Iron is considered an essential mineral & is found in EVERY cell of the body! Heme Iron specifically can ONLY be obtained from animal products (mostly in red meat & organs, but also seafood & poultry), with beef liver & spleen being two of the richest natural sources of Heme Iron in existence.
So why is it called Heme Iron?
Heme Iron is aptly named due to the heme protein attached to the iron which combines with globin proteins to form hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in red blood cells from the lungs to the rest of the body.
Heme Iron is proudly known as the most bio-available (easily absorbed) form of Iron, while being essential for biological processes including red blood cell formation, energy production, cell cycle regulation & transport of oxygen around the body.
Heme Iron Vs Non-Heme Iron
Not all Iron is created equal & different forms of Iron are absorbed at varying degrees in the body.
Iron from food comes in two forms:
1. Iron from animal foods (HEME Iron)
2. Iron from plant foods (NON-HEME Iron)
Heme Iron is better absorbed by the body because the molecular form of Non Heme Iron often contains phytates, compounds that bind to Iron, rendering it inaccessible as it travels through the digestive tract.
Heme Iron Is Better Absorbed
Heme Iron from animal foods is MUCH more absorbable than the Non Heme Iron found in plant foods. Intestinal nutrient bioavailability is the portion of the absorbed & utilised nutrients from digested foods through enterocyte cells of the intestine.
The absorption rate of Iron has been studied/reported as:
25–35% in the consumption of organ meats
7–9% in green leafy vegetables
4% in grains
2% in dried legumes
Heme Iron solubility is increased significantly by the presence of protein, which is important, given the fact that Heme Iron rich diets also have high protein content.
There are other synergistic nutrients that also help with Heme Iron absorption/usability, which are all found in beef liver:
- VITAMIN B12
- VITAMIN A
- FOLATE (B9)
- RIBOFLAVIN (B2)
Synthetic Iron Supplements
Something to consider is that some of the most commonly used synthetic Iron supplements contain high amounts of (non-Heme) Iron, well over the suggested RDI’s.
Many of these synthetic supplements are over compensating for the poorly absorbed (sometimes 2%), cheap & low quality forms of iron like - Ferrous Iron. Which is known to cause gut health issues because of all left over reactive free iron sitting in the gut, resulting in oxidative stress.
More people are acknowledging that too much of a 'good thing' can be detrimental when it comes to synthetic Iron, with excessive amounts been found to cause unwanted symptoms such as nausea, indigestion, vomiting & constipation.
Recommended Daily Intakes
These recommended dietary intakes are directly from the official 'Nutrient Reference Values for Australia & New Zealand'. The link for this guide can be found here - https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/nutrient-reference-values/nutrients/iron
RDI = recommended dietary intake | UL = upper limit
7-12 months RDI 11mg (UL 20mg)
1-3 yr RDI 9mg (UL 20mg)
4-8 yr RDI 10mg (UL 40mg)
Boys 9-18yrs RDI 8-11mg (UL 40mg)
Girls 9-18yrs RDI 8-15mg (UL 40mg)
Men 19-70yr RDI 8mg (UL 45mg)
Women 19-50yr RDI 18mg (UL 45mg)
Women 51-70yr RDI 8mg (UL 45mg)
Women 19-50yr RDI 27mg (UL 45mg)
Women 19-50yr RDI 9mg (UL 45mg)
Increasing Or Maintaining Iron Levels
The above recommendations can be used as a baseline guide for planning out your minimum & maximum daily Iron intake. Each person has highly individual needs with many factors affecting the amount needed, this is why there is so much wriggle room with the high UL (upper limits).
For example someone who exercises with intense weight training or endurance training will require much more Iron compared to someone who does not keep active throughout the week.
The most efficient way to improve/maintain healthy iron levels is through eating a healthy balanced diet while using a natural Heme Iron supplement to assist with further optimisation.
Best Heme Iron foods are -
- Red Meat
- Beef Liver
- Beef Spleen
How Long Until My Iron Levels Improve?
The amount of time it takes to reach a healthy Iron level will be dependant on each person, nutrient level starting point, overall health, diet, sleep & of course how active they are. It could take one week, one month or 3-6 months. With that being said it is best to start taking action now, as each day is a part of the improvement journey to the end goal of not only increasing but maintaining healthy Iron levels for the long term.
Generally with diets & supplementation you will see short terms gains, but like most things the longer a good health protocol is integrated, the better results will follow.
Natural Heme Iron Supplement
"HOW CAN I INCREASE MY IRON LEVELS?”…this is the most common question we get asked! And with over 1 million Aussies suffering with low Iron, it’s no wonder why!
After working tirelessly creating, testing & verifying for almost a year, we are SO excited to finally introduce our 'Ultimate Natural Iron Supplement'! A unique formulation of organic BEEF LIVER & SPLEEN, two of the richest natural sources of Heme Iron available making the ultimate Heme Iron supplement on the market!
We’ve freeze-dried this natural low Iron remedy & encapsulated it to achieve a whopping 7.7mg of easily absorbed Heme Iron per 6 capsule serve!
Although liver is one of the most nutrient-dense foods, beef spleen is many times richer in bioavailable Heme Iron. Combining Iron-rich spleen with nutrient-dense liver provides the added benefit of synergistic nutrients such as Folate, Copper, Vitamin A, B12, & B2 which assist with the absorption & usability of Iron.
The nutrients in our Freeze-Dried Beef Liver & Spleen Capsules AKA our best Heme Iron supplement Australia wide, have undergone the most meticulous independent testing on the market, with all quantities of nutrients verified. Traditionally prized by our ancestors, offering wholefood nutritional support for:
- Healthy Iron levels
- Synergistic Iron absorption
- Reduced fatigue & tiredness
- Blood health & cell formation
- Cellular health
- Oxygen transport
DISCLAIMER: When seeking to treat any specific deficiencies, we always recommend seeking personalised guidance from your healthcare professional as treatment plans are highly individualised.
Iron Supplementation above the recommended UL (upper limit) should only be prescribed by a medical professional.