Iron: Important for oxygen transport and cellular respiration

Iron: Important for oxygen transport and cellular respiration

Today’s article is dedicated to iron (lat. Ferrum, FE) – an essential trace element that the body cannot produce on its own. It has to be supplied to it, for example through nutrition, because the organism needs this trace element in order to function ideally.

Iron plays a role above all when it comes to the transport of oxygen in the blood and cellular respiration. It is essential for the formation of haemoglobin, i.e. for the production of red blood cells. It also strengthens hair, nails and muscles.

Iron absorption
Explained in a few words, iron binds itself to various organic molecules that are present in the organism. It is found in enzymes, in hemoglobin and myoglobin, and as depot or reserve iron in the form of ferritin and hemosiderin. Most of the iron depot is located in the liver cells and in the cells of the immune system.
In contrast to calcium or sodium, the iron balance in the body is only regulated by absorption. This is because one third of the iron in the diet, which is common in Europe, is found as haem (a component of haemoglobin and myoglobin). The remaining iron from food is found as iron(III) complexes, which are usually bound to cysteine residues of proteins. Both iron complexes form loose complexes with almost all biomolecules (except fat), which ensure that iron remains in solution. Since 4 of 6 binding sites are already occupied in heme, it can no longer form solid or insoluble complexes. This makes it an independent source of iron intake from other food components, providing almost two thirds of the iron ingested.

Facilitate iron absorption
In plant foods, there are factors that affect iron absorption, such as phosphates, polyphenols and phytates. Therefore, coffee or black tea, for example, makes the absorption of iron more difficult. Vitamin C, ascorbic acid, on the other hand, facilitates absorption by converting trivalent iron (Fe3+) into divalent iron (Fe2+). BERTRAND varieties always contain sea buckthorn, which serves as a stable source of vitamin C.

Where can you find it in BERTRAND?
In Bertrand, the iron suppliers are mainly almonds and linseed. But whole grain oats and ingredients from the algae world also serve as sources of iron. Our organic almonds come from Spain and Italy and are cultivated in an organic agriculture. Our linseeds also come from a controlled organic cultivation and come to us from Kazakhstan. The organic wholemeal oats are exclusively produced on European fields, while the algae are harvested on the Spanish and French coast.

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