Iron supplements are amazing. For people who struggle with iron deficiency or anemia, supplements are often the only solution to their painful and sometimes debilitating symptoms.
But the type of iron supplement you choose can mean the difference between symptom relief and symptom overload. It all comes down to dosage, absorption, and a little something called liposomal iron. Here’s why some iron supplements have such a high dosage—and how to choose the best iron supplement for anemia.
Why do we need iron?
Iron makes hemoglobin, a protein that helps red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body. It’s a vital nutrient for almost every function in your body. Most people get iron from food, especially red meat and poultry.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of factors that can make it hard for iron to be absorbed, stored, and transmitted in the body. Digestive conditions, vegetarianism, menstruation, pregnancy, and old age can all contribute to iron deficiency and anemia. That’s why up to 25% of the world’s population suffers from low iron.
How do you know if you have an iron deficiency? Here are a few signs:
- Fatigue and weakness
- Pale or yellow skin
- Cold hands and feet
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath and fast heart rate
Luckily, iron supplements can help. Oral iron is usually the first treatment your doctor will prescribe. Other forms of treatment include dietary changes, iron infusions, or IV iron.
What are the downsides of conventional oral iron supplements?
Conventional oral iron supplements can effectively increase your iron intake. But they also have a bad reputation.
Nausea, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and gas are just a few of the side effects associated with conventional oral iron supplements. 70% of people who take these supplements experience gastrointestinal side effects. Understandably, 50% of people don’t take their iron supplements as prescribed.
These tummy issues are especially difficult for pregnant women and people who suffer from conditions that already impact their GI tract, like inflammatory bowel disease or chronic kidney disease. Plus, studies show that high doses of iron supplements can actually decrease iron absorption for people with these conditions.
Why do conventional oral iron supplements have such a high dosage?
The short answer? Because of everything you just read.
The long(er) answer? Since conventional oral iron supplements cause side effects that decrease absorption, you need to take more iron. But as we know, more supplemental iron can also decrease absorption.
In fact, many iron supplements with 150mg per dose (like Feramax, for example) only have about a 10-15% absorption rate. Naturally, a much higher dose of iron is required.
So the more conventional iron supplements you take, the more side effects you experience, and the less iron is getting absorbed into your bloodstream? No thank you.
What is liposomal iron?
Liposomal iron is the answer to all these conventional iron problems.
To understand liposomal iron, you need to understand liposomes. These tiny, fat-soluble sacs carry nutrients to different parts of your body. The best part about liposomes is that they aren’t impacted by water or other elements as they travel from A to B. This makes them the perfect vehicle to protect a nutrient from harm.
Conventional oral iron supplements deliver what’s known as free-floating iron, which means they aren’t protected by liposomes.
Enter: liposomal iron. When iron is delivered by a liposome, it guards against acid breakdown, boosts absorption, and protects you from all those awful gastrointestinal side effects. Best of all, liposomal iron doesn’t have to be converted for your body to absorb it.
Why is liposomal iron the best form of iron supplement?
Liposomal iron is known for having amazing bioavailability. That’s the scientific way to measure how much of a nutrient reaches the place it’s supposed to go. An iron supplement with high bioavailability will reach your intestine quickly without losing a ton of its nutrients along the way. From there, it can be absorbed into your lymphatic system and released to your liver. Badda bing badda boom.
The bioavailability of liposomal iron is 3.5 times greater than free pyrophosphate iron, 2.7 times higher than iron sulfate, and 4.1 times higher than iron gluconate. In other words—it’s simply the most effective iron supplement.
Better bioavailability means a higher absorption rate. That means you can take a lower dose and still give your iron levels a proper boost.
Fewer side effects
Liposomal delivery protects iron from the acid breakdown that causes frustrating gastrointestinal side effects.
Only 3% of people experience adverse side effects from oral liposomal iron. Compared to the 70% of people who experience side effects from conventional oral iron, it’s clear that liposomal iron is the safest and best form of iron supplement.
What are the best iron tablets to take?
Most oral iron supplements do not come in liposomal form. But Ferosom Forte does.
Not only is Ferosom Forte a liposomal iron supplement—it also has a patented LCE coating to add an extra layer of protection against stomach acid and gastrointestinal side effects. All with one purpose: to provide the highest absorption rate possible with just one 30mg dose per day.
Ferosom Forte also comes in capsule or sachet form, so you can add iron to your favourite smoothie, sprinkle it over yogurt, or let it dissolve directly in your mouth.
Talk to your doctor about Ferosom Forte and how it can improve your iron deficiency without hurting your digestive system.