What do we know? Some published studies of heme iron supplementation
Text of Food for thought published heme iron studies
HEMOGLOBIN IRONWhat do we know? Some published studies of heme iron supplementation
UPTAKE AND EFFICACY
In the literature mechanisms for both organic (heme) and inorganic (non-heme) iron uptake are well documented. 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 no free iron ions are released in the intestine to trigger disturbancies.
Heme iron is absorbed by human duodenal mucosal cells 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, whereas non-heme oral iron has a therapy failure rate due to side-effects of around 30 %
Heme iron products have the potential to complement anaemia therapy. This would mean substantial savings for the community and a much improved quality of life for the patients.
The following slides present and comment some of the published scientifical studies on Heme iron.
- Heme iron is better taken up than all other forms (non-heme) palatable
- There are significantly fewer therapy-destroying side-effects
- It is safe and works well as supplement for chronics, pregnants etc.
- Safe and natural in all forms of iron deficiency.
- It can successfully replace current medications.
Comparative Absorption of Ferrous and Heme-Iron with Meals in Normal and Iron Deficient Subjects. Zeitschrift für Ernährungswissenschaft 1993 Mar; 32 (1): 67-70 Ekman M, Reizenstein P. Hematology Laboratory, Karolinska Hospital and Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
“For targeted prophylaxis of iron deficiency with small, side-effect-free doses, heme-iron is thus a valuable component which increases the absorption by about 40%. Heme-iron does not cause high concentrations in the intestinal lumen of free radical inducing, possibly harmful ferric iron.”
Comparative Absorption of Ferrous and Heme-Iron with Meals in Normal and Iron Deficient Subjects.
Clinical Evaluation of Heme Iron Polypeptide: Sustaining a Response to rHuEPO in Hemodialysis Patients. Nissenson et al, 2003 American Journal of Kidney Disease 42 (2). 325-330.
“During the 6-month study period, heme iron polypeptide successfully replaced IV iron therapy in a majority of HD patients and maintained target Hcts with no concomitant use of IV iron.”
Clinical Evaluation of Heme Iron Polypeptide
Side Effects of Iron Supplements in Blood Donors: Superior Tolerance of Heme Iron. Frykman E. J Laboratory Clinical Medicine 1994 April; 123(4): 561-4.
“The study demonstrates that a low-dose iron supplement containing both heme iron and non-heme iron (Hemofer) has fewer side effects when compared with an equipotent, traditional non-heme iron supplement.”
Side Effects of Iron Supplements in Blood Donors
Iron Supplementation in Pregnancy: Is less enough? A randomised, placebo Controlled Trial of Low Dose Iron Supplementation with and without Heme Iron. Eskeland B. Acta Obstet Gynecology Scandinavia 1997 Oct 76(9);822-828.
“A daily dose of 27 mg elemental iron, containing a heme component, given in the second half of pregnancy, prevents depiction of iron stores after birth in most women. An equivalent dose of pure inorganic iron seems less effective, but the sample size in this study was too small to demonstrate significant differences between the two treatment groups.”
Iron Supplementation in Pregnancy
Seminars in Hematology 1998 Jan; 35 (1): 27-34. Absorption of heme iron. Uzel C, Conrad ME. USA Cancer Center, University of South Alabama, Mobile 36688, USA.
“Heme iron is absorbed from meat more efficiently than dietary inorganic iron and in a different manner. Thus, iron deficiency is less frequent in countries where meat constitutes a significant part of the diet.“