Medhealth Review

A Technological Way to Resist Iron Deficiency

Iron is a necessary component that the body needs. It supports the immune system, ensures that the brain is functioning normally, and promotes the production of myoglobin and haemoglobin while also promoting children’s and adolescents’ growth.

The body may need more iron for a variety of reasons, but in every case, the nutritional balance of the body must be restored to support some common physiological processes.

Iron deficiency is characterised by low levels of this mineral in the body, which, if untreated, can lead to anaemia. When the body is unable to produce enough haemoglobin, which is required to oxygenate the body’s tissues and cells, iron deficiency anaemia occurs.

Causes of Iron Deficiency

  • Consuming Insufficient Iron-Rich Foods: Even though our bodies cannot produce iron, they can store it. Food must contain iron. Everyone requires a different amount of iron. Children, teenagers (especially girls), pregnant women, nursing mothers, and menstruating women are the groups of people who require the most iron. For the first year, infants require breast milk or an iron-fortified formula. Cow’s milk, on the other hand, increases the risk of iron deficiency in infants. Vegans and vegetarians are especially vulnerable.
  • Food-derived iron absorption issues: The intestine and stomach are where food-derived iron is absorbed. For instance, coeliac disease affects how much iron is absorbed. Stomach surgery may also affect how much iron you can absorb.
  • Loss of Blood: Any type of bleeding that results in blood loss also results in iron loss. The two main causes of excessive blood loss are heavy menstrual cycles and stomach or bowel bleeding, which can be brought on by taking aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs, having ulcers, bowel polyps, or even cancer. Other causes can be excessive blood donation, blood loss from surgery, certain gut disorders like inflammatory bowel disease, and parasite infections like hookworms.

Iron deficiency anaemia is recognised within these ranges; normal haemoglobin (Hb) levels for men and women should be between 13 and 18 g/dL and 12 to 16 g/dL, respectively. Transferrin saturation (%TSAT), a glycoprotein that transports iron to tissues and organs that require it, and ferritin, a protein storage that can hold up to 4500 iron atoms, are also important markers of iron deficiency anaemia. Sideremia is the amount of iron bound to transferrin in the blood.

Conversely, iron deficiency alone does not always cause alterations in the hemological system; in fact, the haemoglobin level may be within normal limits while the ferritin and transferrin saturation are low. A risk of iron deficiency anaemia might develop if the deficit is not immediately reduced.

 The following symptoms are typical of iron deficiency anaemia:

  • Irritability
  • weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Pallor
  • Attention deficit disorder

Oral iron salts, such as iron sulphate, are commonly used to treat iron deficiency. However, since they are frequently poorly absorbed by the body and have unpleasant gastrointestinal side effects, patients are less likely to stick to their regimen and stop taking the supplements on a regular basis.

Sucrosomial Iron (Sideral)

Iron that is not absorbed can have a negative impact on the digestive system, which is true for the majority of oral iron salts. Oral iron supplements are now more tolerable. There was still a need for new carriers that not only protected the iron but also improved intestinal absorption, reducing dosage and side effects. A phospholipid and sucrester matrix transport ferric pyrophosphate in this recently patented technology, an innovative oral iron-containing carrier.

Sucrester, a surfactant made by esterifying fatty acids with sucrose to produce sucrose esters, has recently been shown to reduce intestinal barrier resistance, making it easier for substances to pass through para-cellular and trans-cellular pathways and serving as an absorption enhancer. If you want to create a formulation with absorption-enhancing properties, you must start with the right raw material. The hydrophilic-lipophilic balance and the length of the fatty acid chain both influence suscrester effects. Despite evidence that sucrose esters can increase intestinal permeability and drug accumulation in CACO-2 cells in animals, research on their use in pharmaceutical oral administration is limited.

Sucrosomial Iron (SI), a cutting-edge oral iron-containing carrier, is protected by a phospholipid bilayer membrane composed primarily of sunflower lecithin and a sucrester matrix. The “sucrosome” is formed by combining tricalcium phosphate and starch, which adds stability and coating while allowing SI to pass through the intestines without being affected by the interaction between iron and the intestinal mucosa (Figure 3). According to in vitro studies, the majority of SI is absorbed as a vesicle-like structure, avoiding the traditional iron absorption pathway. SI is significantly more bioavailable than traditional iron salts and, because of how it interacts with the digestive system, is well tolerated.

