- name of the term :
Iron is a trace element and is present in the diet as haem iron (meat) or non-haem iron (plant-based foods). These differ in bioavailability or, more specifically, how much of it can be absorbed by the body. Breast milk contains only a little iron in the form of lactoferrin, but this is very well absorbed by the body.
Iron is an important component of a large number of proteins and enzymes that are essential for the transport of oxygen in the blood. Iron plays an important role in the immune defence process and in the development and function of the brain. Iron is essential for the growth and development of all cellular functions and in the synthesis of certain hormones.