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22/Jan/2024

Iron is a fundamental nutrient that our bodies can’t live without. It plays an instrumental role in the formation of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that transports life-sustaining oxygen to every corner of our body. However, a deficiency of this vital mineral can lead to anemia, a condition marked by a lack of healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin in the body. This can result in a host of health problems, including fatigue, weakness, and even severe health complications.

Fortunately, iron supplements are a readily available solution that can help prevent and treat iron-deficiency anemia. With countless iron supplements on the market, it can be difficult to discern which one is best for you. In this article, we delve into the different types of iron supplements, their chemical compositions, and the specific studies that have used them to treat iron-deficiency anemia.

Ferrous Sulfate:

As the most common and cost-effective type of iron supplement, ferrous sulfate is a go-to solution for many. Available in both tablet and liquid form, it is easily accessible over the counter. Its chemical composition allows for optimal absorption when taken on an empty stomach. However, its usage can lead to side effects like constipation, nausea, and stomach upset. Despite these potential drawbacks, ferrous sulfate is often the first line of defense against iron-deficiency anemia and is a suitable supplement for those with low iron levels. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that ferrous sulfate was effective in improving iron status in anemic women.

Ferrous Fumarate:

Ferrous fumarate distinguishes itself with its superior absorption compared to ferrous sulfate. This means it can deliver significant results in a shorter timeframe. Although available over the counter, it’s typically prescribed to patients with severe iron-deficiency anemia. Side effects such as constipation and stomach upset can still occur but are usually well-tolerated. A 2014 study published in PLOS ONE concluded that ferrous fumarate had a similar efficacy and tolerability to other iron preparations.

Iron Glycinate:

Known for its high bioavailability, iron glycinate is a type of iron supplement that is absorbed more easily by the body when compared to other types. This makes it an attractive option for individuals with low iron levels seeking an effective supplement with minimal side effects. Its chemical composition also makes it gentler on the stomach, making it a preferred choice for many. A 2017 study in the Journal of International Medical Research found iron glycinate to be a safe and effective treatment option for iron-deficiency anemia.

Iron Bisglycinate:

Iron bisglycinate is a gentle-on-the-stomach supplement that can be taken on an empty stomach. It is readily absorbed by the body, providing rapid results for those with low iron levels. However, it’s typically more expensive than other iron supplements. It’s an excellent choice for individuals who have experienced stomach-related side effects from other iron supplements. A study published in Nutrition Research found that iron bisglycinate was as effective as ferrous sulfate in treating iron-deficiency anemia, with fewer gastrointestinal side effects.

Heme Polypeptide Iron:

Heme polypeptide iron is a unique supplement derived from animal sources. Chemically similar to the iron found in hemoglobin, it is easily absorbed by the body and can be especially effective for individuals with iron-deficiency anemia or conditions that hinder iron absorption. Its primary advantage over other iron supplements is its reduced likelihood of causing gastrointestinal side effects like constipation, nausea, and stomach upset. Unlike many other iron supplements, heme polypeptide iron can be taken with or without food. However, due to its animal origin, it may not be suitable for vegetarians or vegans, and it’s generally more expensive. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that heme iron polypeptide provided a well-tolerated and effective option for the treatment of iron-deficiency anemia.

For more about iron deficiency anemia Click Here

Conclusion:

In conclusion, iron is a crucial element for our body’s overall health and wellbeing. Its deficiency can lead to anemia, posing serious health risks. Thankfully, there are various iron supplements available to prevent and treat this condition. Whether it’s the commonly used ferrous sulfate, the easily absorbed ferrous fumarate, the gentle-on-the-stomach iron glycinate, the quick-acting iron bisglycinate, or the animal-based heme polypeptide iron, each has its unique benefits and potential drawbacks. The choice of supplement largely depends on individual needs, tolerance, and lifestyle. It’s essential to remember that while supplements can help restore iron levels, they should not replace a balanced diet rich in iron. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen. Your health is your wealth, so take the necessary steps to ensure it’s well-managed.

Find all these types of iron supplements and more at our online store Click Here

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30/Oct/2023

Hormones play a crucial role in the overall function of the body and can impact everything from mood and energy levels to sex drive and weight management. In men, testosterone levels tend to decline with age, while women experience fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone during the menstrual cycle and menopause. It’s important for both men and women to have their hormone levels checked before the age of 50, and here’s why.

Detect and Prevent Hormone Imbalances

Hormone imbalances can occur at any age, but they are more likely to occur as people enter their 40s and 50s. By having hormone levels checked regularly, potential imbalances can be detected early on and appropriate interventions can be taken, such as hormone replacement therapy or lifestyle changes. Hormone imbalances can cause a range of health issues, including weight gain, infertility, low libido, fatigue, and more. One common hormonal imbalance is estrogen dominance, which can be treated effectively without pharmaceutical intervention.

For more on hormone balance click HERE

Encourage Preventive Care

Having hormone levels checked before the age of 50 can encourage individuals to prioritize preventive care. This means that they can work closely with healthcare providers to establish a wellness plan that includes everything from regular screenings and check-ups to diet and exercise. By prioritizing preventive care, people can ensure their body’s hormone levels are balanced, promoting overall health and well-being.

