Iron Bioavailability 

Study Iron is an essential micronutrient for all humans. This mineral contributes to normal cognitive functioning, energy metabolism, function of red blood cells, maintain strong immunity, and reduce feelings of fatigue. Iron supplementation is frequently required for women and people who consume a vegan or vegetarian diet. Supplementation is primarily used to prevent iron deficiency anemia.

Study Objective

The first objective is to compare the bioavailability of liposomal and non-liposomal iron supplements. The second objective is to examine if liposomal technology can supply iron to the body more efficiently than a combination supplement of iron and vitamin C (ascorbic acid). It is commonly known that vitamin C increases the absorption of iron.


This is a three-group, randomized control trial.

  • Group A: Single dose of 15 mg liposomal iron.
  • Group B: Single dose of 15 mg non-liposomal iron. 
  • Group C: Single high dose of 40 mg non-liposomal iron with added vitamin C.


30 healthy volunteers were enrolled in the study. Participants were randomly and evening assigned to one of the three supplementation groups. The participants were between the ages of 20-50 years old, did not have any chronic medical conditions, did not have any presence of acute illness, were within the normal BMI category (18.5-24.9 kg/m2), and did not use any drugs or dietary supplements on a frequent and/or mandatory basis.

Blood Sampling

Participants received their respective dosage of iron while fasting. Blood samples were drawn at baseline (before taking the supplement), 2 hours, 4 hours, 6 hours, 8 hours, 10 hours, and 12 hours after supplementation to evaluate serum ferritin.


Results of this study show that liposomal iron supplementation has higher bioavailability than non-liposomal supplementation.

  • ActiNovo’s liposomal supplement had a significantly different increase in serum ferritin levels at hours 8, 10, and 12 compared to the other non-liposomal formulas.
  • Liposomal iron is 398x more bioavailable than non-liposomal iron at the same dose.
  •  Liposomal iron is 9x more bioavailable than a high dose iron supplement with vitamin C.

Key Takeaways

  • Iron is limited in bioavailability. Liposomes provide a simple way to transport iron into the cells, independent of other limiting factors.
  • ActiNovo Liposomal Iron is more bioavailable than non-liposomal iron supplements and non-liposomal iron combined with vitamin C.
  • Ascorbic acid may not be necessary with liposomal formulations of iron, because liposomes can overcome typical absorption barriers of iron.