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Iron, Serum

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The iron blood test measures the amount of iron in the blood. Iron is a mineral that is needed by your body in the production of hemoglobin, the oxygen carrying protein in red blood cells. Iron is also needed for energy and maintaining proper muscle and organ function. Good sources of dietary iron include meat (especially liver), fish, eggs, and leafy green vegetables.
More than 70% of the iron in your body is bound to hemoglobin and the rest is primarily bound to two other proteins, transferrin in blood and ferritin in bone marrow. Iron is released when red blood cells die and carried by transferrin to the bone marrow and organs such as the liver and spleen. In the bone marrow, iron is stored and used to make more red blood cells. 
Healthy men typically get more than enough iron from their food. They generally have reserves of iron in their bodies and rarely develop an iron deficiency. On the other hand, women can lose large amounts of iron during pregnancy, menstruation, or breast-feeding. Because of this they are much more likely to have an iron deficiency and should take iron supplements. Iron deficiency in men and in women past menopause is generally from blood loss or bleeding, such as from stomach ulcers.
An iron blood test is ordered by physicians to screen for anemia, autoimmune diseases, cancer, and hemochromatosis (a disease that causes a buildup of iron). The iron blood test if also often performed to check your nutritional status.