Because of this, intestinal iron absorption is facilitated and has a high degree of gastrointestinal tolerability. Numerous scientific studies (both preclinical and clinical trials) that have recently been published in international journals have supported the efficacy of Sucrosomial technology.

Gastro-Resistance & Gastrointestinal Absorption

The main cause of gastro-resistance in in vitro studies was the sucrester matrix, which shielded the iron from the acidic gastric fluid.

Because of gastro-resistance, intact sucrosomes can migrate to the intestinal mucosa and be absorbed. Several studies’ data indicate that different pathways are involved in SI absorption. In vivo permeation experiments with an excised rat intestinal model revealed that the presence of sucrester protects trivalent pyrophosphate iron in SI from enzymatic reduction and promotes its absorption across the intestinal epithelium via a DMT-1 independent pathway (bathophenanthroline disulfonic acid, a divalent iron chelator).

The pyrophosphate iron in SI can be absorbed through para-cellular and trans-cellular pathways as a vesicle-like structure thanks to the phospholipids and the sucrester matrix that are present.

Peyer’s patches have microfold cells that transport particles and microbes from the luminal side of the intestine to the lamina propria, where they are exposed to immune cells (M cells). Oral vesicle-like particles have been shown to enter the lymphatic system via M cells. It has also been shown that the physicochemical properties of the transported particles have a significant impact on the efficiency of this pathway’s transfer. Using an in vitro CACO2/RajiB co-culture system, researchers investigated the potential role of a M cell-mediated pathway in SI absorption. According to experimental data, M cells (RajiB cells) increased SI absorption but not conventional oral iron salts like FS or FeBIS. M cells, according to this information, can aid in SI absorption through the intestinal wall.


Total iron and ferritin expression in target tissues are typically quantified to determine how much iron is distributed and stored. The iron that is ferritin-bound demonstrates the cell’s ability to absorb and store iron, as well as its ability to do so indirectly. SI-treated anaemic piglets and mice were able to store iron in ferritin in their liver and spleen. Furthermore, both iron deficiency anaemia animal models showed a slight but significant increase in serum iron and transferrin saturation.

Trivalent iron levels were measured in healthy rats given ferric pyrophosphate or SI throughout a bioavailability study. Animals had higher trivalent iron levels in their blood after the first three hours of SI treatment.

The maximum plasma concentration of iron for SI and the area under the curve were both significantly higher than those for ferric pyrophosphate, according to pharmacokinetic profiles. A discernible increase in the trivalent iron content of the liver and bone marrow was also observed five hours after oral administration of SI but not ferric pyrophosphate. These findings imply that SI is more bioavailable and that hepatocytes store extra iron that is not required for haematopoiesis or metabolic processes.

Deficiency of Iron in Clinical Practice

Numerous studies in the scientific literature support the effectiveness of Sucrosomial iron supplementation in a variety of clinical settings, including gynaecology, oncology, nephrology, cardiology, and particularly gastroenterology, where iron deficiency is common.

According to gastroenterology, iron deficiency and iron deficiency anaemia are the most common systemic complications in IBD, followed by celiac disease and obesity. Chronic inflammation is a common symptom of all of these diseases, and it inhibits iron absorption and utilisation. Because the body produces proinflammatory cytokines after inflammation, conventional oral iron supplementation is typically ineffective in patients with functional iron deficiency. These cytokines cause the liver to produce the peptide hormone hepcidin, which lowers serum iron levels by increasing hepcidin levels. Numerous gastroenterology studies have shown that taking Sucrosomial iron supplements aids in the restoration of normal haematological ranges, allowing red blood cells and haemoglobin to function normally.


The Sucrosomial technology innovation stands out for its excellent tolerability, which enables the intake of iron at any time of the day (with meals or without meals), for extended periods of time, and eliminates any discomfort typically connected with the intake of iron, such as a metallic aftertaste, irritation of the gastric mucosa, nausea, or constipation. In all situations where there is a deficiency or increased need for iron, sucrosomial iron overcomes the limitations of conventional iron supplementation and promotes the consumption of this essential nutrient.

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