Hematogen (from Greek Haematogenum „blood+giving birth (reviving)) as food supplement originated in Switzerland. In 1890, Dr. Hommel manufactured a mixture on the basis of bovine blood. Since that time, hematogen has changed its form but improved its properties as it was fortified with vitamins.
Hematogen is a source of iron of animal origin. When there is iron deficiency we feel fatigue, weakness, our concentration is impaired, our vital processes becomes slower and productivity level goes down. According to the data of the World Health Organization, around 30% of population suffer iron deficiency. Iron is one of the main components that promote the biochemical reactions which occur in human cells and provides oxygen for all the organs and tissues of our body. Oxygen, which is necessary for all the organs and tissues of our body, is carried to them by the blood protein – haemoglobin, which is present in red blood cells, and iron is one of the main components of haemoglobin. It was assessed that the amount of this microelement in human body is 3–5 g, more than two thirds of which is present in haemoglobin. One of iron sufficiency manifestation forms is anaemia – deficiency of red blood cells (erythrocytes) or protein haemoglobin in them therefore oxygen starvation occurs in the body. Almost every third individual in the world has anaemia – the disease is diagnosed for about 10% of men but it is much more common in women and children. Even 30% of children and about 50% of pregnant women in the world suffer from iron deficiency. Our body cannot produce iron itself therefore it must be absorbed from food. But iron is insoluble in food products and hardly absorbed. Iron of animal origin is well absorbed (about 20% – 30%). Fruit and vegetables contain iron too but its amount is less and it is worse absorbed than iron of animal origin. Iron absorption is significantly improved by vitamins C and B therefore all kinds of Lithuanian hematogens are fortified with these vitamins.
According to the data of recommendations of the World Health Organization and UNICEF, it is recommended to use iron supplements. Hematogen as iron supplement is very important for children and adults who have an increased risk of iron-deficiency anaemia – they are growing children, teenagers, pregnant and breastfeeding women, sportsmen and active people, elderly people.