Having enough iron in your body is extremely important as it plays a big part in producing haemoglobin within the body. Haemoglobin is a protein that is found within one’s red blood cells which allows for oxygen to be carried throughout the body. Around 70% of the iron within your body can be found in haemoglobin. 25% of iron is found in another protein known as ferritin and the last 5% is found in a variety of other proteins. Iron is also partly responsible for one’s immune system and it is therefore important to maintain a good level of iron in order to remain healthy.
In this article, we will discuss your iron metabolism; including what is considered a normal iron metabolism, what regulates the iron metabolism, and how you can find out more about whether your iron metabolism is in a good condition or not.
What is a Normal Iron Metabolism?
Iron is typically found in foods such as red meat; however, one can take iron supplements if one has a low level of iron or if you are vegetarian or vegan and struggle to include enough iron in your diet. One’s iron metabolism can be defined as a variety of chemical reactions that take place within the body. These chemical reactions maintain the human homeostasis of iron within the body. Typically, 1 to 2 mg of iron is absorbed into the body on a daily basis. Iron can also be discarded due to blood loss and the body’s exfoliation or loss of intestinal mucosal cells.
What Regulates Iron Metabolism?
A person can have a lack of iron within the body which would be the cause of certain health issues, but one can also have too much iron within one’s cells; at which point, iron can become toxic to the body. This overload could cause cells to die. It is therefore important that one regulates one’s iron metabolism. Iron homeostasis or the regulation of the iron metabolism mainly takes place within the liver. Two molecules have been found to be involved in this process. These molecules are known as hepcidin and ferroportin.
So, how do you know if your iron metabolism is regulated and whether or not you have the right level of iron within your body? Well, you can take a simple at-home DNA test!
Geneway offers a DNA test that can determine whether or not you have a genetic predisposition to having or developing irregular levels of iron within your body. Contact Geneway to find out more about your iron metabolism.