Iron is essential for our bodies. It is obtained from food and is stored in the body for use in various vital processes. Our red blood cells, which are the main component of the blood, contain hemoglobin that transports oxygen to different body tissues, and iron is essential in the formation of hemoglobin. Iron is also used in the processes of cellular respiration and various enzymes, all of which are crucial to life.
One of the main disadvantages of iron is that it is toxic in its pure or “free” form. This means that it can damage tissues and cause cellular destruction if left in its natural form inside the body. In addition, iron deficiency can easily occur if not tightly regulated by the body, and so is iron overload. The main molecule that protects against all of the previous side effects is ferritin.
What is ferritin?
Ferritin is a special protein that is found in virtually all living organisms. Its main function is to bind to iron to prevent it from being free and causing harm. This property allows it to regulate the amount of iron in the body, thereby dealing with deficiency, and preventing overload.
Other functions of ferritin include its role in inflammation and immunity. Several studies have shown that ferritin rises significantly in inflammation and is considered an important inflammatory marker. It has also been shown to be related to the outcome of some infections and inflammations including the recent COVID-19.