UK company Spatone says its natural iron supplement has been shown in a study to help to prevent iron deficiency in pregnant women without the common side effects of manufactured iron supplements.
Spatone Iron+ is derived from spring water from a source in Wales. A study published in the April 2003 issue of Clinical and Laboratory Haematology finds that it can provide 100 per cent of the average daily iron requirement without any gastro-intestinal side effects.
"This is great news for pregnant women, especially for those weary of taking iron pills because of the unpleasant gastro-intestinal side effects," said Dr Dan McKenna, Obstetrics and Gynaecology specialist at Antrim Area Hospital, Northern Ireland.
"Many pregnant women would stop taking iron pills altogether and this study has shown an increase and consistency of continuing to take the prescribed natural spring water versus the traditional iron pills. Our research shows Spatone Iron+ helps to prevent iron deficiency in pregnant women and it does not cause constipation, and stomach irritation that traditional iron supplements do," he added.
Iron deficiency is a common problem in pregnant women as the growing baby places enormous demands on iron reserves. Significant amounts of iron can also be lost during childbirth and as most pregnant women do not get all of the daily iron requirement through their diets, doctors prescribe traditional iron supplements.
Spatone Iron+ is marketed in single packets of spring water, that can also be mixed with fruit juice. A 24ml sachet contains approximately 5mg of iron. With the iron already contained in the water, it is absorbed faster and more easily by the body, according to the company. Any excess iron the body does not require is expelled easily, so it does not produce unpleasant side effects normally associated with iron pills.
Distribution of the product has recently been started in the US and Canada.