What is the role of iron in my body?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Iron Chef, Iron Man, Iron Maiden, Iron Mike Tyson -- the monikers of these pop culture heroes glorify the immense power of the strength-building mineral pumping through their veins. But ordinary mortals need their iron, too. A deficiency of this essential nutrient can put you at risk for serious conditions such as iron-deficient anemia, which causes fatigue and weakens the immune system.

Iron is critical to several body functions including:
  • Creating hemoglobin in red blood cells
  • Transporting oxygen to cells
  • Regulating cell growth and development
  • Maintaining a healthy immune system
  • Promoting healthy brain function
This content originally appeared on
Michael T. Murray, ND
Naturopathic Medicine

Iron is critical to human life. It plays the central role in the hemoglobin molecule of our red blood cells (RBCs), where it helps transport oxygen from the lungs to the body's tissues, and carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs. In addition, iron is major component of several key enzymes that participate in energy production and metabolism, including DNA synthesis.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.