Chelated Form Enables Lower Iron Dose in Pregnant Women, Study Shows

January 6, 2014
Nutritional Outlook, Nutritional Outlook Vol. 17 No. 1, Volume 17, Issue 1

Albion says that its chelated form, ferrous bisglycinate chelate, is more bioavailable than inorganic iron supplements such as ferrous sulfate

A low dose of Albion’s (Clearfield, UT) Ferrochel ferrous bisglycinate chelate has shown to achieve the same iron status in expectant women as a higher-dose ferrous salt.

Many women are challenged to maintain adequate levels of iron during pregnancy. Iron supplements can help, but the bioavailability of different forms of iron can vary. For instance, Albion says that its chelated form, ferrous bisglycinate chelate, is more bioavailable than inorganic iron supplements such as ferrous sulfate; moreover, forms like ferrous sulfate may cause adverse side effects such as gastric upset and nausea. As a result, many obstetricians now recommend a lower versus a very high iron dose.

The 80-subject randomized, double-blind study, published in the October 2013 issue of the Journal of Perinatal Medicine, studied Albion’s Ferrochel as part of finished dietary supplement Aminojern. Women were given either 25 mg of ferrous bisglycinate iron per day, or a control comprising 50 mg ferrous sulfate. Hematological status and iron status were measured at 15-19 weeks (baseline), 27-28 weeks, and 36-37 weeks of gestation.

Researchers found that the 25 mg dose of ferrous bisglycinate was comparable to the 50 mg ferrous sulfate dose for preventing iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia in the pregnant women. The ferrous bisglycinate also resulted in fewer gastrointestinal complaints. Additionally, the weight of the newborns in the ferrous bisglycinate group was slightly higher than the control group.

“Because of the potential negative interaction of iron on the intestinal absorption of other essential divalent cations, e.g., zinc and manganese [19] and the risk of damage to the intestinal epithelium due to the formation of free radicals in the intestinal mucosa [3], the iron dose should be as low as possible,” the researchers said.

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