Iron continues to be the most common nutrient deficiency in the developed world, with an especially high prevalence in women and during pregnancy. In fact, 1 out of every 2 women will be iron-deficient at one point in their lives and even more suffer from symptoms associated with suboptimal iron levels. Although fatigue, weakness, hair loss and pallor are classic symptoms of irondeficiency anemia, low iron levels affect many other body systems.
For example, iron deficiency has been found to be a common cause of restless syndrome in approximately 1 out of every 4 cases and supplemental iron can improve symptoms. This is thought to be achieved by iron’s upregulation of dopamine synthesis from tyrosine. It is also welldocumented that children and adults perform poorer on mental function tests in states of iron deficiency, with areas such as attention, memory and concentration being affected.
Iron also plays a critical role in many hormonal pathways. Iron is required for thyroid conversion from thyroxine (T4) to triiodothyronine (T3) and, in cases of hypothyroidism with concomitant iron deficiency, combination treatment with iron and levothyroxine has been shown to be superior over each therapy alone. In women with heavy menstrual bleeding, iron deficiency can cause a recurring state of heavy menstrual bleeding through weakened uterine muscles, thereby exacerbating the condition. Evidence also shows that woman with unexplained infertility and suboptimal iron status may benefit from iron restoration therapy.
Finally, iron is needed for proper immune function through cytokine production in macrophages and an iron-deficient state may lead to an insufficient immune response. For example, research in individuals with oral candidiasis has shown that iron restoration can lower salivary candida counts and reduce oral lesions.
Despite all of the health benefits that come with targeted supplemental iron, many women and iron-deficient individuals are hesitant to supplement with iron or they become noncompliant due to digestive side effects such as constipation, nausea and stomach upset.
Cyto-Matrix’s Bio-Ferra is a highly bioavailable liquid iron supplement containing a polysaccharide iron complex (PIC). PIC is unique in that it is non-ionic, it does not require vitamin C for absorption and it is extremely safe with a LD50 (Lethal Dose 50) of 5,000mg/kg, compared to the toxicity potential of iron salts with a LD50 of only 230mg/kg. Each teaspoon of Bio-Ferra provides 20mg of elemental iron that is flavoured with natural green apple and is suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
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