I have the blood red, without iron, no life. Read more now and learn everything about iron as a dietary supplement.

Without iron no quality of life



Iron plays a crucial role in many metabolic processes in the human body. Accordingly, the physical complaints and impairments associated with iron deficiency are diverse:

  • Cracked corners of the mouth
  • Susceptibility to infections
  • Paleness
  • Fatigue
  • Forgetfulness, memory disturbances
  • Cracked fingernails
  • Smooth tongue
  • Itching (Pruritus)
  • Decreased sexual desire
  • ADHD
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Reduced performance
  • Rapid pulse, accelerated breathing under exertion
  • Headaches, dizziness
  • Easily becoming tired
  • Restlessness and sleep disturbances
  • Hair loss

The specific functions that iron performs in the complex metabolism of the human body are very versatile. Some of these functions are listed here:


Blood formation

Iron is the binding site for oxygen in red blood pigment. If there is a lack of iron, there is also a lack of oxygen-carrying capacity. The consequences are shortness of breath during exertion, reduced performance, palpitations, irregular heartbeats, and fatigue. Interestingly, because blood formation is so important, iron deficiency manifests as the last symptom. Other iron-dependent processes are affected much earlier.

Immune system

Many processes of the immune system (function of T cells and macrophages) depend on an adequate supply of iron. Therefore, susceptibility to infections is common in cases of iron deficiency.

Sexual life

Reduced sexual desire has been described in cases of iron deficiency.

Respiration chain and energy

In the cell's powerhouses, the so-called mitochondria, many chemical reactions take place to convert fats and carbohydrates into ATP, the cell's energy currency. Enzymes, which are iron-dependent, are required to regulate these chemical reactions.

Hormone production

The production of hormones, which are signaling substances in the body, is often dependent on iron. Thyroid hormone, for example, important for weight regulation and metabolism, as well as dopamine, which plays a role in ADHD, are produced with the help of iron.

Connective tissue

The production of collagen fibers type I and III, for example, in highly stressed tendons of athletes, skin, hair, mucous membranes, as well as fingernails and toenails, is dependent on iron.

Myoglobin formation

In the muscle cell, oxygen also needs to be transported for cellular respiration. Similar to hemoglobin for oxygen transport in the blood, myoglobin serves for oxygen transport in the muscle. Here too, iron plays a crucial role as the binding site, explaining why iron deficiency leads to rapid muscular fatigue.


Essential iron as a dietary supplement is indispensable, especially in alternative eating habits. Frutaria, Vegan, Vegan, Meatless,


Iron deficiency is the most common deficiency symptom in our western world. Exhaustion, fatigue, poor performance, hair loss and concentration problems are typical symptoms that affect women more often than men.


It is known that iron from animal-based foods, especially in an amino acid-bound form, is better absorbed by our bodies. This is why the effect of consuming a steak on iron absorption is significantly higher than that of oat flakes, even though the latter may contain approximately twice as much iron in a direct comparison.

As a result, pharmacies and raw material manufacturers make efforts in the production of iron supplements to compensate for the poor absorption by incorporating high amounts of iron (100 mg), vitamin C (200 mg), or piperine (pepper extract). However, this often leads to well-known side effects such as constipation, nausea, or stomach pain.


I have the blood red, without iron, no life. Read more now and learn everything about iron as a dietary supplement.
The iron requirement for men is about 10 mg a day. Women need at least 15 mg of iron a day.


The iron requirement is approximately 10 mg per day for men. Women of childbearing age need more iron due to their monthly menstrual cycle and the associated blood and iron loss (hemoglobin, which contains iron). It is estimated that they require 10-15 mg per day. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers also have an increased iron requirement to support the needs of the growing child. Additionally, during intense physical activity like sports, there is an increased demand for iron since red blood cells, for example in marathon runners, get destroyed in the foot sole, leading to an elevated rate of blood formation.