Address Age-Related Symptoms

As people approach their 50s, they may experience age-related symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, or erectile dysfunction. In some cases, these symptoms may be related to hormone imbalances, and so it’s important to have hormone levels checked regularly. If hormone imbalances are identified, treatment can be prescribed to help alleviate symptoms and improve overall quality of life.

Improve Bone Density

In women, estrogen levels decline during menopause, which can lead to a decrease in bone density and increase the risk of osteoporosis. Men also experience a decline in bone density as they age due to lower testosterone levels. By having hormone levels checked regularly, individuals can become aware of decreased bone density early on, and can take steps to prevent bone loss and reduce their risk of osteoporosis, such as getting regular exercise, consuming calcium and vitamin D, and taking hormone replacement therapy if needed.

Promote Emotional Well-Being

Hormone imbalances can impact not only physical health but emotional health as well. In women, fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone can cause mood swings, irritability, and anxiety. Low testosterone levels in men can cause depression or irritability. Having hormone levels checked regularly can help to identify potential hormone imbalances that may be contributing to emotional concerns. Appropriate treatment can then be prescribed to help improve emotional well-being.

Conclusion

Having hormone levels checked before the age of 50 is an important component of overall health and wellness for both men and women. It can help to detect and prevent hormone imbalances, encourage preventive care, address age-related symptoms, improve bone density, and promote emotional well-being. By prioritizing regular hormone level checks, individuals can better address potential health issues and work toward a more balanced and fulfilling life.

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16/May/2023

Iron is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in the body. It’s an essential component in the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen to various parts of the body. Iron deficiency is a common nutritional deficiency that affects millions of people worldwide, particularly women. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss everything to know about iron deficiency, including its signs, symptoms, causes, and treatment.

Signs and Symptoms

Some of the signs and symptoms of iron deficiency include:
1. Fatigue
2. Dizziness and lightheadedness
3. Shortness of breath
4. Cold hands and feet
5. Pale skin color
6. Fast or irregular heartbeat
7. Brittle nails
8. Cravings for non-nutritive substances, such as dirt or ice (pica)
9. Headache, leg cramps, restless legs or tingling in the legs
10. Poor appetite

Causes

Iron deficiency is a common nutritional disorder that can occur due to various factors, including inadequate dietary intake, increased iron losses, malabsorption, and increased iron demand. Here are some real-world examples of how lifestyle factors and disease states can lead to iron deficiency:
  1. Inadequate dietary intake: A diet lacking in iron-rich foods can often lead to iron deficiency. This is particularly true for vegetarians and vegans who may not consume enough iron-rich plant-based foods. Also, infants and young children who are not receiving adequate iron through their diet may develop iron deficiency.
  2. Increased iron losses due to bleeding: Women are more susceptible to iron deficiency due to menstrual blood loss, which can result in a loss of 30-40 milliliters of blood per cycle, leading to iron depletion and anemia if not compensated by adequate iron intake.
  3. Malabsorption: Certain medical conditions such as celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and gastric bypass surgery can interfere with the absorption of iron from food, leading to iron deficiency.
  4. Increased iron demand during pregnancy: Pregnant women require higher levels of iron to support the growth and development of the fetus. Failure to meet these demands can lead to iron deficiency and anemia in pregnant women.
  5. Blood loss due to injury or surgery: Blood loss due to injury or surgery can lead to iron deficiency anemia, especially if the individual has inadequate iron stores.

Treatment

Treatment for iron deficiency includes dietary changes and iron supplements. Iron-rich foods include lean meat, seafood, fortified cereals, and leafy green vegetables. Iron supplements can help increase iron levels in the body. However, it is important to consult a healthcare provider, as excessive iron intake can be harmful. Occasionally, sever iron deficiency may require an intravenous infusion.
There are many different iron supplements to choose from. Guidance under a Naturopathic Doctor or Nutritionist can help direct an informed decision. In my experience a heme iron polypeptide is best tolerated.
Recommendation: NFH Heme Iron SAP

Prevention

The best way to prevent iron deficiency is by consuming an adequate amount of iron-rich foods. Some iron-rich foods include lean meats, fish, eggs, fortified cereals, beans, lentils, tofu, and nuts. It is important to include these foods in one’s diet to maintain healthy iron levels in the body.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the recommended daily allowance of iron for women aged 19-50 is 18 milligrams per day. During pregnancy, the recommended daily allowance increases to 27 milligrams. It is important to note that too much iron can also be harmful, so it is essential to consult a healthcare provider before taking any iron supplements.
Another way to increase the absorption of iron in the body is by consuming vitamin-C rich foods, such as citrus fruits, berries, kiwi, and tomatoes. Vitamin C enhances the absorption of non-heme iron, which is the type of iron found in plant-based foods and no heme based iron supplements.
It is also a good idea to have iron levels checked regularly by your physician or naturopath. This is especially important for women during their menstrual years.

Conclusion

Iron deficiency can be a serious condition, but it’s preventable and treatable. Have your iron level checked regularly and If you experience any signs of iron deficiency, it is important to seek medical attention. You can increase your iron levels through dietary changes and iron supplements. Understanding the importance of iron in our body is vital, particularly for women who are more susceptible to iron deficiency. By raising awareness about iron deficiency, we can safeguard our health and improve our quality of life.

References:


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