Why Do We Need Iron?


Quick Answer

Humans need iron because the mineral is responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen throughout the body requires iron to function properly. Iron deficiency leads to anemia, a disorder that can hinder proper growth and function.

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Full Answer

Iron is required for human muscle to store and use oxygen. Moreover, many enzymes contain iron. Enzymes digest food and play roles in many processes throughout the body. To maintain healthy iron stores, children should get at least 7 to 10 milligrams per day, adult males should get 8 to 11 milligrams per day and women should get 8 to 18 milligrams per day. Pregnant women should consume at least 27 milligrams per day.

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