Iron is absorbed as a divalent cation (Fe2+) in the small intestine.





15 to 19 years

12 mg

15 mg

19 to 25 years

10 mg

15 mg

25 to 50 years

10 mg

15 mg

50 to 65 years

10 mg

10 mg

65 and older

10 mg

10 mg



30 mg



20 mg


There is a vast array of iron compounds available in the pharmaceutical and dietary supplement markets, which can be overwhelming for the layperson.

Despite the numerous options, there is a limited selection of well-established active ingredients found in over-the-counter medications and, in lower dosages, in dietary supplements. Apart from iron (III) maltol and iron (III) polymaltose, all of these are exclusively divalent iron compounds. Prescription-only iron compounds for infusion are always trivalent iron compounds. Iron (II) aspartate, iron (II) taurate, and others are also legally approved iron compounds for use in dietary supplements. However, these are rarely found in common dietary supplement products on the market.

Divalent and trivalent iron.

The concept of iron valency, which may not be easily comprehensible without basic chemical knowledge, sparks numerous discussions. In general, compounds with divalent iron (Fe2+, commonly referred to as "ferrous") are better absorbed after dissolution in the small intestine. On the other hand, compounds with trivalent iron (Fe3+, commonly referred to as "ferric") are less absorbable after their dissolution, as they need to be reduced to divalent iron, for which the commonly praised vitamin C in some iron tablets is very helpful.


What exactly is the value of iron?

The valency of iron refers to the different states of charge it can have in chemical compounds, depending on whether it can gain or lose electrons. In the case of iron, its charge indicates how many electrons it can either gain or lose. The first electron shell contains 2 electrons, the second 4, and the third 8 electrons. Atoms always strive to achieve a full electron shell. For iron, this means having 8 electrons in the third shell.

  •  Trivalent Iron (Fe3+): In this form, iron has lost 3 electrons and carries a triple positive charge. It is referred to as "ferric" and is often denoted as iron (III) in chemical compounds.


  • Divalent Iron (Fe2+): In this form, iron has only lost 2 electrons and carries a double positive charge. It is referred to as "ferrous" and is denoted as iron (II) in chemical compounds, such as iron (II) gluconate.

Depending on its charge, iron can either gain or lose electrons. It forms chemical compounds with other elements to achieve a full outer electron shell (8 electrons in the third shell), which corresponds to a stable noble gas configuration. This plays a crucial role in many biochemical processes since iron is essential for functions like oxygen transport by hemoglobin in the blood and other enzymatic reactions.



Iron tablets / iron capsules can be used to treat iron deficiency. There is now a wide range of preparations and iron compounds.


The most commonly used pharmacological compounds are:

1. Iron (II) sulfate
2. Iron (II) bisglycinate
3. Iron (II) glycine-sulfate complex
4. Iron (II) gluconate
5. Iron (II) fumarate


A relatively new compound on the market is iron (III) maltol, which has so far only demonstrated benefits for patients with chronic inflammatory bowel diseases. However, it is considerably more expensive than other preparations.

In dietary supplements, the following compounds are often used in lower doses:

1. Iron (II) sulfate
2. Iron (II) gluconate
3. Iron (II) fumarate
4. Iron (II) bisglycinate
5. Curry leaf extract
6. Aspergillus oryzae

These compounds are utilized to provide iron supplementation in dietary products, each with its own advantages and considerations for absorption and effectiveness.


We want to focus on the group of dietary supplements here.

Which iron products are the best?

The selection of iron supplements is now enormous, and the following things are crucial given the immense variety:

Considering that iron is generally poorly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, an adequate dosage is important in the case of iron deficiency.

Absorption rate:
The better a substance can be absorbed, the better. However, there are numerous factors that influence absorption, from other medications and the timing of food intake to the severity of the iron deficiency that needs to be treated.

Quick/slow release:
Iron compounds that dissolve early in the gastrointestinal tract are usually better absorbed. Late-release compounds are absorbed less effectively.

