What is the Difference Between Ferrous Gluconate and Ferrous Fumarate

The key difference between ferrous gluconate and ferrous fumarate is that ferrous gluconate is an iron salt of gluconic acid and gives a high iron content to our blood when taken as an iron supplement, whereas ferrous fumarate is an iron salt of fumaric acid and gives comparatively a low iron content to our blood when taken as an iron supplement.

Ferrous gluconate and ferrous fumarate are useful in the medical field as iron supplements.

CONTENT

1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Ferrous Gluconate 
3. What is Ferrous Fumarate
4. Ferrous Gluconate vs Ferrous Fumarate in Tabular Form
5. Summary – Ferrous Gluconate vs Ferrous Fumarate

What is Ferrous Gluconate?

Ferrous gluconate or iron(II) gluconate is an iron supplement that appears as a black-colored material. We can define it as the iron(II) salt of gluconic acid. The most common brand name of this ferrous gluconate compound is “Fergon.” Other trade names include “Ferraiet” and “Simron.”

Figure 01: The Chemical Structure of Ferrous Gluconate

The chemical formula of this compound is FeC12H22O14. The appearance of ferrous gluconate can change from light yellow to brown powder. Moreover, it has a slight caramel odor. The most common chemical state of this compound is the dehydrated form. It is a water-soluble substance and soluble in glycerin. However, it has negligible solubility in alcohol.

The uses of ferrous gluconate are mainly in the medical field and food industry. In the medical field, this material is effectively useful in treating hypochromic anemia. Compared to other iron supplements, this ferrous gluconate supplement shows satisfactory reticulocyte responses, a high percentage of iron usage, and an increment of daily hemoglobin production. As a food additive in the food industry, ferrous gluconate is useful in processing black olives where it can impart a uniform jet black color to the olives.

However, taking an overdose can cause toxicity. For example, sometimes, the overdose in children can be corrosive to the gastrointestinal mucosa, low blood pressure, weak pulse, etc.

What is Ferrous Fumarate?

Ferrous fumarate or iron(II) fumarate is an inorganic compound a salt of fumaric acid. It appears as a red-orange powder that is useful in making iron supplements. The chemical formula of this compound is C4H2FeO4. The iron content in this compound is about 32.878%.

Figure 02: The Chemical Structure of Ferrous Fumarate

This substance is odorless, and it is slightly soluble in water. Often, it is taken as an oral supplement. Compared to ferrous gluconate, the iron content given to the blood by the iron supplements containing ferrous fumarate powder is low. However, it is still useful in preparing iron supplements for medical needs.

What is the Difference Between Ferrous Gluconate and Ferrous Fumarate?

Ferrous gluconate and ferrous fumarate are useful in the medical field as iron supplements. The key difference between ferrous gluconate and ferrous fumarate is that ferrous gluconate is an iron salt of gluconic acid, and it gives a high iron content to our blood when taken as an iron supplement, whereas ferrous fumarate is an iron salt of fumaric acid and it gives comparatively a low iron content to our blood when taken as an iron supplement.

The below infographic presents the differences between ferrous gluconate and ferrous fumarate in tabular form for side by side comparison.

Summary – Ferrous Gluconate vs Ferrous Fumarate

Ferrous gluconate and ferrous fumarate are useful in the medical field as iron supplements. The key difference between ferrous gluconate and ferrous fumarate is that ferrous gluconate is an iron salt of gluconic acid, and it gives a high iron content to our blood when taken as an iron supplement, whereas ferrous fumarate is an iron salt of fumaric acid and it gives comparatively a low iron content to our blood when taken as an iron supplement.