The bioavailability of the oral iron compound iron(II)-glycine sulfate (ferro sanol duodenal, FSD, 1 x 100 mg Fe/d) was studied in 56 patients with iron deficiency anaemia using a 59Fe-labelling technique and 59Fe-whole-body counting. This technique measures the individual iron loss and allows in patients with substantial blood loss under iron medication a reliable information on the bioavailability of the drug. In all patients, the increased loss of iron (mean 5.8 +/- 4.4 mg/d) was clearly compensated by the iron utilisation (mean: 11.1 +/- 5.6 mg/d) from a daily dosage of 100 mg iron from FSD. A significant increase in the haemoglobin concentration was observed within the monitored treatment period of 6-10 weeks (mean Hb increase from 10.7 +/- 1.7 to 12.1 +/- 1.8 g/dl). FSD has therefore documented a bioavailability of at least 11% from a single daily dose of 100 mg Fe and was effective in the treatment of the anaemia in almost all patients under study.