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Iron is a chemical element and a trace nutrient that is required by the body to make red blood cells. It is the primary oxygen carrying component of hemoglobin. It can be found in many foods, but it particularly abundant in organ meats, such as liver.

Lack of iron in the diet will eventually lead to anemia. However, in some persons, iron is not properly processed when red blood cells die and accumulates in the bloodstream and organs, leading to haemochromatosis.

A person who gets too much dietary iron can suffer from iron toxicity. This usually only affects individuals who take iron supplements as it is difficult to get iron toxicity from diet alone. As such, iron supplements should not be taken except under the direction of a physician.