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Role of iron in the body and its homeostasis - Dissertation Example

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This paper will try to describe what iron is in chemotherapy or in biology. This description will be biological in nature. The description will include the elements of iron and its basic properties and also the roles of iron in the body. …
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Role of iron in the body and its homeostasis
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Role of iron in the body and its homeostasis

The study would focus on iron as both a chemical element and a metal. It is the most common element that is found both in the inner and outer core of the earth. Iron exists in different states of oxidation and it occurs in environments with low oxygen rates. Iron plays an important role in biology in that it forms complex structures with oxygen in hemoglobin and myoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein which contains iron and is used in transporting oxygen. It is found in the red blood cells in all vertebrates apart from the fish family. It is used to carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body to help in providing energy to nutrients that are burnt up so that the organism can function effectively. In mammals, hemoglobin makes up almost all of the red blood cells. It also carries other gasses apart from oxygen such as carbon dioxide and nitric oxide, and it is also found outside red blood cells. Myoglobin is a protein which has iron and is oxygen binding. It is found in the tissue of vertebrates. Myoglobin is not found in the blood unless it is released when a muscle is injured. It has a single chain protein with eight alpha helices with a hydrophobic core. Iron is found in all living things including human beings. The color of the blood is usually characterized with the amount of hemoglobin in the blood. The hemoglobin is a protein which contains iron. Iron is usually bound to cofactors such as the hemes. Enzymes and proteins which contain iron usually take part in many biological oxidations and transportation processes. Iron is very pervasive and it is found in various diets or foods such as red meat, lentils, beans and fish. There is a high amount of iron contained in these foods. It can, however, be found in low amounts in molasses and teff. Iron in meat is usually more easily absorbed than iron in vegetables. Iron provided by foods or dietary supplements is usually found as iron fumarate. This is an iron salt of fumaric acid which appears as a reddish powder used as a supplement in the intake of iron (Williams 2011, p. 109). Iron sulphate is usually cheaper and easily absorbed as compared to fumaric iron. Elemental iron which is also known as reduced iron is usually absorbed ... Read More
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