron that is found in haemoglobin has a very important role because it contains chemicals that tell it when to release oxygen and how much to release, so all the cells in the body get what they need. It’s all really rather amazing.
All cells within the body need oxygen to be able to produce energy, it’s what keeps you alive.
Haemoglobin with its iron content is also responsible for eliminating hydrogen atoms and carbon that are released by the body when it uses carbohydrates. This is why it is important to have enough iron in the body if you do a lot of exercise, because as your body creates more carbon dioxide, the iron in the haemoglobin eliminates the CO2 and brings fresh new oxygen to the muscles.
But there are lots of other roles iron plays in the body too. Iron is essential in the body for new cell formation and regeneration, hormone control, the making of amino acids and formation of neurotransmitters.
Iron is often called the body’s gold, because it is so vital and plays such an important role. After iron is absorbed from food in your intestines, it is transported to the body’s tissues by a protein called transferrin. It is then stored mostly by the bone marrow and the liver as two different types of proteins. A little iron is also stored in the muscles and spleen, while a very small amount is also stored in the blood.
You can see why iron is so important in the body when you look at how ill a person can get from iron deficiency. The most commonly known problem caused by iron deficiency is anaemia. Anaemia can cause severe weight loss, fatigue, vision problems, hair loss, sickness, dizziness and more. In infants it can cause a delay in normal motor activity (walking, crawling, and general movement) and in pregnancy it can lead to premature birth and small babies.
What Else Does Iron Do?
Iron has lots of other important functions too. First of all, it is needed to allow the body to produce cytochrome oxidase, which is a type of enzyme needed to rid the body of toxins. SO iron is very important when you are detoxing.
Iron also plays in important role in fighting bacterial and viral infections and it helps to boost the immune system. Low levels of iron and iron deficiency can lead to very severe illness as the body cannot fight it off.
Another vital role of iron is DNA synthesis and this is what is found in chromosomes that passes genes down to future generations. It determines everything in the body from hair and eye colour to mannerisms and susceptibility to certain illnesses.
A healthy nervous system needs plenty of iron as iron helps to transmit nerve signals by the healthy production of neurotransmitters in the brain.
Finally, iron is needed to allow the body to make proteins which are often referred to as the body’s building blocks. Without proteins, you simply cannot exist.