different types of iron

on 2/6/11 3:13 am - OH
Did you know there are a lot of different types of iron?  There are, and some are absorbed better than others.

After RNY, we don't have a lot of stomach acid.  That's why we need calcium citrate instead of carbonate, by the way.  You need lots of stomach acid to break down calcium carbonate so it can be absorbed but we just don't have enough.

You need a fair amount of stomach acid to absorb certain types of iron, including ferrous sulfate, ferrous gluctonate and ferrous fumerate.  You'll absorb some of those, it's just hard to say how much.

You do not need much stomach acid at all to absorb carbonyl iron, though.  So we absorb it better.

Also, ferrous sulfate and similar types of iron contain a lot of iron salts.  That's why 325 mg ferrous sulfate only has 65 mg elemental iron.  Carbonyl, on the other hand, is all elemental iron.  Those iron salts cause a lot of constipation in many people.  Carbonyl iron is much, much less likely to interfere with your ability to poop.

Now, there is also heme iron, which is a whole other thing.  It's absorbed really well but it's expensive.  I don't know much about it; Andrea is the person to ask if you wanna know more.

on 2/6/11 5:53 am - Long Island, NY
RNY on 10/13/10 with
Hi Kelly
I just looked at my bottle of Feosol I am taking, and it only has 65 mg of elemental iron. Just wondering where to get the Carbonyl iron.  Can I get it at local drug stores or do I need to get it online?  I have always been enemic so I want to take the right kind. 
Thanks Mary
on 2/6/11 6:02 am - OH
Feosol actually makes a carbonyl.  I think the one you have must be the ferrous sulfate.  But they also make carbonyl.  I think they are 45 mg per tablet.  You should be able to get it at the same place you got the one you have.  I know Walmart and CVS usually carry it.

Anne M.
on 2/6/11 8:07 am - PA
Ok Kelly, here is one for ya.  I just looked at my bottle of iron and it says "Iron (as ferrous bisglycinate chelate)".  I bought it from my surgeon's office.  Is it OK?  I am going to switch to carbonyl iron, based on your post above, but just curious as to what the heck my iron is?!
on 2/6/11 8:37 am - OH
I'd switch to carbonyl when the bottle you have is gone, but if it's not making you really constipated or something, I'd go ahead and use it up.

on 2/6/11 9:49 am, edited 2/6/11 9:49 am
So elemental iron is better?

Ferrous Gluconate 240 mg Iron Supplement Tablets
I just purchased this
on 2/6/11 9:57 am - OH
What we need to look at is the amount of elemental iron in the supplement we choose.

Like 325 mg ferrous sulfate only has 65 mg elemental iron in it.

325 mg ferrous gluconate, which is what you bought, only has 36 mg elemental iron.

On the other hand, if you buy Sundown Perfect Iron, which is carbony, one 25 mg tablet has 25 mg elemental iron.

So.  What you got has 240 mg ferrous gluconate but only 27 mg elemental iron.  That's what you need to look at, that 27 mg.

And it might make you constipated due to the other stuff in it.

on 2/6/11 9:57 pm
ok so the sundown perfect iron is better? I was looking at it online and was thinking about ordering it.  I have been having constipation issues and I just finished my celebrate iron. So do you know of any brands that Walmart or the local drug store would sell that would be good for us.    


on 2/6/11 10:03 pm - OH
Carbonyl is better.  Doesn't have to be Sundown, can be any brand.  Walmart and CVS carry a brand called Feosol.  I think it's more expensive than the Sundown, which you can get really cheap on drugstore.com.  But if you'd rather not order online, it's a good brand.  Make sure you get the carbonyl, though, because Feosol also sells ferrous sulfate.

Brenda S.
on 2/6/11 11:58 pm - Champlin, MN

Your timing with this post is perfect!  I have been having issues with my hemoglobin being very low lately, the last time it was checked it was at 9.2.  So far they have done an Endoscopy and a Colonoscopy and found nothing wrong.  The doc's have decided that I am just not absorbing the iron much at all.  What I don't understand is my doctor told me to take 3 Ferrous Sulfate pills (325 mg each) a day.  Why would they have me take something that doesn't work well with us?  I don't get it.   So, if I switch to the Carbonyl, do you think I should still take the 3 a day??  I don't want to take too much.

Thanks for your help,