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A 31-year-old male asked:

True or false: iron in hemoglobin molecules which are found inside of red blood cells give human blood its red color? pleaseeeee help. thanks

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Both!: The iron is part of the hemoglobin, so if the hemoglobin is red, then the iron has a role in making it red. Without the iron, who knows what color the substance would be, but then it wouldn't be hemoglobin anymore. On the other hand, hemoglobin bound to oxygen appears as a red color. Hemoglobin without oxygen appears as bluish purplish, which is why well-oxygenated blood is quite red.

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Last updated Dec 9, 2013

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