Importan facts you need to know about heme iron

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Heme iron in meat courses is the most important source of iron

• Historically meat courses have been the main and most important dietary provider of iron for humans.

• An iron-poor diet may be the reason for anaemia outside of increased need for iron because of blood loss (ulcers, surgery, disease etc. or increase in the body's need for iron (pregnancy, blood donation)


Synthetic/artificial supplements

• There are only two kinds of iron that we can use; heme iron from meat, poultry or fish and non-heme iron from vegetables, dairy products or chemically bonded iron in the regular supplements.

• All regular supplements are synthetic/artificial. They feature chemically bonded iron such as Ferrous Sulphate.

• Today there are heme iron supplements available that are made with natural bovine hemoglobin.

Heme iron uptake is more than five times more efficient than non-heme iron uptake

• Heme iron is natural for man and still is the best and most efficient way of absorbing the iron we all need to live and for our bodies to function properly.

• In a normal diet heme iron from meat products play a large role.

• The regular iron supplements today are syntethic and often produce gastro-intestinal side-effects which in many cases terminate the important therapy.

Hallberg, L., Hulthén, L. & Gramatkovski, E. 1997. Iron absorption from the whole diet in men: how effective is the regulation of iron absorption? Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 66: 347-56.

Heme iron has no known side-effects, tolerance is at placebo level

• In published medical studies the incidence of side-effects with heme iron products is at placebo level.


• The mechanism of uptake for heme iron does not leave free iron ions in the gut. Hemoglobin iron not taken up is completely inert.

• Non-heme iron is taken up at a lesser degree, leaving toxic and reactive free iron ions in the stomach that may cause disturbancies and are potentially carcinogenous

Large-scale usage of heme iron since more than thirty years

• Pure hemolyzed hemoglobin powder derivated from the food industry as raw material for iron substitution was developed and introduced in Sweden in the early seventies.

• No cases of poisoning or seroius side-effects ever recorded from heme iron after massive usage for many years.

• Heme iron is by far the best-tolerated and efficient form of iron.

Heme iron is always absorbed, in any clinical situation

• Unlike non-heme iron, absorption of heme iron is not affected by other chelating components of the diet such as phytates, tannates and phosphate.

• Heme iron will always be absorbed - in all clinical situations.

• Heme iron is absorbed from the beginning of the intestine, which means it will work also for patients, who have had gut surgery.

Other food, drink or medication will not affect uptake

• Unlike non-heme iron, absorption is not affected by other components of the diet, drink or medication.

• Hemoglobin in the diet containing heme iron is taken up via a separate non-competitive mechanism and will disintegrate only within the intestinal cell before iron is being transported to where it's needed.

Efficay and tolerance over time

• The uptake and tolerance of heme iron will not change even over a longer time period.

• This is good news for the chronics, since non-heme iron will usually give problems with uptake sooner or later, which means another form of therapy must be considered.

Chronics have to supplement over long periods or permanently• There is a large number of chronics in various incurable

diseases with anaemia, These are for instance Chronic kidney disease, Inflammatory bowel disease and Coronary heart disease.

• Since iron is absolutely vital these chronics need continual supplementation indefinitely.

• Chronics usually receive regular syntethic oral non-heme tablets in high doses until treatment fails due to side-effects.

• The remaining alternative is very expensive and inconvenient intravenous iron. There are also potential risks, such as overdosing and increased oxidative stress.

The solution

• The OptiFer® series of iron food supplements are safe, efficient and very well tolerated, which is crucial for therapy success.

• The OptiFer® products give an optimal dose and can be used over longer periods with no change in efficacy and tolerance.

• OptiFer® products compete favorably also in daily cost with the regular synthetic supplements.

The OptiFer® Series of Heme-Iron supplements easily correct moderate to low iron

values.OptiFer® products are very effective but will not

give unpleasant side effects