The importance of bioavailability is obvious. If consuming an iron supplement has little effect on improving the body’s iron balance, there is no reason to ingest it. Signs of inferior mineral supplements include the use of cheap, poorly absorbed, rock-salt minerals. Reacted Iron is formulated with the superior amino acid chelate form, ferrous bisglycinate, which does not ionize in the gut. Like heme iron (the most bioavailable form of iron found in some protein food sources), Ferrochel® Ferrous Bisglycinate is not impacted by dietary factors and is absorbed at a 59% higher rate than lesser forms, such as ferrous sulfate.
Comparison studies have shown significantly superior absorption of the iron chelate form compared to other rock-salt forms (most commonly ferrous sulfate):
- Iron from Ferrochel® Ferrous Biglycinate shows absorption rates 59% higher than ferrous sulfate
- Ferrochel® iron is absorbed at a rate 3.8 times higher than ferrous sulfate
- Ferrochel® iron shows a reduced number of adverse complaints compared to ferrous sulfate
- No complaints of side effects were reported by subjects at 30 mg per serving
Iron supplements are often a standard recommendation for the treatment of fatigue, particularly among women. A 2012 randomized study confirmed the efficacy of iron in supporting energy balance.
French researchers studied nearly 200 menstruating women ages 18 to 53 who complained of fatigue but were otherwise healthy. All subjects had lower-than-normal ferritin levels (less than 50 mcg per liter). During the study, half of the subjects took 80 mg of iron daily, while the other half took a placebo. Fatigue was measured using a validated questionnaire at the beginning and end of the study.
At the close of 12 weeks, patients receiving the iron pills reported favorable outcomes related to fatigue and energy balance compared to the placebo group. The researchers also found that iron supplements increased the production of red blood cells.
Several major health organizations recommend iron supplementation during pregnancy to ensure pregnant women meet their iron requirements for healthy pregnancy outcomes. For all pregnant women, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends routine low-dose iron supplementation beginning with the first prenatal visit. Larger doses of iron may be recommended following thorough testing to determine low hemoglobin or hematocrit.
In a 2013 study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, daily iron supplementation was shown to support outcomes associated with cognitive health, including attention and concentration. Additionally, the same study found that healthy outcomes were supported related to incidences of general iron deficiency.