Choosing the Right Iron Supplement
Oral iron supplements are available in a variety of different formulations and the most commonly prescribed preparations include ferrous salts and polysaccharide irons.
Iron supplements contain different amounts of iron levels available within each dose or capsule. Each type of iron also contains different amounts of elemental iron which is the total amount of iron in the supplement that is actually available for absorption by the body.
The crucial problem with iron supplements, is GI upset.
ferrous sulfate, ferrous gluconate, ferrous fumarate
an iron complex form
Ferrous gluconate - 12% elemental iron
Ferrous sulfate - 20% elemental iron
Ferrous fumarate - 33% elemental iron
A lower absorption rate combined with a low elemental iron requires a higher dosing / number of capsules per day to increase iron stores
Released in the stomach and therefore associated with excessive gastrointestinal side effects such as constipation, diarrhea and stomach pain
Should be taken on an empty stomach which increases the likelihood of adverse side effects
Polysaccharides – 43% elemental iron
Delivers the highest amount of elemental iron - therefore requiring a lower dosage level in a convenient once a day capsule
Delivered to the bloodstream without coming into contact with the stomach and therefore associated with little to no gastrointestinal side effects
Can be taken without or without food
Better outcome vs. Ferrous salts
When choosing the right iron supplement consider Polyride Fe and Polyride Fe Ultra Polysaccharide iron with 150 mg of elemental iron – the highest dosage per capsule of elemental iron available in an iron supplement. Both are proven effective in the treatment of iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia without troublesome gastrointestinal side effects.
To improve iron absorption even further, Polyride Fe Ultra provides the added benefit of vitamin C which improves iron absorption by reducing the iron to a state that optimizes it solubility.
Makrides et al. Efficacy and Tolerability of Low-dose Iron Supplements During Pregnancy: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2003; 78: 145-53.
Johnson et al. A Prospective Open-label Study Evaluating the Efficacy and Adverse Reactions of the use of Niferex-150 in ESRD patients receiving EPOGEN. Adv erit Dial. 1992; 8: 444-47