According to the December 2012 issue of PLOS ONE, Iron plays a key role in metabolism that leads to bacteria and human beings competing to prevent the other from obtaining it. Bacteria are obligated to acquire iron to gain foothold to grow in host tissues. Cancer cells also sequester iron more effectively than normal cells. This is one of the reasons why artemisinin may be effective as chemotherapy.
Everyone should have their iron level measured, especially if they have a bacterial infection or cancer. About 5-10% of the population has excessive iron stores, which can have a powerful effect on the risk for making infections more dangerous, contributing to the aggressiveness of cancer, and causing premature aging.
One of the ways of enhancing the sequestration of iron is through the use of lactoferrin.