What is Liquid Iron?
Liquid Iron is an important dietary mineral regularly prescribed by nutritionists and naturopaths as a form of supplementation to those with low blood-Iron levels. It is often sold as a complex that contains other herbs, vitamins and minerals that assist in its absorption.
How Does Iron Function in the Body?
Iron is essential to daily life. Without it, Oxygen is prevented from traveling around in the blood. This lead to less Oxygen being delivered to the cells, reducing energy levels and leaving you feeling tired, unwell and looking pale. This is referred to as an Iron deficiency, and may be caused by:
- Inadequate dietary intake – due to vegetarianism, an unbalanced diet or dieting.
- Blood loss – through menstruation, blood disorders or regular blood donation.
- Exercise – as exercise increases the body’s need for Iron.
- Increased requirement – especially for teenagers, pregnant and breastfeeding women.
- Absorption issues – commonly experienced by up to 15% of the Australian population.
Physical symptoms of an iron deficiency may include:
- Tiredness, fatigue and an overall lack of energy
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Decreased immunity and an increased rate of infection
- Decreased ability to exercise
- Decreased concentration levels.
Why Take a Liquid Form of Iron?
Iron deficiencies are treated with a change in diet, pill or liquid supplementation.
Whilst tablet forms are beneficial, up to 80% of a Iron tablet supplement is actually absorbed by the body. The remaining is eliminated, giving you less value for money and causing a host of side effects including gas, bloating and constipation.
A liquid form of Iron is absorbed far more readily by the body. This is because:
- There is no need for it to be broken down by digestion, and
- Its liquid form has more of an ability to make contact with absorption surfaces.
A smaller dose of liquid Iron is also recommended due to its high absorbability.
Why Liquid Iron is Sold as a Complex
Many brands of liquid Iron blend their product with a host of other ingredients to add to functionality and reduce potentially unwanted side effects. Some of these include:
Vitamin C increases the level of Iron absorption by preventing the formation of insoluble/ inabsorbable iron compounds, and by maintaining Iron molecules in a rigid state, allowing for its uptake into the mucosal cells.
Riboflavin participates in a host of cellular processes, including the formation of red blood cells (that carry Iron) and energy metabolism.
Assists with the absorption of Iron in the gastro-intestinal tract.
As Iron is a metal, after its ingestion the nerves of the bowel are sent an electric magnetic charge. This may cause constipation in some, especially if the supplementation has been taken on an empty stomach.
Many liquid iron products will add certain herbs to prevent the constipation associated with iron supplementation, such as prune extract.
If you feel you may have an iron deficiency, please speak to your local GP, Nutritionist or Naturopath before buying your liquid iron as there may be other causes for your symptoms.
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