2. Since blood donation is voluntary and this is a free service
for the fellow man its natural to guard the sources. This means
that blood donors should receive iron supplementation to compensate
for iron loss from the blood donated, especially if low values are
3. This has not always been the case because of low efficacy
and frequent side- effects from the non-heme iron supplements
4. Side effects often lead to the donors stopping taking the
supplements, which in turn means that they can only donate blood
perhaps once or twice a year instead of normally three times.
5. There are factors influencing non-heme iron absorption
itself. Among these are tannins in tea and coffee. Phytates in
whole grain bread, milk proteins, albumin and soy proteins may also
reduce absorption. This means that a regular diet and non-heme
supplements may not be enough to compensate for iron loss. Heme
iron absorption is not affected by any of these factors.
6. Non-heme supplements at 100 mg Fe++ per dose regularly have
an incidence of side- effects leading to termination of the therapy
of around 30 %. Donors that have previous negative experiences will
usually not take the supplements at all.
7. It has been observed that after a donation absorption of
non- heme iron practically ceases for around four days. Heme iron,
however is absorbed normally.
8. The uptake of non- heme iron is low and will leave free iron
ions in the gut. These in themselves are highly reactive, and
considered toxic to the organism. Heme iron is taken up as a whole
structure leaving no free iron irons.
9. Heme iron is very well tolerated and is known to have a
side- effects ratio as placebo. This means a higher therapy success
10. Heme iron will also not block the uptake of zinc as
non-heme iron in doses over 60 mg will.
11. This is why OptiFer C, M and F tablets with a dose of 18 mg
Fe++ can successfully compete with non-heme tablets of 100 mg