Why Do We Need Iron?
To find out the benefits of OptiFer vs Proferrin, we need to understand why our bodies need iron in the first place.
Our bodies need iron to manufacture hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein that helps red blood cells carry oxygen around our bodies, including all organs and tissues. Consequently, this makes iron an essential element for our health.
When your iron levels are low, you may experience the symptoms of iron deficiency or iron deficiency anemia. These symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
To reduce the symptoms of iron deficiency, you can eat iron-rich foods or you can take an iron supplement. However, it is important to know that there are two kinds of iron supplements: heme iron supplements and non-heme iron supplements.
What Is Heme Iron?
Heme iron is found in meat and fish. Most importantly, this is the type of iron that is easily absorbed by your body. Other foods in your diet do not affect the absorption of heme iron. Heme iron also causes little to no side effects.
What Is Non-Heme Iron?
Non-heme iron is found in plants. While non-heme iron supplements have more iron content, your body does not absorb it as easily as it absorbs heme iron. Also, you need to take vitamin C to aid the absorption of non-heme iron. Because non-heme iron is not easily absorbed by your body, you may experience more side effects. These can include constipation, cramping, and nausea.
Benefits Of OptiFer vs Proferrin
OptiFer Alpha and Proferrin are both heme iron supplements. Both supplements can be taken with or without food. However, there are several benefits of OptiFer vs Proferrin. These are:
- Tablet size
OptiFer Alpha is recognized by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada through the SOGC Brand Recognition Program.
How To Take Iron Supplements For Best Absorption
For best absorption, it is recommended to take heme iron supplements. OptiFer contains 11mg of heme iron and Proferrin contains also 11 mg of heme iron. These amounts of heme iron are better absorbed by your body than a larger amount of non-heme iron.
OptiFer tablets are of a smaller size than Proferrin tablets. This makes OptiFer tablets easier to swallow. Also, tablets that are easily swallowed can fit into your supplementation routine better. In contrast, it can be difficult to regularly take larger tablets like Proferrin.
OptiFer also comes in blister packs which keeps each tablet free from contamination. Proferrin tablets are packaged in a bottle, which you have to repeatedly open and reach into with your hands. The blister packs also make OptiFer portable and a more convenient heme iron supplement for your health needs.
Iron Supplement Side Effects
Iron supplements can have mild side effects such as bloating and stomach discomfort. However, non-heme iron supplements have more side effects than heme iron supplements.
OptiFer is made with clean ingredients whereas Proferrin uses chemicals in the color coating of its tablets.
Proferrin does not have any wheat products in its ingredients. Similarly, not only is OptiFer gluten-free, it is also non-GMO.
OptiFer Alpha is made in Sweden where GMO bovine feeds are not used. According to the Swedish Board of Agriculture, there are virtually no GMOs in Sweden. On the other hand, Proferrin is made in the USA where according to the Food & Drug Administration many GMO crops are used to make ingredients for consumption. This makes OptiFer suitable for a wider group of people. Finally, OptiFer is also gelatin-free; but is manufactured in a facility which is not.
Where To Buy OptiFer
In terms of the availability of OptiFer vs Proferrin, both of these heme iron supplements are available in Canada.
Here are two lists of retailers where you can buy OptiFer Alpha and Proferrin and their associated prices:
|Retailer||Proferrin Price||Proferrin Price/ Tablet||OptiFer Price||OptiFer Price/ Tablet|
|Shoppers Drug Mart||$30.29 for 30 tablets||$1.01||$38.79 for 60 tablets||$0.65|
|Sobey’s||$24 for 30 tablets||$0.80||$38.99 for 60 tablets||$0.65|
|FeelGood Natural Health Store||$29.95 for 30 tablets||$0.99||$42.95 for 60 tablets||$0.71|
|Costco||$58.89 for 90 tablets||$0.65||$41 for 100 tablets||$0.41|
Note: Prices may differ from city to city. Accurate as per time of publishing based on prices in the Greater Toronto Area.
Meanwhile, in terms of cost, OptiFer Alpha’s prices are as low as $0.41 per tablet. On the other hand, Proferrin’s prices start at $0.65 per tablet and go up to $1.01 per tablet.
Proferrin has been in the market for a longer period of time and is therefore more readily available across Canada. Nonetheless, all pharmacies are able to order OptiFer Alpha. Also, OptiFer Alpha is available at the following online retailers:
GI Society Canadian Society of Intestinal Research: Proferrin®: Iron for Good Health
University Health Network: Patient Blood Management Program
Iron Maiden: SUPPLEMENTATION OPTIONS FOR ADULTS