Iron Supplements

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Iron Supplements

Post  forumtester on Tue May 08, 2018 3:24 pm

If you’ve shopped for iron supplements you may have noticed two different amounts of iron listed on the same package. The higher number is the total amount of iron in the supplement. The second, smaller number is the amount of elemental iron.

Elemental iron is the total amount of iron in the supplement available for absorption by your body. Each type of iron has a different percent of elemental iron. For instance:
• Carbonyl has 100% elemental iron.
• Ferrous fumarate has approximately 33% elemental iron.
• Ferrous sulfate has 20% elemental iron.
• Ferrous gluconate has 12% elemental iron.

Therefore, higher total amounts of ferrous gluconate may be prescribed by your doctor to increase iron stores as compared to the amount of ferrous fumarate prescribed.

The amount of elemental iron in a supplement is typically listed in the Supplement Facts panel. In addition, some iron supplements will indicate the total milligrams of elemental iron on the front of the package making it easy for consumers to compare different iron supplements.

There are many people who have GI challenges that actually do need iron supplmentation because they have malaborption issues and end up with severe health problems because of low iron, and red blood count.

Q.  I can't avoid all those foods, especially the bread and grains. What can I do to keep the iron I ingest from harming me?
A.  Iron destroys vitamin E, so vitamin E should be taken as a supplement. It shouldn't be taken at the same time as the iron-contaminated food, because iron reacts with it in the stomach. About 100 mg. per day is adequate, though our requirement increases with age, as our tissue iron stores increase. Coffee, when taken with food, strongly inhibits the absorption of iron, so I always try to drink coffee with meat. Decreasing your consumption of unsaturated fats makes the iron less harmful. Vitamin C stimulates the absorption of iron, so it might be a good idea to avoid drinking orange juice at the same meal with iron-rich foods. A deficiency of copper causes our tissues to retain an excess of iron, so foods such as shrimp and oysters which contain abundant copper should be used regularly.

Q.  How does copper help us?
A.  Copper is the crucial element for producing the color in hair and skin, for maintaining the elasticity of skin and blood vessels, for protecting against certain types of free radical, and especially for allowing us to use oxygen properly for the production of biological energy. It is also necessary for the normal functioning of certain nerve cells (substantia nigra) whose degeneration is involved in Parkinson's disease. The shape and texture of hair, as well as its color, can change in a copper deficiency. Too much iron can block our absorption of copper, and too little copper makes us store too much iron. With aging, our tissues lose copper as they store excess iron. Because of those changes, we need more vitamin E as we age.

•   Iron is a potentially toxic heavy metal; an excess can cause cancer, heart disease, and other illnesses.
•   Other heavy metals, including lead and aluminum, are toxic; pans and dishes should be chosen carefully.
•   Iron causes cell aging.
•   Drinking coffee with iron rich foods can reduce iron's toxic effects.
•   Use shrimp and oysters, etc., to prevent the copper deficiency which leads to excess storage of iron.
•  Avoid food supplements which contain iron.
•   Take about 100 units of vitamin E daily; your vitamin E requirement increases with your iron consumption.


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