Iron vs Ferritin: Difference and Comparison

Iron is an essential component for the body’s maturation and development. Iron is used in producing haemoglobin in our body, which is responsible for the transportation of oxygen.

Iron deficiency anaemia is one of the most significant health issues that can result from a lack of iron in the blood.  In contrast, Ferritin is a protein that collects iron and distributes it when the body requires it.

Ferritin is the most sensitive and selective biomarker of iron insufficiency.

Key Takeaways

  1. Iron is a mineral found in the blood, while ferritin is a protein that stores iron.
  2. Iron is necessary for producing hemoglobin, while ferritin helps regulate iron levels in the body.
  3. Iron deficiency can lead to anemia, while low ferritin levels indicate iron deficiency.

Iron vs Ferritin           

Iron is a mineral vital for the functioning of haemoglobin to carry oxygen around the body. The human body requires iron for a healthy brain and muscle function. It is essential for increased energy and regulation of body temperature. Ferritin is an intracellular protein where iron is stored. It acts as a measure to indicate low or high levels of iron.

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Iron vs Ferritin

 Iron’s primary function in the body is in RBCs, where it aids in oxygen transport to the different parts of the body. Iron interacts with specific protein haemoglobin in red blood cells.

Iron reacts with haemoglobin in blood cells. Iron also helps in building immunity and increases brain activity and strength.

Ferritin is an iron-containing blood protein. A ferritin test tells you how much iron is stored in your system.

If a ferritin test reveals a reduced ferritin concentration in the blood, it means your body’s iron reserves are insufficient, and you have iron deficiency. You may get anaemic as a consequence.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonIronFerritin
Definition Iron is considered a metal complex.Ferritin is a 24 component globular protein complex.
Use Iron is necessary for the effective operation of all of our body’s cells. Ferritin stores iron and helps to maintain a healthy iron balance in our bodies.
LevelsThe higher the level of iron, the higher is Ferritin.Levels of Ferritin doesn’t affect Iron levels.
StorageA quarter of the body’s total iron is stored in Ferritin.Liver stores most of the body’s Ferritin.
DeficiencyLow iron levels can induce haemoglobin synthesis difficulties.Low ferritin levels can result in iron deficiency anaemia.

What is Iron?        

Iron is required for the formation of blood. Males have around 4 g of iron in their bodies, while females have approximately 3.5 g; children often have 3 g or less.

Iron is important for our body in many ways. The major role of iron in the body is in RBCs, where it assists in the delivery of oxygen to various areas of the body.

In red blood cells, iron interacts with a particular protein called haemoglobin. In blood cells, iron interacts with haemoglobin. Iron also aids in the development of our immunity, mental activity, and strength.

When an iron insufficiency is discovered, it is critical to determine the cause. The major causes include insufficient iron levels to fulfil the body’s demands.

Iron deficiency can be a symptom of a severe underlying illness. It’s essential to consult your doctor to determine the source of your iron shortage.

Iron deficiency anaemia in grownups and iron deficiency anaemia in kids are both possible outcomes of iron insufficiency.

When the body’s iron reserves are depleted to the point where there isn’t enough iron to generate enough haemoglobin, anaemia develops.

Iron deficiency is more likely in individuals who follow a limited diet, such as a vegetarian or vegetarian diet.

iron

What is Ferritin? 

A ferritin blood test determines how much ferritin is in your blood. Ferritin is a protein that helps in depositing iron.

Iron is very important for carrying out various functions in our body, hence making ferritin important. Iron is required for the production of healthy red blood cells.

Almost all living species, including bacteria, algae, and mammals, synthesise the protein.

Ferritin is a cytosolic protein present in most tissues, although tiny quantities are released into the bloodstream, where it serves as an iron transporter.

Plasma ferritin can also be used as an indicator of the amount of iron present.

Ferritin is a blood protein that contains iron. A ferritin test determines the amount of iron stored in your body.

A decreased ferritin content in the blood indicates that your body’s iron reserves are insufficient and you have iron insufficiency. As a result, you may become anaemic.

Ferritin levels that are higher than usual may indicate that you have more levels of iron than necessary. Liver and heart diseases can occur if the iron levels in our bodies are elevated.

It is important to balance the amount of iron in our body, which is adequately done by Ferritin.

Main Differences between Iron and Ferritin

  1. Iron is necessary for the effective operation of all of our body’s cells, whereas Ferritin, on the other hand, stores iron and helps to maintain a healthy iron balance in our bodies.
  2. Higher levels of iron mean ferritin levels are high in our body, whereas the quantity of iron remains unaffected by high ferritin levels.
  3. Iron is considered a metal complex, whereas ferritin is a 24-component globular protein complex.
  4. Ferritin stores around a quarter of the body’s total iron, whereas the liver contains the most ferritin.
  5. Low iron levels can induce haemoglobin synthesis difficulties, whereas low ferritin levels can result in iron deficiency anaemia.
Difference between Iron and Ferritin
References
  1. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article-abstract/80/4/936/4690399
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0167488986901394

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