Iron is critical for producing hemoglobin, a protein that helps red blood cells deliver oxygen throughout your body. So without it, everything suffers. About two-thirds of the body's iron if found in hemoglobin. Other health benefits of sufficient iron include prevention and reduction of anemia, chronic diseases, cough, pre-dialysis anemia, and many others.
Another of the major benefits of iron is increased brain development. Iron aids oxygen supply in the blood, and since the brain uses approximately 20% of the blood oxygen, sufficient iron levels are directly related to brain health and its functions.
According to the US Centers For Disease Control (CDC), iron deficiency is the most common known form of nutritional deficiency, with its prevalence being highest among children and women of childbearing age, particularly pregnant women.
Iron deficiency may cause severe fatigue, body weakness, developmental delays, behavioral disturbances, and more. In pregnant women, iron deficiency increases the risk of both preterm delivery and low birth-weight. Severe iron deficiency may cause progressive skin ailments that cause brittleness of nails and extra smoothness in the tongue area. The body's metabolism can slow or even shut down as the enzymatic processes requiring iron and protein will not occur. Iron-deficient anemia is considered the most common global nutritional deficiency.