Maintaining normal iron levels in the blood and bone marrow is essential for optimal functioning of the human body. Iron is a core component of enzymes and proteins involved in key metabolic processes such as DNA synthesis, cell proliferation and differentiation, cellular respiration or immune protection against bacteria.
Most importantly, iron is an essential element in the production of hemoglobin, the blood protein that transports oxygen from the lungs to the tissues. An estimated 70% of human iron is found in the red blood cells that contain hemoglobin or the myoglobin protein expressed in the body’s muscle cells.
In terms of mass, iron is the most abundant natural element on earth. Yet iron deficiency remains a significant challenge to human health worldwide, diminishing in a variety of ways the quality of life of the many people whose iron levels are too low.