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Difference Between Iron and Ferrous Sulfate

Iron vs Ferrous Sulfate

At first thought, you may not think that there is much of a difference between iron and ferrous sulfate. Indeed, most people would assume that there is nothing differs between the two. However, this couldn’t be more false. Whilst both serve the same purposes, they do vary greatly when it comes to how they are created. A closer look at both should provide you with more insight. Shall we get on with it, then?

Iron as you may already know is a trace element which is necessary and found in all living organisms. Enzymes and proteins that contain iron are essential in a number of different biological oxidations as well as transport. Within our cells, iron storage is regulated carefully this is why ‘free’ iron ions are nonexistent. One of the major components that are required in order for this regulation to continue properly is transferrin. This is a protein that helps bind iron ions which were absorbed from the duodenum. It is the one that transports these ions through the bloodstream into the cells. In mammals, regulating iron is important because there is great risk for biological toxicity if it is left unattended.

Iron is commonly found in red meat, beans, lentils, fish, poultry, leafy vegetables, chickpeas, tofu, black strap molasses, fortified read, black eyed peas as well as fortified breakfast cereals. It is important that people get adequate amounts of it within their diet so that they do not suffer from iron deficiency. What can you do if you are suffering from the effects of iron deficiency? Well, the intake of iron supplements should help.

This is where Ferrous Sulfate enters the picture. Also known as iron II, Ferrous Sulfate is a chemical compound that is often used as a nutritional supplement for people who might be suffering from iron deficiency anemia. However, this is not the only purpose that they serve. It is also often used in the manufacturing of inks including the notable iron gall ink which was in use during the middle ages up until the eighteenth century’s end. Commonly used as dye, Ferrous Sulfate is also used wool dyeing as a mordant. Harewood, which is a material typically used in parquetry and marquetry, was made through the use of Ferrous Sulfate. Its rusty color made it favorable for staining limestone, concrete and even sandstones in order to create a yellowish tinge.

Horticulturists make use of it as a treatment for iron chlorosis. It may not be as fast acting as an iron chelate but the effects that it has are significantly longer lasting. What these horticulturists do is they mix it with the compost then they dig it into the soil which helps them create a store that’s good enough to last them for years on end. Many also utilize it as an environmentally friendly moss killer. Besides these, it is also often used as a protective coating for the inside of brass tubes. It is added to the water flowing through the tubes of a turbine condenser and in the process, completely coats it with a corrosion-resistant film.

By now, the significant difference is obvious. Iron is a chemical element whilst Ferrous sulfate is a chemical compound that is made up of a number of different minerals. Yes, their structures are completely different and yet, they both serve an important purpose when it comes to maintaining a person’s well being. Basically, Ferrous Sulfate is the form that iron takes in order for it to be successfully assimilated into our system. You may choose to take it this way or opt for something more natural by eating iron rich foods.

Iron is a chemical element whilst Ferrous Sulfate is a chemical compound.
Iron has to be properly regulated by mammals because of a biological toxicity risk.
Ferrous sulfate is used to treat iron deficiency anemia.

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  1. I used 65 mg. of iron which was marked equivalent to 325 mg. of ferrous sulfate when the latter was not available. I ended up with sever diarrhea which did not end until I ceased the use of the iron and went looking for the iron sulfate which my doctor had prerscribed.

  2. Thanks. I needed to know this. I’d been taking iron and eating iron rich foods, but still couldn’t reach the minimum required (shown in my lab results). The doctor wants me to take ferrous sulfate instead. Interesting about the use in compost mixtures as well.

    • Thank you for your comment. I wanted to take an organic iron pill and eat iron rich foods but was afraid it wouldn’t work. I’ll just do what the dr prescribed:)

  3. Very helpful comments. I will take the prescribed ferrous sulfate, I thought I’d be able to make up for this by eating more iron rich foods.

    Saved me the trouble by reviewing these comments.

    Have a great day!

  4. Getting ready to try Ferrous sulfate 325 mg. I am 62. Can i still do my Vit B12 at the same time it’s a supplement. I take it ever other day. not a real meat eater. Plus lost my abbitight. If i spelled that right. I have author all tpyes so i pray this works. It’s nature I love it. Hate Dr. meds don’t trust them. thanks for reading this whoever u are.

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