- An essential mineral. Iron is necessary for the transport of oxygen (via hemoglobin in red blood cells) and for oxidation by cells (via cytochrome). Deficiency of iron is a common cause of anemia. Food sources of iron include meat, poultry, eggs, vegetables and cereals (especially those fortified with iron). According to the National Academy of Sciences, the Recommended Dietary Allowances of iron are 15 milligrams per day for women and 10 milligrams per day for men. Iron overload can damage the heart, liver, gonads and other organs. Iron overload is a particular risk in people who may have certain genetic conditions (hemochromatosis) sometimes without knowing it and also in people receiving recurrent blood transfusions. Iron supplements meant for adults (such as pregnant women) are a major cause of poisoning in children.
* * *A metallic element, atomic no. 26, atomic wt. 55.847, that occurs in the heme of hemoglobin, myoglobin, transferrin, ferritin, and i.-containing porphyrins, and is an essential component of enzymes such as catalase, peroxidase, and the various cytochromes; its salts are used medicinally. For individual salts not listed below, see ferric and ferrous entries. [A.S. iren]- albuminized i., i. albuminate a compound of i. oxide and albumin; rendered soluble by the presence of sodium citrate; occurs as reddish brown, lustrous granules, odorless or nearly so; used in anemia.- i. filings small packets of Paragonimus spp. eggs that can be seen in the sputum; the egg clumps tend to be yellow-brown.- i. pyrites native sulfide of i..
* * *iron 'ī(-ə)rn n1) a heavy malleable ductile magnetic silver-white metallic element that readily rusts in moist air, occurs native in meteorites and combined in most igneous rocks, is the most used of metals, and is vital to biological processes (as in transport of oxygen in the body) symbol Fe see ELEMENT (table)2) iron chemically combined <\iron in the blood>iron adj
* * *n.an element essential to life. The body of an adult contains on average 4 g of iron, over half of which is contained in haemoglobin in the red blood cells, the rest being distributed between myohaemoglobin in muscles, cytochrome, and iron stores in the form of ferritin and haemosiderin. Iron is an essential component in the transfer of oxygen in the body. The absorption and loss of iron is very finely controlled. A good dietary source is meat, particularly liver. The recommended daily intake of iron is 10 mg per day for men and 12 mg per day for women during their reproductive life. A deficiency of iron may lead to anaemia. Symbol: Fe.Many preparations of iron are used to treat iron-deficiency anaemia. These include preparations taken by mouth, such as ferrous sulphate, and those administered by injection, such as iron dextran.
* * *(Fe) (iґərn) a metallic element found in certain minerals, in nearly all soils, and in mineral waters: atomic number 26; atomic weight, 55.847; specific gravity, 7.85â€“7.88. Iron is an essential constituent of hemoglobin, cytochrome, and other components of respiratory enzyme systems; its chief functions are in the transport of oxygen to tissues (in hemoglobin) and in cellular oxidation mechanisms. Dietary sources include muscle meats, eggs, grains, and certain vegetables and fruits. Depletion of iron stores may result in iron-deficiency anemia (q.v.). Excessive consumption of iron causes iron poisoning (q.v.). See also ferric and ferrous.
Medical dictionary. 2011.