The role of iron in our bodies is complex, iron is an essential element for blood production, but supports many other bodily functions as well. Despite it's importance, we hear less about why we need to ensure we maintain our iron levels, or even how much iron we need!
Consider the following functions that our iron levels help to sustain, if you feel that you may be need support in one or more of these areas, it may be worth consulting your healthcare practitioner about your iron levels.
- Iron helps form and oxygenate our blood cells and haemoglobin
One of the most important functions of iron is in heme synthesis, which forms haemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells. Haemoglobin’s primary role is to transport oxygen from the lungs to body tissues to maintain basic life functions. Without healthy red blood cells, your body can't get enough oxygen and this can result in you feeling increasingly tired or exhausted.
- Iron helps convert food to energy
Our bodies need iron to convert food to energy. Iron plays a vital role in the process by which cells generate energy. Human cells require iron in order to convert biochemical energy from nutrients into ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) from a multi-step process known as cellular respiration; ATP is the body’s primary energy source. Without sufficient iron, less ATP can be produced, which is another reason why those lacking iron are easily tired and fatigued.
- Iron helps maintain a normal immune system
Iron is necessary for immune cells proliferation and maturation, particularly lymphocytes, which are associated with helping us to keep healthy. Lower iron levels may contribute to an increased risk of our immune systems being compromised and our bodies falling sick.
- Iron contributes to normal cognitive function
Iron plays an important role in maintaining normal cognitive function. Cognitive function includes brain functions such as memory, attention (concentration), alertness, learning, intelligence, language, and problem solving. Maintaining a sufficient level of iron in our bodies helps us to ensure our brain is performing at it's best in the office without having to rely on that shot of caffeine in the morning!
As our bodies do not produce iron we need to make sure we include sufficient iron as part of our healthy diets. Some peoples’ lifestyles can mean that they struggle to get the iron they need from their diet alone. Spatone® Liquid Iron food supplement can provide your body’s daily iron.