Science of Ferretts IPS – Iron Protein Succinylate

Science of Ferretts IPS – Iron Protein Succinylate


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Iron and the physiologic requirement for iron is complex and more importantly, is often not well understood.  The purpose of this memorandum is to clarify the major issues surrounding iron, iron absorption, and iron deficiency, and to demonstrate how the existing science that supports the use of Iron Protein Succinylate.

The potential need for an efficacious, new, and innovative iron supplements is tremendous, since it is estimated that as many as 30% of women and 10% of mixed elderly persons are iron deficient. Subgroups of this population include pregnant women, and adolescent female athletes, who have a serious need for iron that can only be met through nutritional supplement intervention.

The current market for iron supplements is served by pharmaceutical / OTC companies who offer iron supplements based on old iron sources and outdated formulations. The majority of these products are not well tolerated, causing stomach upset, heartburn, and constipation, and often ending in withdrawal. With respect to consumer knowledge of iron deficiency, many if not most of
the population who are in need of iron supplementation lack even basic knowledge of iron deficiency. These facts are especially interesting when considering that essentially every pregnant woman and every person clinically diagnosed with iron deficiency and anemia are given a prescription for an iron supplement.

Ferretts IPS  Absorption

Ferretts IPS is a proprietary form of ferric iron (Fe+++) bound with a chemically modified protein (casein) in a process called succinylation, which dramatically stabilizes the complex. This process is responsible for the specific way in which Ferretts IPS is totally dependent on pH for absorption. In the gastric (stomach) environment, Ferretts IPS is insoluble, and hence does not affect the mucosa that line the stomach. Essentially all iron compounds severely irritate the stomach, causing pain and heartburn, and also affect the lower GI tract, causing constipation. This often causes people using iron supplements to withdraw from use, which negatively impacts on the required treatment for iron deficiency and anemia.

Other common iron compounds, including ferrous sulfate, ferrous gluconate, ferrous fumarate, ferrous glycine chelate, and iron oxide, are ferrous iron (Fe ++), the reduced form of iron. Iron absorption is enhanced by Vitamin C, and since it reduces ferric iron to ferrous iron, both the ferrous and ferric forms of iron are normally well absorbed. In all cases, free iron is bound to apoferritin to form ferritin, which is used for the ferrying of iron throughout the body, where it is stored in bone marrow, liver, and muscle tissue.

Typical absorption of iron is in the range of 5 – 15% for foods and supplements, and can be as high as 50%, but only for classical iron anemia. With respect to absorption of iron, the body has a complex mechanism that allows for both the upregulation and downregulation of iron absorption, depending on overall iron status.

Therefore, it is important to understand that quicker iron absorption is relative, and does not necessarily relate to effective iron absorption over a time period. More important than rapid absorption are the issues of immediate peak levels of both free iron and ferritin, as well as peak levels of ferritin in the 7 – 8 hour period that follows iron absorption. Ferretts IPS provides the ideal type and amount of iron, again, due to its unique pH dependent nature.

Benefits Of Ferretts IPS

  • Ferretts IPS -completely bypasses the stomach without exposing iron to the mucosa. This is the ideal way to get iron where it must go to be absorbed – the duodenum.
  • Ferretts IPS becomes completely soluble in the duodenum, where the pH level allows for the quick hydrolysis of the protein component, and liberation of the elemental ferric iron for immediate absorption.
  • Ferretts IPS is the only iron compound that provides the highest degree of tolerability. This is very important, since iron therapy works only when iron stores are brought back to normal
    levels through consistent usage of an iron supplement, which normally takes several months.
  • Research demonstrates that Ferretts IPS provides a steady level of absorbed iron which does not spike at high levels like ferrous sulfate does in the first hour following ingestion. In addition, Ferretts IPS provides for a higher peak level of iron than ferrous sulfate, for the critical six hour period that follows. [Cremonesi, P., and Caramazz, I., Chemical and Biological Characterization of Iron Protein Succinylate (ITF 282). International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, Vol. 31, No. 1, 1993 (40-51)]
  • Research demonstrates that when comparing Ferretts IPS and ferrous sulfate on the effect of free serum iron, that Ferretts IPS provides a remarkably low level of free iron in the early time period (one hour) following absorption. This is important, since free iron has been associated with lipid peroxidation, and may play an unhealthy role with circulating blood lipids in men.
  • Since Ferretts IPS provides a steady, controlled release of iron in a low concentration form, the possibility of toxic iron overload is essentially impossible. Other high concentration iron compounds must be viewed very carefully when considering the potential for toxicity.
  • Any successful iron supplementation program must be based on a long-term treatment regimen. This is where Ferretts IPS is truly the preferred iron compound.


Ferretts IPS is a new, innovative, effective, highly tolerable iron compound that provides benefits that no other iron compound provides.

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