The label :
Ferrochel® is a patented iron supplement developed by the American company Albion Minerals whose absorption has been improved and the side effects, generally associated with iron consumption, reduced by a chelation process.
Ferrochel® is an iron supplement in the form of ferrous bisglycinate chelate. This form of iron means that the mineral iron is, here, linked to 2 molecules of glycine, a non-essential amino acid thanks to a patented chelation process (called key-lay-shun) developed by the company Albion Minerals. This system makes it possible to copy the process of binding minerals to amino acids which takes place in the stomach during digestion in order to form small chelated iron molecules which pass more easily through the intestinal wall thanks to the affinity of iron. intestine for the absorption of amino acids.
Iron is an essential mineral for the body present in two forms: heme iron (present in red blood cells) and non-heme iron (transport and "reserve" iron). Iron plays four main roles: the transport and storage of oxygen in the body (iron is a constituent of hemoglobin and myoglobin which transport oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body) , as an enzymatic cofactor (iron is used in the production of enzymes involved in DNA synthesis reactions, in those of certain neurotransmitters and in cellular respiration), in the production of ATP (takes part in the metabolism energy) and in cognitive support (promotes the synthesis of myelin, essential for nerve transmission).
Iron deficiency is common and can be linked either to insufficient dietary intake , or to increased iron loss , particularly in women with heavy periods or wearing IUDs, or to increased iron requirements . such as in pregnant women or growing children. Since iron has functions at the level of energy metabolism, a deficiency inevitably causes fatigue, due to the limitation of the transport of oxygen to the cells and the synthesis of energy. Other symptoms exist but the appearance of extreme fatigue remains the first sign of a deficiency.
Ferrochel®, as an iron supplement, therefore has the main function of countering an iron deficiency or deficiency . Nevertheless, thanks to its particular and improved form, Ferrochel® adapts the absorption of iron according to the quantity of iron which the body needs . A severely deficient person will absorb 90% of the iron in Ferrochel® while another with a slight deficiency will absorb much less.
How is Ferrochel® different from others? :
First, as said before, Ferrochel® is an iron supplement whose absorption has been improved through a patented process ( US8425956B2 ). This process consists of binding the mineral iron to an amino acid, glycine, in order to stabilize it and increase its solubility.
Additionally, in most supplements, iron becomes a charged ion (positive charge) when dissolved in the stomach and, in addition to decreasing its own bioavailability, can interact with other nutrients (such as vitamin E, vitamin C or calcium) and block its absorption or form non-absorbable compounds. Here, Ferrochel®, thanks to the patented chelation process, guarantees an ionically neutral molecule that does not dissolve in the stomach, does not react with other nutrients and is transported through the intestine intact.
Ferrochel®'s patented chelation process increases the stability and solubility of iron while limiting the negative interactions (blocking absorption, creation of non-absorbable molecules, etc.) usually found between iron and other nutrients. such as vitamins and minerals.
Secondly, Ferrochel® is part of the range of products tested by a patented method, (#7,144,737) named TRAACS®, allowing to prove the true presence of a chelated form in the supplement. Simply put, this test is based on infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) which measures the amount of infrared light that a compound absorbs at a given wavelength ( more details here ). It is then thanks to the infrared spectra obtained and to the absorbance measurements that it is possible to identify the presence and the percentage of chelates in the compound. In a first test applied to the iron chelate Ferrochel® and that of another brand, the absorption spectrum obtained showed that the iron chelate of the other brand was not one and was therefore not equivalent to Ferrochel®. Further additional testing based on other known parameters of true mineral amino acid chelates was performed and demonstrated that in comparison to another brand of iron chelate:
- The ligand: metal (amino acid: iron) ratio was higher with Ferrochel® and insufficient with the other brand to be a true chelate,
- There was no presence of other forms of iron in Ferrochel® (proving the stability of the chelate) in comparison with the other brand for which they noted the presence of iron sulphate,
- There was no presence of other metals in Ferrochel® unlike the other brand in which the presence of potassium was noted.
- There was no separation of the ligand with the metal in the water in Ferrochel® unlike the other brand where crystals of iron sulphate were found in the water during an intestinal absorption simulation test . This means that the metal separated from the ligand during filtration.
To date, Albion Minerals is the only manufacturer of chelates to provide identification methods (TRAACS ® FT-IR) for its products which assure the consumer of the unique presence of a stable chelated form for its minerals.
Third, Ferrochel® has been studied in numerous clinical studies worldwide. A study 1 carried out by the University of Sao Paulo and the National University of Cajamarca in Peru, for example, showed the relative effectiveness of Ferrochel® compared to iron sulphate in controlling iron deficiency in women. pregnant. It was concluded that daily Ferrochel® supplementation was significantly more effective, despite a lower dose, than ferrous sulfate supplementation.
Ferrochel® is more effective than conventional iron sulfate supplements in combating iron deficiency, even with a lower dose.
