The Iron Series – Why the right iron matters for digestion

You get your blood work back and are told you are iron deficient.  You have no energy, can’t focus, can’t remember things, have headaches, weakness, easy bruising and all you need is to get your iron stores up to remedy your situation.  

Your doctor recommends ferrous sulfate or you go out on your own and pick up some over-the-counter iron glycinate. But now you are having constipation, nausea and black stools!

What is this about? 

A significant issue with standard iron supplementation is that a large fraction of the iron taken in orally is not absorbed. This leads to a bolus of irritating iron crystals and salts making their way to your colon.

When these iron crystals and salts accumulate in your digestive tract they cause loads of oxidative stress, which contribute to intestinal inflammation and damage to your intestinal mucous membranes. It is no wonder you experience nausea, bloating, constipation, black stools, headaches and body aches form your iron supplement.

I have actually had patients tell me they would rather not take iron and just feel tired all the time and dizzy, because when they take iron supplements or prescriptions they still feel tired and dizzy in addition to feeling nauseous and dealing with black stools. 

I finally decided this was completely unacceptable when I couldn’t even help my wife with her low iron.

I would keep telling her to take iron glycinate as it is supposed to be easy on digestion, right?  But as so many can testify, she felt worse taking it, had black stools and her iron levels kept dropping. 

This forced me to expand my understanding of iron absorption and utilization. 

After reaching out to some brilliant scientists we were able to develop a whole foods formula to not only increase iron stores without side effects but we were able to do it crazy fast, like in less than 30 days and on top of that, my patients could take half the amount of iron they were previously taking with better results.

But best of all my wife had no more nausea or black stools and we were able to get her ferritin up from 9 to 23 in 31 days just before she gave birth to our twin baby girls. We were and are so grateful for this specialized whole protein way of getting iron into the body.

Go get your ferritin checked. Get on the right iron. You do not have to accept a side effect loaded iron experience!


Iron Supplements Modulate Colon Microbiota Composition and Potentiate the Protective Effects of Probiotics in Dextran Sodium Sulfate-induced Colitis. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2017;23:753–766.

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