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Heme iron and blood donation

Heme iron and blood donation

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  1. 1. Heme iron and blood donation
  2. 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 detected.
  3. 3. This has not always been the case because of low efficacy and frequent side- effects from the non-heme iron supplements given.
  4. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 9. Heme iron is very well tolerated and is known to have a side- effects ratio as placebo. This means a higher therapy success rate.
  10. 10. Heme iron will also not block the uptake of zinc as non-heme iron in doses over 60 mg will.
  11. 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 Fe++.