Liquid Heme Iron
Iron is an important mineral in your body that can be consumed in a couple of different forms. There are two types of iron: heme (found in animal sources) and non-heme (found in plant sources). You can get both these types of iron from different foods, and you can get them from different kinds of supplements as well.
Iron supplements come in different forms, typically as tablets, chewable tablets, and powder iron. Liquid iron is also another kind of iron supplement. Read on to find why iron is so important, how to get enough iron from your diet, and if a supplement is right for you.
Iron Deficiency Anemia
Iron is an essential mineral that is important for your body to function. It is a crucial component of hemoglobin which is the part of your red blood cells that carries oxygen. So, you need iron to help make healthy red blood cells and carry oxygen throughout your body.
Anemia is a condition where your body doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells. If you don’t have enough iron in your body, you may have a condition called iron deficiency anemia. Iron deficiency anemia is one of the most common types of anemia in the world.
Some of the symptoms of iron deficiency anemia are:
- Pale skin
- Shortness of breath
It is possible to minimize the symptoms of iron deficiency anemia by including more iron-rich foods in your diet. Your healthcare practitioner may also recommend iron supplements if your iron levels are low.
There are guidelines for how much iron you should consume a day depending on your age and gender. Generally, women and pregnant women need more iron. The first step to getting more iron is through your diet.
The iron that you get from food comes in two forms: heme (available in meat and fish) and non-heme (available in plants). Heme iron is more easily absorbed by your body than non-heme iron. The absorption of non-heme iron is also likely to be affected by other factors, such as intake of vitamin C and caffeine.
Some foods that are rich in heme iron are:
Foods that are rich in non-heme iron include:
- Dark chocolate
- Certain fortified foods like cereals, rice, or bread
In some cases, you may not get enough iron from your diet alone. If this is the case for you, speak to your healthcare practitioner about iron supplements to help increase your body’s iron levels.
Heme Iron Supplements
Iron supplements are a great way to get iron if you are iron deficient. These supplements usually come as a pill or in a liquid form. Iron supplements can have heme or non-heme iron.
Non-heme iron supplements tend to have more side effects like constipation and indigestion. Your health practitioner may suggest heme iron supplements for fewer side effects. Also, heme iron absorbs more easily through your body’s HCP1 receptor which is dedicated to absorbing only this form of iron.
You can talk to your doctor to see if it is better for you to take non-heme iron or heme iron supplements. It is important to discuss dosage you don’t want to have too much iron in your body. With iron supplements, it may sometimes take a few weeks for your iron levels to replenish and symptoms of deficiency to minimize.
OptiFer Alpha is a brand of heme iron supplement for iron deficiency anemia. It comes in tablets that you can take three times a day or according to your doctor’s instruction. It is recommended to take this supplement with food and not at the same time as other medications. Along with being a non-GMO supplement, OptiFer Alpha is also suitable for halal diets.
Iron is a very important mineral for your body. When your diet isn’t enough to raise your iron levels, your family doctor may suggest supplementation. There are two types of iron: heme and non-heme, and there are several forms of iron supplements: tablet, powder, and liquid.
It is best to talk to your doctor to see what type of iron supplement you should take, how much, and how often. Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in the world. Along with a proper diet, iron supplements, be it liquid, heme iron, or powder, are a great way to increase your iron levels and treat anemia.
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: Iron | The Nutrition Source
Mayo Clinic: Anemia – Symptoms And Causes
Ontario Midwives: Iron Supplements A Guide For Midwives