The iron is found in products
of plant origin and in
products of animal origin

How does iron work?

Iron participates in the metabolic processes that occur in the blood and in the cells of our body. It is a fundamental component of hemoglobin, in turn a component of red blood cells, responsible for transporting oxygen from the lungs to the tissues and organs.

There are two different types of iron, or the heme iron and non-heme iron. The heme iron is present only in animal products such as meat, fish and poultry. The non-heme iron is found mainly in foods of plant origin.

Iron in the diet

Iron is found in plant foods such as cereals, potatoes and vegetables, and is also found in animal products such as meat. The consumption of foods that contain vitamin C (eg orange) promotes better absorption of iron from the diet. In particular women and young people, who consume little meat or do not consume any at all, should try to consume an adequate amount of foods rich in iron.

Absorbing iron

Absorption of iron affects several physiological and food factors. The physiological factors consist of the reserves and the need for iron in the body. If the reserves are reduced, greater amounts of iron will be used up to replenish these depleted stocks.

Coffee, tea and calcium are examples of dietary factors that reduce the absorption of iron, both heme and non-heme iron. Meat, fish and vitamin C increases the absorption of non-heme iron.

Lack of iron

A lack of iron can cause various disorders such as impaired concentration, and dizziness. The most common reaction to iron deficiency is anemia, symptoms of which are unusual tiredness, general weakness and fatigue, reduced resistance and wheezing.

Excess iron

Excess iron can cause chronic fatigue and can also cause damage to organs such as the liver, intestine and heart.

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Following the placement of a gastric band or sleeve

Gastric acids are needed to convert the iron present in the diet into a form that can be assimilated by the body. However, following placement of a gastric sleeve, the capacity of your stomach is reduced and the production of gastric acids lowers considerably. Therefore, it is important to take at least 21 milligrams of iron daily. This value corresponds to 150% of normal requirements (Recommended Daily Allowance)

Following gastric bypass surgery, duodenal switch or biliopancreatic diversion procedures

Because of the important changes undergone by the stomach after these procedures, and because of the reduction - or even the interruption - of the production of gastric acid, with the resulting lower conversion of iron present in food in a form that can be assimilated by the body, your need for iron as a result of this type of intervention is much greater. In addition, changes were made to the small intestine and this leads to an increase in your iron needs. The reason lies in the fact that the tract of the intestine in which the absorption of this mineral takes place is reduced, so that the degree of assimilation of iron by the body becomes insufficient. The recommended daily intake is then between 60 and 100 mg, or between 428 and 714% of RDA

Iron supplements

The percentage of iron absorbed from the diet is actually equal to only 10 to 30%. For these reasons, in the case of reduced consumption of foods rich in iron, dietary supplements can complement the diet. Furthermore, it is essential to pay attention to nutrients and food capable of inhibiting or, on the contrary, promoting the absorption of iron from the diet. WLS Optimum or WLS Forte supplements can provide an adequate amount of iron through just one capsule per day. For more information, please refer to our homepage:


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