Originally Posted by porcupine73
Yes giving blood or bloodletting is a quick way to reduce stored iron. I think you can actually pick up a reasonable amount of iron by cooking in cast iron or other iron containing cookware. I forget which is which, the heme vs. non-heme, but the iron naturally found in foods the body can eliminate, but the other form it usually locks in ferriten and stores it away.
Heme iron is meat iron, non-heme (elemental) iron is veggie and cast iron sourced iron. The difference is that the iron molecule has a ring of proteins around it (heme ring) when it is in heme form.
There is no difference in how your body stores the iron once it goes through uptake [which is when the iron moves from your digestive tract through the receptor cells (one kind for heme, one kind for elemental)].
The uptake is what's important. Heme has more uptake receptors through a larger portion of the small intestine. Elemental iron receptors have a triggered shut-off when ferretin levels get too high. The body never removes iron once it goes through the receptors, it only loses iron through the synthesis of red blood cells, and certain hormones and neurotransmitters (such as dopamine), as well as through blood loss, bruising and soft tissue impact (such as running).
This is all assuming there is no disorder, such as the previously mentioned hemachromatosis.
And, just an FYI, I am QA in a heme iron supplement manufacturing company. Part of my job has been to research and review over 100 peer-reviewed studies on the bioavailability of heme iron vs elemental iron, the process of iron uptake for each form, and the effects of iron on various disorders. [We use the information to make sure we don't lie or mislead in our marketing materials. ]