A second study 2 carried out in 2012, studied the effect of Ferrochel® in the treatment of mild iron deficiency anemia induced by chemotherapy in comparison with ferrous sulphate. It was concluded that Ferrochel® could replenish iron stores similarly to ferrous sulfate but with fewer side effects than the latter. A third study 3 carried out in children with iron deficiency (without anaemia) showed that this time, even if the iron concentration increased in both groups (Ferrochel® or iron sulphate) after At one week, supplementation with Ferrochel® was more effective in the long term, up to 6 months after treatment. Still in the treatment of iron deficiency anemia, a fourth study 4 was carried out in infants to compare the effect of Ferrochel® and a standard supplement of ferrous sulphate. The researchers observed a considerable increase in hemoglobin in both groups, but only Ferrochel® significantly increased ferritin. It was also noted that the bioavailability of iron for the standard supplement was 26.7% compared to 90.9% for Ferrochel®.
Studies published by researchers around the world have shown that Ferrochel® is more bioavailable than other forms of iron, up to 3.7 times higher depending on the form.
A final parameter was studied concerning iron supplementation: safety. A toxicology study was performed at the University of Utah comparing the safety of Ferrochel® versus iron sulfate. It was concluded that, even taking into account the high absorption, Ferrochel® was ten times safer than iron sulphate. A second study 6 , this time studying long-term safety, was carried out on several generations of pigs. The researchers found no abnormalities or excessive accumulation of iron in the animals' tissues. This proves that even at high doses and in the long term, the toxicity of Ferrochel® is low. Finally, a study 7 , carried out in anemic adolescents, showed that, in addition to restoring hemoglobin to the same level as iron sulphate but at a dose 4 times lower, supplementation with Ferrochel® did not show any side effect such as upset stomach, constipation or diarrhoea.
Ferrochel® is the safest form of iron in the short and long term while guaranteeing similar effects on the treatment of iron deficiency but at much lower doses and without reporting side effects.
Finally, Ferrochel® has several other technical patents such as that of a method ( US7994217B2 ) for combining an iron-amino acid chelate with other vitamins and minerals (such as vitamin A and calcium) in order to form a multivitamin. available for pregnant or breastfeeding women (in addition to people with a deficiency). A second patent (US20130209577A1) covers a technique of combining Ferrochel® with malic acid and another acidic or basic buffer in order to lower the pH of the small intestine and thus improve iron absorption. Finally, two other patents ( US20040228950A1 and US6207204B1 ) have been filed for food enrichment processes, particularly at the level of cereal grains and rice.
What the Ferrochel® label guarantees:
- Scientific support by numerous clinical studies (over 100) proving its effectiveness (especially in cases of mild deficiency).
Product quality/ Patents:
- Obtained a patent for the creation of an identification and verification process for the chelated form of dietary supplements (TRAACS®) approved by the AAOC.
- Obtained a patent for the creation of a non-ionized chelation process that increases the bioavailability of iron.
- A safe chelated structure (safer than typical iron salts) with regulated absorption based on the body's iron needs.
- A reduction in the undesirable side effects that are often found associated with conventional iron supplements (constipation, stomach aches, diarrhea, etc.)
- Increased bioavailability and a stable form of iron that remains intact during digestion
Accreditation and Certification:
- Advanced Certificate of Analysis (COA) to support the validity of the mineral amino acid chelates produced (FT-IR tracing for products in the TRAACS ® range)
- Acceptance as a safe food additive by the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) of WHO and FAO,
- Certified Kosher, Vegetarian, Non-GMO, BSE Free and Hypoallergenic,
- Recognized as safe by the US FDA.
- Szarfarc, SC., et al. (2001). Relative effectiveness of iron bis-glycinate chelate (Ferrochel) and ferrous sulfate in the control of iron deficiency in pregnant women. Arch Latinoam Nutr, 51(1 Suppl 1), 42‐ PDF
- Ferrari, P., et al. (2012). Treatment of mild non-chemotherapy-induced iron deficiency anemia in cancer patients: comparison between oral ferrous bisglycinate chelate and ferrous sulfate. Biomed Pharmacother , 66(6),414‐ PDF
- Duque, X., et al. (2014). Effect of supplementation with ferrous sulfate or iron bis-glycinate chelate on ferritin concentration in Mexican schoolchildren: a randomized controlled trial. Nutr J, 13.71. PDF
- Pineda, O., et al. (2001 ). Effectiveness of treatment of iron-deficiency anemia in infants and young children with ferrous bis-glycinate chelate. Nutrition, 17(5), 381‐ PDF
- Albion Research Notes. "Ferrochel – Higher Margin of Safety Against Overdose" . February 1996. Volume 5, No 1. PDF
- Albion Research Notes . “Safety In Long-Term Use”. February 1996. Volume 5, No 1. PDF
- Albion Research Notes. “ Study Shows Ferrochel Superior to Salts”. July 1992. Volume 1, No 1. PDF
- Jeppsen, RB. (2001). Toxicology and safety of Ferrochel and other iron amino acid chelates. Arch Latinoam Nutr , 51 (1 Suppl 1), 26-34. PDF