Every mineral plays an important role in our lives. Iron is one of them. Iron (Fe) is a chemical element in Group 8, the most-used and least-expensive metal in the periodic table.
Iron is a silver-gray, ductile, malleable metal with a lustrous appearance. It exists in four distinct crystalline forms and is known to be present in four different varieties. In moist air, it rusts but not in dry air. It dissolves readily in dilute acids. It is an important mineral that our bodies require for normal functioning. This blog post will inform you why iron is important for us, so read on!
15 Benefits Of Iron In Our Lives
As one of the most abundant elements in Earth’s crust, iron has many applications. Iron is a crucial component of many industrial processes. Our blood requires iron to transport oxygen. Iron has heating and conducting tendency that makes it worthy of many uses. It is also used in various ornaments and jewelry items.
1. Iron Is Present Abundantly In Earth’s Crust
Iron is the world’s most abundant metal, comprising almost 5% of Earth’s crust. Iron has four naturally occurring isotopes, which are all stable. It is present in many rocks and meteorites.
Iron-based minerals are very common on Earth. It is the fourth most abundant element found in the Solar System after oxygen, silicon, and magnesium. Some iron compounds can be formed by the direct transformation of iron oxide by rain. Iron is also abundant in the sun and stars.
Iron cannot be prepared by any synthetic process. It was first synthesized in 2008 using a particle accelerator to produce iron atoms’ nuclei closer together than they would have been during their natural formation.
2. Iron Is Essential For Oxygen Transport
Iron is an essential mineral for human health and synthesizing hemoglobin and myoglobin. These proteins are responsible for transporting oxygen throughout our bodies.
Hemoglobin accounts for about 70% of the iron in our blood. Without sufficient iron, we cannot synthesize hemoglobin and red blood cells cannot carry oxygen efficiently.
3. Iron Is Necessary For Collagen Production
Collagen is the most widely distributed protein in animals, and it forms the majority of connective tissue. It is also necessary for wound healing. Collagen constitutes about 90% of total bone protein.
The first step in collagen synthesis is the formation of a three-dimensional stranded structure, with glycine and proline as its major components.
Almost half of the human body’s iron is present in hemoglobin. So it comes as no surprise that we need sufficient amounts of this mineral to produce collagen.
4. Iron Is A Component Of Many Enzymes
Iron is a component of many enzymes, including the one responsible for energy production, DNA replication, and protein synthesis.
Of these, 35% are iron-binding proteins that bind single ions, 48% are heme-binding proteins, and 17% are iron-sulfur proteins. More than half of the human iron-protein enzymes have an active function. Indeed, we expect that 6.5 percent of all human enzymes will be dependent on iron.
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5. Iron Is Necessary For Brain Development & Functioning
Our brains help us in problem-solving, memory, movement, speech, emotions, and thinking.
The human brain contains about 2% of the total body iron. Iron gets transported to the brain through the blood. We need sufficient amounts of this mineral to have optimal mental functions.
A lack of iron also causes severe mental and physical problems in toddlers, such as impaired memory or attention span, slowed growth, and delayed development of motor skills. A study found that pregnant women with lower iron stores were more likely to have infants with brain abnormalities. Hence iron is crucial for brain development.
6. Iron Is Vital For Nerve Function
Iron is necessary for normal brain function due to its role in oxidative metabolism. It is also a coenzyme in the synthesis of neurotransmitters and myelin. In recent years, there has been an increased focus on the role of oxidative stress in the central nervous system.
Iron deficiency links to restless leg syndrome, a condition that causes the urge to constantly move one’s legs, often keeping the sufferer awake at night. This disorder results from an iron deficiency in our central nervous system.
Iron aids in the proper regulation of muscle tone and normal electrical activity of the heart.
7. Iron Is Good For Skin And Hair
A lack of iron can lead to hair loss and brittle, dry hair. Iron is necessary for collagen production, which is essential for healthy skin. Collagen strengthens the connective tissues in our skin, keeping it looking young and healthy.
Low iron levels reduce the red hue of blood. Low iron levels cause the blood to appear less red. That’s why skin can lose some of its color or warmth in individuals with anemia.
Paleness was linked to iron deficiency in children ages 6 to 11. It may appear all over the body or concentrate in one place, such as the skin, gums, and face
8. Iron Boosts Metabolism
A lack of iron can lead to weight gain since a lack of this mineral slows down our metabolic rate, making it more difficult to lose weight.
