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Iron

Iron plays an important role in biology, forming complexes with molecular oxygen in hemoglobin and myoglobin. These two compounds are common oxygen transport proteins in vertebrates. Iron is also the metal at the active site of many important redox enzymes dealing with cellular respiration and oxidation and reduction in plants and animals. In adult human males are some 3.8 grams of iron, and 2.3 grams in females, for whom iron is distributed in hemoglobin and throughout the body. Iron is a critical element in the metabolism of hundreds of proteins and enzymes involved in diverse body functions, such as oxygen transport, DNA synthesis, and cell growth.