Iron is a vital part of cell functioning in the human body, according the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The mineral carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. In addition, the muscles use iron for oxygen storage.
Iron also helps the body form amino acids and collagen, which is a major component in bone and connective tissue, according to the NYU Langone Medical Center. Other functions of iron include supporting the body’s metabolism and converting beta-carotene into vitamin A.
According to the CDC, an iron deficiency may delay motor and mental functioning in infants. In teenagers, an iron deficiency can interfere with memory. For adults, physical fatigue may develop.