(WFN) What are minerals?
As simple as it may seem, you’d be surprised how many people don’t really know the answer to that question. It’s the first step in examining the role of minerals in nutrition. The dictionary describes minerals as solid, crystalline substances (diamond, copper, quartz, etc.) not of animal or vegetable origin. The key words are “not of animal or vegetable origin.” Because minerals intended for nutritional purposes cannot be synthesized by the body, they must be utilized as natural elements – they must be eaten as foods and successfully absorbed.
Each of the following systems in the body utilizes minerals. Research shows that imbalances or deficiencies in mineral nutrition can affect these systems.
Immune System: Copper (Cu), Zinc (Zn), Iron (Fe) and Selenium (Se)
Energy Production: Magnesium (Mg), Phosphorus (P) and Manganese (Mn)
Hormone System: Iron (Fe), Manganese (Mn), Zinc (Zn), Copper (Cu), Magnesium (Mg) and Potassium (K)
Vitamin Production: Cobalt (Co)
Blood Production: Copper (Cu) and Iron (Fe)
Enzyme Systems: Zinc (Zn), Copper (Cu), Potassium (K), Manganese (Mn), Magnesium (Mg), Iron (Fe), Calcium (Ca) and Molybdenum (Mo)
Skeletal System: Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg), Zinc (Zn), Manganese (Mn), Boron (B) and Phosphorus (P
What is “bioavailability” and why is it important?
Bioavailability is the measure of the amount of an ingested nutrient that is absorbed and made available to the body for metabolic use. Bioavailability is important because nutritional intake must be available to various body systems for growth, maintenance of body tissues, reproduction and, other performance factors. No matter how high the nutrient levels or how well formulated the product, if the nutrient is not bioavailable for use by body tissue, then money and effort have been wasted.
What are amino acid chelated minerals?
Chelated basically means ‘firmly attached’, usually to an amino acid or other organic component so that the two do not seperate in the digestive system. When minerals such as zinc, manganese, magnesium, copper, iron, calcium, and others are chemically bonded to amino acids, rings of atoms attached to the minerals result and chelation has occurred. Chelated minerals generally absorb better in the body.
Why are minerals bound to amino acids to form a chelate?
Amino acids are ideal chelators from both chemical and nutritional points of view. Amino acids meet all the chemical requirements to form heterocyclic rings of atoms which are the defining feature of the chelate. Amino acids are also ideal from a nutritional aspect. The body is very efficient at absorbing individual amino acids and dipeptides (two amino acids linked together through a peptide bond). Metal amino acid chelates resemble these compounds which allow the minerals to be carried in with the amino acids during absorption. The amino acids, once released from the metal, can be used to build proteins or provide energy.
Why is it important for the mineral to have a stable bond to the amino acid?
Simply mixing inorganic minerals with amino acids in a liquid or dry mixture does not allow chelation to occur. Minerals and amino acids must be processed according to a specific formula in order to create a stable bond, which is important for greater bioavailability. Many products on the market are reported to be chelates. Some of these products however, are only “complexed” mixtures of minerals and proteins and cannot be identified as true amino acid chelates. These complexed mixtures lose stability during digestion, compromising the availability of the mineral nutrient during absorption.
When selecting vitamin and mineral complexes it is important to know what you are buying. Simply ask the following questions:
- Are the minerals truly chelated to amino acids or just complexed or are they simply trace minerals mixed with protein?
- Does the product have test data to show that it really works?
- Compare pricing. You may pay less for some reported chelates, but are they really cheaper? If the product is not truly a chelate then you are essentially buying inorganic minerals at a premium price.
Having the right minerals (and in the correct amounts) is an essential part of healthy living and optimal performance. To learn more about how to ensure you are getting the proper dosages in your diet, visit: www.TrueHealthyProducts.com