Iron deficiency (sideropenia or hypoferremia) is one of the most commonly known forms of nutritional deficiencies. In the human body, iron is present in all cells and has several vital functions—as a carrier of oxygen to the tissues from the lungs in the form of hemoglobin, as a transport medium for electrons within the cells in the form of cytochromes, and as an integral part of enzyme reactions in various tissues. Too little iron can interfere with these vital functions and lead to morbidity and death.
The direct consequence of iron deficiency is iron deficiency anemia. Groups that are most prone to developing this disease are children and pre-menopausal women.