Iron Deficiency Anaemia (IDA) is a major public health issue majorly seen among women of reproductive age. According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) of 2015-16, 53% of women in India have anaemia and even iron and folic acid supplementation programs have failed to curb this issue. Hence it is important to consume foods rich in iron and commercially available iron-fortified foods to reduce the risk of anaemia.
This is one of the major functions of iron. Haemoglobin (Hb) is a protein found in the RBCs (Red Blood Cells) which is involved in the transport of oxygen. Iron never exists in a free state. It either binds itself to protein or ligands. For oxygen transport, oxygen binds itself to iron present within haemoglobin and this leads to the formation of Oxyhaemoglobin.
Iron is required as a coenzyme for various enzymatic reactions. Oxidative phosphorylation is one such pathway that requires iron. This pathway is required for the utilization of nutrients to energy.
Certain immune cells require iron for their growth. For example, T cells require Iron for many metabolic reactions. Iron is also involved in DNA replication and repair as well.
Hemoproteins like lactoperoxidase present in tears, milk or saliva have antimicrobial properties.
Iron is involved in learning, cognition, memory, maintenance of attention span and problem-solving. Hence it is important to have sufficient iron levels for better productivity in school or workplaces.
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