What You Will Learn

Discover the basics of iron—all based on expert health information from the National Library of Medicine. 

Get answers to common questions asked about iron.

  • What is iron?
  • What does iron do for the body?
  • What is considered a low iron level?
  • What causes low iron levels?
  • Who is at risk for a low iron level?
  • Is it bad if your iron is too high?

Iron Explained From the Experts Video

This video brought to you by The NASH Facts™ project—an organization committed to bringing you expert information from trusted sources related to fatty liver disease and NASH.

 

Iron

 

What Is Iron?

Iron is a mineral that our bodies need for many functions. For example, iron is part of hemoglobin, a protein which carries oxygen from our lungs throughout our bodies.

 

What Does Iron Do for the Body?

Iron helps our muscles store and use oxygen. Iron is also part of many other proteins and enzymes.

 

What Is Considered a Low Iron Level?

Your body needs the right amount of iron. If you have too little iron, you may develop iron deficiency anemia.

 

What Causes Low Iron Levels?

Causes of low iron levels include blood loss, poor diet, or an inability to absorb enough iron from foods.

 

Who Is At Risk for a Low Iron Level?

People at higher risk of having too little iron are young children and women who are pregnant or have periods.

 

Is It Bad if Your Iron Is Too High?

Too much iron can damage 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.

 

The NASH Facts™ Project would like to thank MedlinePlus from the National Library of Medicine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements.

MedlinePlus brings together authoritative health information from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other government agencies and health-related organizations.

Source.

What You Should Remember

  • Iron is a mineral that our bodies need for many functions
  • You may develop iron deficiency anemia if you have too little iron
  • Causes of low iron levels include:

—Blood loss

—Poor diet

—An inability to absorb enough iron from foods

  • Too much iron can damage your body

Take The Next Step

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