Iron Absorption


Mia Hogenius Probi

Mia Hogenius

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A global burden

Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional challenge in the world, in developed and developing countries alike. According to the World Health Organization, more than 2 billion people across the globe suffer from iron-deficiency anemia. The highest prevalence is seen in children, followed by pregnant women and women of reproductive age, of whom approximately 30% are anemic.

The primary causes of iron-deficiency anemia are inadequate dietary iron and infectious diseases, such as malaria. Deficiencies are common in vegetarians and vegans; intake and bodily iron stores are often insufficient to meet the needs, which is also true for athletes and pregnant women. Women are at a greater risk for iron deficiency than are men, due to the monthly menstrual cycle.

Many types of iron supplements are currently available; however, the body is only able to absorb 10-20% of supplemental iron, regardless of the formulation. Unabsorbed iron ends up in the intestines, where it may cause side effects such as constipation, abdominal pain, and disturbances in the composition of the gut bacteria.

Demands a novel approach

Iron deficiency can result in frequent headaches, fatigue, loss of energy, and impaired capacity in daily life. For many people, experiencing the positive physical effects of improved iron status is a strong incentive to take supplements. For athletes, the restoration of iron stores can positively affect physical performance, especially during high endurance sports.

The majority of women are aware of the importance of iron, especially when planning for and during pregnancy. Many vegans, vegetarians, and athletes are also concerned about their iron status, often turning to supplements to ensure that their needs are met. However, the side effects associated with conventional iron supplements often lead consumers to stop taking them.

While most consumers are aware of the link between gastrointestinal and overall health, many are unaware of the negative effects on the gut microbiota of high levels of iron. A probiotic supplement that simultaneously improves iron absorption and supports gastrointestinal health—without side effects—is ideal.

How can probiotics help?

A wide range of probiotics are currently available, including strains backed by extensive clinical studies, which have been shown to support a well-balanced, diverse intestinal environment, and have beneficial effects on the GI-tract. However, not all probiotics are the same, and even within the same species, different strains of bacteria may have different modes of action and offer unique health effects.

Iron absorption is a new area for probiotics. To date, only one probiotic strain, Lactiplantibacillus plantarum 299v (LP299V®), has been proven to support increased iron absorption in the upper small intestine.

How can Probi® help?

Probi FerroSorb® combines the proprietary probiotic strain Lactiplantibacillus plantarum 299v (LP299V®), with a small amount of iron to create a supplement that increases absorption and promotes healthy levels of iron. Multiple clinical trials have shown that Probi FerroSorb® supports iron absorption in a new and innovative way.1-3 LP299V® attaches to intestinal cells throughout the gastrointestinal tract, including the small intestine, and has been shown to support a well-balanced and diverse gastrointestinal microbiota.

Probi FerroSorb® increases iron uptake and has been tested in both healthy women of childbearing age and pregnant women, as well as in athletes with low iron stores. Study results consistently show improved iron absorption and increased long-term iron stores. Learn more

1. Hoppe et al. 2015. Br. J. Nutrition, doi: 10.1017/S000711451500241X
2. Hoppe et al. 2017. PLoS One, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0189141
3. Axling et al. 2020. Nutrients, doi: 10.3390/nu12051279

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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