Iron aids in the production of energy from nutrients by your body. Iron aids in the transportation of oxygen to all cells in your body, including those in your muscles. It helps them burn fat as a result.
It is necessary for the production of thyroid hormones. This hormone plays a role in regulating metabolism, body temperature, and many other functions.
9. Iron Works As A Medicine
Iron adds to some medications, such as birth control pills, which may cause some side effects if you’re iron deficient. Iron supplements are often prescribed to pregnant women and those who have suffered from anemia.
Iron interferes with the absorption of numerous medications. As a result, iron supplements should be taken at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after taking prescription drugs.
10. Iron Is A Major Component In Steel Production
Iron is a paradox: it rusts easily, yet it is the most vital of all metals. 90% of the iron processed today is used to make steel.
Iron creates alloy steels with additions such as nickel, chromium, vanadium, tungsten, and manganese.
The addition of carbon makes the steel harder and stronger than pure iron. The carbon content of cast iron is 3–5%. It’s employed for pipes, valves, and pumps. It isn’t as hard as steel, but it is less expensive. Iron and its alloys and compounds also make magnets.
11. Iron Is Necessary For Construction
Iron rods are commonly used in heavy construction projects. Wrought iron is one of the most common iron rods utilized in buildings. Mild steel and deformed bars are crucial for several applications.
In the 9th century, iron was employed in pagoda construction in China. It is still in use because of its durability and strength. Typically found in the form of rebar, it works to reinforce concrete structures.
Because iron is capable of handling the combined weight of several items at once, it’s used in bridge and building construction. We all know that iron is a strong, hard, and tough metal, which explains its high resistance. As a result, it can resist significant loads, stress, and strain. Iron is also used to make nails, screws, and other fasteners. When these items are exposed to the weather, they can rust and corrode.
12. Iron Can Be A Heating Element
The use of iron as a heating element has been around for centuries. In the 1700s, cast-iron stoves became popular in Europe and America.
When iron combines with carbon, it becomes a heating element. A charcoal grill is a simple example of this. The coals or briquettes are of compressed carbon and iron.
Iron is used in traditional furnaces. These are commonly found in older homes, especially those found in the Northeastern region of the US.
You can find iron being utilized as a heating element for electric stoves too. Since it has excellent thermal conductivity properties, it transfers heat well.
13. Iron Is A Conductor Of Electricity
As a metal, iron is a conductor of electricity. It means that it allows current to flow freely through it.
Iron is one of the most commonly used materials in electrical wiring and cables. It has relatively high conductivity and it’s cheap and durable, which makes it perfect for the job!
Iron is also used in electric motors, electromagnets, generators, transformers, induction coils, electromagnets, fuse-links for circuit breakers, contacts in electrical relays, electric heating elements, and inner solenoid coils of electromechanical devices.
14. Iron Is Good For The Plants
Iron transports oxygen throughout the roots, leaves, and other parts of the plant. It gives the plant its green color, indicating that it is healthy. Many plants also need iron for enzyme activities critical to the plant’s growth.
Iron deficiency is the most widespread nutritional disorder in crops worldwide. It is estimated that about one-third of the world’s population may be affected by it.
It results from a variety of factors such as the increasing use of high-yield varieties of food crops, increasing dependence on fertilizers, and lack of microelements in soils.
15. Iron Can Be Used As An Ornament
Iron can be used as an ornament because of its natural color and shine. When it is exposed to the weather, it acquires a rustic look that some people find attractive.
Wrought iron is one of the most popular materials for decorative items. It has a beautiful and unique texture that can’t be found in any other material.
You can find iron in fences, gates, furniture, light fixtures, window grills, and many other items. It’s often used in combination with other materials like wood, glass, and stone to create stunning pieces of art.
The Importance Of Iron – Conclusion
Iron is a very versatile metal that has a wide range of applications. It’s strong, durable, and efficient, which is why it’s used in so many different ways. It’s important to know why iron is important so that you can take advantage of its many benefits!
A sophomore in engineering, I’m a budding writer and an adventure enthusiast. My passion leads me on to try my hands on different things. I enjoy music, food, and good company. Making my way through life in my own ways, you’ll find me holding a camera and capturing what this world has to offer.