National Institutes of Health
- The primary NIH organization for research on Iron is the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements
Iron is a mineral that our bodies need for many functions. The body needs iron to make the proteins hemoglobin and myoglobin. Hemoglobin is found in red blood cells and myoglobin is found in muscles. They help carry and store oxygen in the body. Iron is also part of many other proteins and enzymes in the body.
Your body needs the right amount of iron. If you have too little iron, you may develop iron deficiency anemia. Causes of low iron levels include blood loss, poor diet, or an inability to absorb enough iron from foods.
Too much iron is toxic to your body. Taking too many iron supplements can cause iron poisoning. Some people have an inherited disease called hemochromatosis. It causes too much iron to build up in the body.
References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)