The opposite applies to the release of the iron compound in the gastrointestinal tract: compounds that dissolve early in the gastrointestinal tract cause more side effects, while late-release compounds are better tolerated.

As a look on the internet shows, a package with a low price is not always the most cost-effective solution. Only a secure comparison of dosage and package size allows for proper assessment.

The correct use of iron supplements.

In general, a distinction is made between fast-release preparations and delayed-release iron supplements. Fast-release iron compounds are released in the stomach, which can lead to an increased occurrence of side effects, but the absorption rate is improved. Delayed-release capsules are generally lower in side effects but are absorbed less effectively. The worst iron absorption is from effervescent tablets containing iron gluconate. It should be mentioned that the same poorly absorbable compound is also added to "iron-containing" juices and tonics.

The absorption from iron capsules is 3-7%. With a typical daily dose of 100 mg, only 3-7 mg of iron are absorbed per day. Whether this is a lot or little can be determined through a simple calculation. To achieve an ideal ferritin value of 200 µg/l, approximately 1900 mg of iron is needed to compensate for an iron deficiency of 10 µg/ml ferritin. This would mean taking capsules for 380 days purely from a mathematical standpoint. Many customers find this too slow. Additionally, as the iron stores become more filled, the absorption rate decreases. Experience shows that the absorption becomes significantly worse at ferritin levels of 50 µg/l or higher, and many customers do not achieve higher iron levels with ferritin values above 100 µg/l when using capsules.

Furthermore, the effectiveness of therapy with regular iron capsules is evident only after at least 4 months. Moreover, the therapeutic effect remains unclear initially. Typically, a 2-week break from supplementation is necessary after 3 months to determine the iron levels through a blood test. As iron absorption varies significantly among individuals, the results are hardly predictable. Nevertheless, iron capsules represent a simple and safe method to address an iron deficiency. Unfortunately, the frequency of side effects with standard or inexpensive products is not insignificant: 50% of people report side effects, with 30% discontinuing the therapy due to gastrointestinal side effects (constipation, nausea).

Iron amino acid chelates/iron bisglycinate – Alternative capsules for iron supplementation.

Iron can be more effectively and tolerably substituted with amino acid compounds. Due to the aforementioned disadvantages of poor tolerability and inefficient substitution with classical iron preparations such as iron sulfates, gluconates, and fumarates, many people seek alternative ways of iron supplementation.

Little known is that there are pharmacological preparations for iron substitution with iron bisglycinates. These are highly bioavailable iron compounds such as iron amino acid chelates and transport proteins like lactoferrin, which can be dosed up to 75% lower while producing the same effect. As a result, the rate of side effects is significantly reduced. With iron bisglycinate, 25% of the dosage of conventional iron sulfate is sufficient to achieve the same effect.

Large-scale studies on iron bisglycinates have clearly demonstrated a 50% higher bioavailability. Dr. Layrisse and Dr. Ferrari found in their work that a quarter of the amount of iron in the form of an iron amino acid chelate was enough to achieve similar effects to iron sulfate, with significantly fewer undesirable gastrointestinal side effects. In pregnant women, who are known to be prone to iron deficiency, administering 25 mg of iron bisglycinate was just as effective as giving 50 mg of iron sulfate. Bagna's work pointed out that 25% of the iron sulfate dose was sufficient with iron bisglycinate to achieve the same effect with fewer side effects.

Therefore, especially if side effects have occurred with "classical" iron products such as iron sulfate or iron gluconate, one should consider trying a lower-dosed iron bisglycinate.

Our recommendation:


Iron products made from iron bisglycinates such as "NemCure® Iron Bisglycinate Chelate" ensure higher bioavailability. Additionally, we recommend simultaneous use of colostrum. The lactoferrin contained in colostrum (first milk, breast milk, or colostrum from other mammals) binds and transports further iron molecules to the needed areas of the body."

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