ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition

Iron (Fe)is a trace mineral found in every living cell in our bodies. Iron is a primary component of hemoglobin, myoglobin and Cytochromes. Iron exerts its functions through the compounds in which it is present. Hemoglobin and myoglobin are required for the transport of O2 , CO2 and storage of O2 respectively. Cytochromes and certain non-heme proteins are necessary for oxidative phosphorylation and electron transport chain. Cytochrome containing enzymes are responsible for detoxification of endogenous metabolites, drugs and toxins. Iron is mainly absorbed in the stomach and duodenum. In normal people, about 10% of dietary iron is usually absorbed. Dietary iron has two main forms: heme and nonheme. Plants and iron-fortified foods contain nonheme iron only, whereas meat, seafood, and poultry contain both heme and nonheme iron. Heme iron is absorbed better than non-heme iron.

Nutrition atlas