Ok now you’re getting mad at me, right? Because how many ‘absolute givens’ can I debunk?! Last Update in Under 30 certainly got people talking…giving iron less often rather than more often to our most iron deficient patients seems counter-intuitive, right?! Wrong. And as part of the influx of emails I’ve received from practitioners who listened and loved the podcast, came a flurry of great questions – like this one from Michelle Toocaram:
“The Moretti et al study was done on ferrous sulphate which I would never use as it has poor bioavailability. Are there any studies on better forms such as ferrous glycinate etc”
It’s a perfect question – because of course the success of most mineral supplements is largely determined by the form the mineral is presented in – so comparing the same dose of, for example, Calcium carbonate with Calcium citrate is a bit like comparing chalk and yoghurt! The substances that minerals are bound to, generally play a huge role in determining the amount you will absorb from that product and therefore the degree and speed with which your nutritional status will improve. But is that the case with iron? Not quite.
All Iron Supplements in Australia, whether from the chemist, health food store or your clinic shelf are non-haem forms – which generally have poor bioavailabilty (<10% is absorbed) – but is there a better form among them or are there adjuvants that seriously improve iron uptake and therefore patient response?
What about the tolerability and toxicity (especially to the microbiome where they can wreak the most damage) – the 2 other biggest issues with iron supplementation – do you know what you look for to improve these?
Most of your supplement companies don’t!
We’ve all had Vitamin C drilled into us as an essential adjuvant to maximise iron absorption, but did you know it has a dark side in this regard? What about lactoferrin? Will it improve the efficacy of iron supplementation in every patient or just some? Who? Findings from new research will surprise you, including new adjuvants, e.g. prebiotics, high dose antioxidants, that could hold the key to making your ‘non-responsive’ IDA patient suddenly make real progress. Way beyond the basic marketing catch-cry of, ‘look at ours, look at ours!’, what are the real must knows about different forms of iron supplements that can help you choose the most effective product for each individual in front of you?
And I’ve even developed a clinical tool to help you through the maze of choosing the right iron approach for the right patient….because let’s face it right, simple-old-common-as-muck-garden-variety iron deficiency…we’ve got this!…right?
The latest Update in Under 30 adds another level to your understanding about why the iron supplements on your shelf might not be the best ones for the patients in front of you. Filled with really practical tips about how to better address iron deficiency, and minimise the two biggest threats to good results: tolerability & toxicity, these new guidelines will surprise you. Rachel has also included a great clinical tool to use.