The OptiFer® series of efficient and well tolerated heme iron supplements
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.