IGCSE Biology Paper-4: Specimen Questions with Answers 190 - 190 of 279

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Question 190


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Explain how iron, in the diet of humans, is used in the body.


  • Iron helps oxygenate the blood: The key function of iron is to facilitate oxygen transport by hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying pigment of the erythrocytes (red blood cells) . It is also involved in oxygen storage by myoglobin, an iron-containing protein that transports and stores oxygen within muscle and releases it to meet increased metabolic demands during muscle contraction.
  • Iron helps convert blood sugar to energy: Our bodies need iron to convert blood sugar to energy. It helps boost hemoglobin production and thus increases the transport of oxygen to help alleviate fatigue and tiredness. Also, the creation of enzymes (which play a vital role in the production of new cells, amino acids, hormones, and neurotransmitters) also depends on iron.
  • Iron boosts the immune system: Iron is vital for the proliferation of all cells including those of the immune system. Having an adequate amount of iron in your system will help your immune system to function helping you to support and maintain good health.
  • Iron aids cognitive function
  • Iron supports healthy skin, hair, and nails: Iron supports enzyme systems that are involved in the synthesis of collagen and elastin. It helps the hair to become vibrant and shiny and it also helps prevent the nails from becoming brittle and dry by keeping them strong and moist.

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