Why is Iron Lift Different?

By Dr. Jake Rabinowitz


  • Iron Lift provides highly absorbed and easily tolerated iron. 
  • Iron Lift provides vitamins to incorporate iron into healthy blood cells. 
  • Iron Lift provides protein to promote iron storage as ferritin. 
  • Iron Lift avoids oxidative stress due to iron overload. 
  • Iron Lift provides prebiotic nutrients to support digestive health. 

How should iron supplements be evaluated?

Iron supplements are not new. At this point, many different iron options exist, including many different doses, types of iron complexes, and formulas for delivering the iron. For a user, an iron supplement should be highly absorbed (yet many are not) and easily tolerated (yet many cause side effects). This post will review the unique ways that Iron Lift enhances delivery and tolerance, while offering additional benefits. 

Is iron from supplements well absorbed?

Naturally, iron supplements have to be well absorbed for a person to benefit. This absorption depends on the individual, as well as the form of iron and what it’s taken with. It’s important to note that percent absorption tends to decrease with dose size, because the body responds to high iron intakes by releasing a hormone called hepicidin, which signals to reduce iron absorption. 


Starting with what affects an individual’s iron absorption, this is influenced by the time of day, genetics, and various conditions that reduce absorption, including vitamin deficiencies, inflammation, digestive disorders, and being on certain medications. For most people, iron is best absorbed in the morning on an empty stomach. 


What’s easier to control is the form of iron. Iron comes in two types: “heme” (where the iron is contained in animal tissue) and “non-heme” (where the iron comes from non-animal sources). Heme iron is generally best absorbed, but it is harder to combine with other beneficial ingredients. Non-heme iron can also be highly absorbed, and is more flexible as a supplement ingredient. Specifically, non-heme iron comes in many subtypes which are distinguished by being salts (like ferrous sulfates) or chelates (like ferrous glycinate). Iron in salts is typically released when the salts dissolve in saliva, whereas iron in chelates is typically released when the chelate is metabolized. 


Finally, iron absorption is affected by other foods and nutrients. Many food ingredients (especially polyphenols, like in coffee, and “anti-nutrients” such as oxalates) prevent iron absorption by binding to the freely available iron.  This is why supplementation is best on an empty stomach. However, certain few ingredients act as co-factors to enhance iron absorption. These co-factors include vitamin C, riboflavin, taurine, and more. 

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Are iron supplements easy to tolerate?

As important as having a highly absorbed iron supplement is having an easily tolerated iron supplement. This is generally challenging, as iron supplements are notorious for causing gastrointestinal side effects (including constipation, bloating, pain, and diarrhea) and other side effects including heart palpitations and headaches. 


These painful side effects are attributed to the oxidative stress that is created by high doses of iron. While iron does many great things for the body because it is so reactive, this also leads it to react in negative ways to produce free radicals, which are toxic. For many people, the side effects of iron supplementation are so severe that they choose to live with low iron / anemia rather than deal with supplementation-related problems. 

Is iron sufficient for resolving anemia?

In cases of iron-deficiency anemia, iron might be sufficient to restore normal health. However, comprehensive anemia nutrition also requires vitamins B12, D, E, and folate, as well as magnesium and selenium. These nutrients help to drive the production of new blood cells with healthy amounts of iron and strong oxygen-carrying capabilities. 

Why is the iron from Iron Lift highly absorbed?

The first step is to use a highly absorbed form of iron. We use ferric glycinate, which has been shown to be more bioavailable than other non-heme iron. 


The second step is to deliver the iron to the small intestine, where the body has its primary iron-absorption sites. To achieve such a delivery mechanism, we use vegetable oil during production to create an iron-containing emulsion. This means that in our powder granules, iron is contained inside a shell of oil. Because oil gets broken down by enzymes and bacteria in the small intestine, Iron Lift delivers iron that is released exactly where it needs to be. 


The third step is to provide co-factors for iron absorption. We do this with a high dose of vitamin C, riboflavin, taurine, and carnitine, all of which have been shown to improve absorption during iron supplementation. 


The fourth step is to provide protein. This is important because when the amount of iron in blood is sufficient, the body stores excess iron as ferritin, which is an iron-binding protein. By delivering iron with protein, Iron Lift provides amino acids as are needed to synthesize ferritin and create good iron stores. These iron stores can be used when more iron is needed, without relying on dietary intake or falling back into an iron deficient state. 

Why is the iron from Iron Lift easily tolerated?

The first step is to use an easily tolerated form of iron. Ferrous glycinate is marketed as “gentle iron” because studies have shown that it is more tolerable than other typical iron supplements. We go one step further by using the ferric glycinate, which incorporates the +3 (ferric) form of iron instead of the +2 (ferrous) form, because ferric iron is better taken up by cells whereas ferrous iron is more prone to causing oxidative stress. 


The second step is to use a reasonable dose size. Because Iron Lift delivers highly absorbed iron, the iron dose is limited to 100-200% of the recommended daily value (depending on flavor). This is much lower than what is delivered by many supplements. For people who want to boost iron levels quickly and who do not have side effect problems, Iron Lift can safely be combined with other iron supplements. 


The third step is to use antioxidants that combat whatever oxidative stress the iron induces. These antioxidants neutralize the free-radicals that iron can generate. We use a potent blend of antioxidants including glutamine, glutathione, taurine, carnitine, and methoxatin. These antioxidants protect against side effects from the iron, while also reducing inflammation and helping sleep patterns. 


The fourth step is to provide prebiotic nutrients that nourish the digestive track. Iron Lift provides oligofructose, MCT oil, and gum arabic, all of which have been shown to feed “good bacteria” in the gut and therefore help the body fight off pathogens. 


The fifth step is to make the iron taste great! A large aspect of tolerance is psychological. When getting iron from a poor-tasting pill or drink, it can kickstart a negative reaction. In contrast, taking Iron Lift will leave you wanting more, signaling to your body that this is a solution to enjoy and digest like a full meal! Furthermore, providing a balance of protein, fiber, carbohydrates, fat, and complete micronutrients allows Iron Lift to serve as a meal replacement and prompt the body to initiate regular metabolism.

Does Iron Lift have additional nutrients for anemia?

The micronutrient blend in Iron Lift is specifically designed to help overcome many types of anemia. Sufficient amounts of vitamins B12, D, E, and folate, are included, along with minerals magnesium and selenium. These nutrients support iron absorption and ensure that Iron Lift can help address vitamin deficiency anemia, macrocytic anemia, hemolytic anemia, pernicious anemia, aplastic anemia, and anemia of inflammation, as well as iron-deficiency anemia. 

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  • Dr. Jake Rabinowitz

    Dr. Jake Rabinowitz is a chemical engineer, PhD, and founder of Smart Eats, where he develops nutrition products with an industry-leading food scientist and a renowned gastrointestinal doctor / nutritionist. You can learn more about Jake's work career on his LinkedIn Profile and his highly-cited research contributions on his Google Scholar Profile.

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