Have you ever wondered how oxygen from the lungs gets delivered to the rest of the body? That’s the primary job of red blood cells. They not only transport oxygen out of the lungs to the rest of the body, but red blood cells also take waste products like carbon dioxide back to the lungs so they can be exhaled. Red blood cells rely on hemoglobin, a protein, to accomplish the task of oxygen transport. And iron is a mineral used to make hemoglobin.
So how can you best support red blood cell production? With iron. While iron supports healthy red blood cell production, not just any iron will do.
High Absorption is Key
From a dietary perspective, iron is found mostly in meat and seafood, however, it is also in fortified cereals and some vegetables such as spinach, chard, artichokes, and beans. Unfortunately, many factors can reduce the absorption of iron from foods. For example, oxalic acid found in spinach, chard, and beans may inhibit iron absorption and so do animal proteins such as casein, whey, egg whites, and other proteins. In fact, research demonstrates that while about 25 mg of iron is required each day for hemoglobin production, only 1 to 2 mg is actually absorbed in the gut.
Iron needs to be replenished on a daily basis so if you’re not getting enough iron with diet alone, one option is to take an iron supplement, but absorption can be an issue with supplemental iron as well. To be absorbed, iron needs to be in the form of ferrous fumarate, and it also helps if it is combined with vitamin C which has been shown to enhance iron absorption.
Liposomes and High Absorption
Another factor that can produce a premium bioavailable form of iron is the usage of advanced liposomal delivery technology. Liposomes are tiny spherical structures made of phospholipids, which are fatty acids that envelop the ferrous fumarate (a.k.a. the nutrient inside your supplement). This protective structure helps the iron remain stable until it arrives at the small intestine where it gets broken down so it can be absorbed and utilized by the body. This liposomal delivery technology helps provide gentle digestion and premium bioavailability of the iron for enhanced absorption, so you get more of the nutrients you need.
Get Your Red Blood Cells Ready!
Iron supports red blood cell production but unlike other minerals, iron levels in the body are controlled by absorption. And if the iron is not absorbed, it can’t support the vital task of oxygen transport.
When it comes to choosing a dietary iron supplement, choose liposomal ferrous fumarate combined with vitamin C for high potency and high absorption. This advanced formula will also offer up gentle digestion, which is important when it comes to taking supplemental iron, as it can cause stomach upset in some people and if taken on an empty stomach.
1. American Red Cross. What do blood cells do? 2023;June 28. https://www.redcrossblood.org/local-homepage/news/article/function-of-blood-cells.html
2. USDA. Food sources of iron. Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Accessed 2023, Aug 23. https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/resources/2020-2025-dietary-guidelines-online-materials/food-sources-select-nutrients/food-1
3. Ems T, St Lucia K, Huecker MR. Biochemistry, iron absorption. StatPearls. 2023;Apr 17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK448204/?report=reader#_NBK448204_pubdet_
4. Korolnek T, Hamza I. Macrophages and iron trafficking at the birth and death of red cells. Blood. 2015;125(19):2893-2897. https://ashpublications.org/blood/article/125/19/2893/34265/Macrophages-and-iron-trafficking-at-the-birth-and