In the literature mechanisms for both organic (heme) and inorganic (non-heme) iron uptake are well documented. The regular iron supplements are artificial/synthetic non-heme iron compunds. Today the OptiFer® series of heme iron supplements are available. Find out more at www.optifer.international and www.hemeiron.com.
The special pathway through which heme iron is absorbed has great benefits, mainly because the uptake is substantially higher.
Since the hemoglobin molecule is absorbed as a whole unit no free iron ions are released in the intestine to trigger disturbances. This happens with artificial/synthetic non-heme, as it must disintegrate in the gut before any uptake can happen. Since uptake for non-heme is low, reactive free irons remain in the gut.
Hemoglobin, containing heme iron is absorbed by human duodenal mucosal cells as a whole unit in a specific uptake process which is not influenced by extrinsic factors like phytates, calcium or oxalates. The two different absorption pathways are complimentary and additive. Heme iron will not desensitize mucosa cells like non-heme iron. It will be absorbed for instance during proton pump inhibitor/antacid treatment as opposed to non-heme.
Heme iron tablets typically have a tolerance close to placebo level. Compared to this, non-heme oral iron has a therapy failure rate due to unpleasant side-effects of around 30 %
Heme iron products have the potential to complement anemia therapy. This would mean substantial savings for the community and a much improved quality of life for the patients.
The following material presents and comment some of the published scientific studies on heme iron.
- Heme iron is better taken up than all other forms of palatable iron.
- There are significantly fewer therapy-destroying side-effects.
- It is safe and works well as supplement for chronics, pregnants and so on.
- Safe and natural in all forms of iron deficiency.
- It can successfully replace current medications.