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What is the difference between ferrous sulfate & chelated iron?

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Dr. Ralph Morgan Lewis
Family Medicine

In brief: Iron supplements

Chelated iron has been treated to bind it to an amino acid, supposedly to make it more like that occurring naturally in foods.
It allegedly is more easily absorbed through cell walls. Ferrous sulfate is the most common & cheapest iron supplement but may not be well tolerated. Ferrous fumarate is better absorbed, but heme iron polypeptide is well tolerated & absorbed. Vitamin c enhances iron uptake.

In brief: Iron supplements

Chelated iron has been treated to bind it to an amino acid, supposedly to make it more like that occurring naturally in foods.
It allegedly is more easily absorbed through cell walls. Ferrous sulfate is the most common & cheapest iron supplement but may not be well tolerated. Ferrous fumarate is better absorbed, but heme iron polypeptide is well tolerated & absorbed. Vitamin c enhances iron uptake.
Dr. Ralph Morgan Lewis
Dr. Ralph Morgan Lewis
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1 comment
Dr. Ralph Morgan Lewis
Proferrin is the brand name of heme iron polypeptide, but discuss with your doc which form is best for you—tolerance, availability, cost, appropriateness for your condition.
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