Iron: Important for transferring oxygen and for cell respiration

19. February 2019
Posted in Nutrients
19. February 2019 Christel Badtke

Iron: Important for transferring oxygen and for cell respiration

Today’s article is about iron (Lat. Ferrum, FE) – an essential trace element that the body is not able to make for itself. It must enter the body through food and drink, because the organism needs this trace element, if it is to function properly

Iron plays a major role in transferring oxygen in the blood and in cell respiration. It plays an essential part in the formation of hemoglobin, which means the production of red blood cells. It also strengthens hair, nails and muscles.

Iron uptake
In short, iron attaches to various organic molecules that are found within the organism. It is found in enzymes, in hemoglobin and myoglobin and as stored or reserve iron in the form of ferritin and hemosiderin. Iron reserves are located mostly in liver cells and in the cells of the immune system.
Unlike calcium or sodium, the balance of iron in the body is regulated solely through absorption. This is because the iron that is present in the food and drinks typically consumed in Europe consists of about one-third heme (a component of hemoglobin and myoglobin). The rest of the iron from food and drink is in the form of iron (III) compounds, which are generally bound to cysteine residues of proteins. Both iron compounds form loose compounds with almost all biomolecules (except fat), and these ensure that the iron remains in solution. Heme has 6 coordination sites, 4 of which are already occupied, and so it is not capable of forming further fixed or insoluble compounds. This enables it to act as an independent absorber of other nutrients, and as such, it provides the body with almost two-thirds of the iron that that it absorbs.

Making iron absorption easier

There are factors in plant-based food that inhibit the absorption of iron, such as phosphates, polyphenols and phytates. That is why coffee and tea, for example, make it more difficult to absorb iron. Vitamin C, ascorbic acid, on the other hand facilitates absorption by converting trivalent iron (Fe3+) into bivalent iron (Fe2+). The items in the BERTRAND range always contain sea buckthorn, which acts as a stable source of vitamin C.

Where can you find this in BERTRAND?
In Bertrand the main sources of iron are almonds and linseed. But wholegrain oats and ingredients made from algae can also be sources of iron. Our organic almonds come from Spain and Italy, and they are grown using ecologically approved methods. Our linseed also comes from a certified organic producer and is brought to us from Kazakhstan. Our wholegrain oats are grown only in European fields, and the algae are harvested from the Spanish and French coasts.

The sea buckthorn is Bertrand’s purest source of Vitamin C. If you are vegetarian or vegan, it is essential to ensure that you absorb enough iron from your diet, because the body can utilize iron from animal sources much more easily than iron from plant-based foods. Even just a glass of orange juice with a meal that contains grains can be very effective.
Annika | Customer Service

Do you have any questions?

I am happy to answer your questions on this topic. Feel free to write me an email. You will usually receive a response within 24 hours.

Annika | Customer Service


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