Understanding Minerals

FAQ's About Amino Acid Chelate
Only true Amino Acid Chelates will give you your money's worth. Don't be fooled by imitations!

At Prescribed For Life, we only supply the finest, most effective bio-available ingredients available. Many companies supply partial quantities of finer ingredients and the major bulk of the balance are generally cheaper, less effective forms, which make up the volume difference. We adamatly disagree with this approach. If it rates the best, then only supply the best! Don't cut corners! The following Q & A's will explain why Prescribed For Life has selected Albion Labs' minerals for our primary mineral source.

What are minerals?

A. As simple as it may seem, this question is 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 and successfully absorbed. Vital Life Nutrients all natural whole food supplement is packed with over 250 powerful minerals and nutrients.

Why are minerals important?

A. Each of the following systems in the body utilize 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 are "mineral antagonisms"?

A. A mineral wheel illustrates the interferences to absorption that exist between certain minerals. The arrowheads point toward the ionic minerals that are suppressed in intestinal absorption by the presence of the ionic forms of the mineral at the opposite end of the line. Double and opposing arrowheads on the same line show a mutual suppression between elements. Mineral antagonisms cause imbalances of some minerals in relation to others that cause problems with mineral utilization. This interference is called "mineral antagonism."

What is "bio-availability" and why is it important?

A. Bioavailability is the measure of the amount of an ingested nutrient that is absorbed and made available to the body for metabolic use. Bio-availability 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?

A. When minerals such as zinc, manganese, magnesium, copper, iron, calcium, and others are chemically bonded to amino acids with at least two bonds from each amino acid, rings of atoms attached to the minerals result and chelation has occurred. Chelation occurs naturally in the body to facilitate transport of minerals across the intestinal wall as part of digestion.

Why are minerals bound to amino acids to form a chelate?

A. Amino acids are ideal chelators or ligands 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 allows the minerals to be carried in with the amino acids during absorption. Finally, 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?

A. Simply mixing inorganic minerals with amino acids in a liquid or dry mixture does not allow chelation to occur. Simple ionic and hydrogen bonding of minerals to amino acids does not produce a stable product. Minerals and amino acids must be processed according to a specific formula in order to create a stable (coordinate covalent) bond which is important for greater bioavailability. Albion's patented processes assure that this bond is formed. Many products on the market are reported to be chelates. Some of these products 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. When looking for available minerals, look for Albion chelates. We guarantee purity and stability.

What makes Albion chelates so effective?

  • Size: Picture in your mind the fuel filter on your car engine. The filter allows fuel to pass through but holds back large particles from entering the engine. The same idea applies to the absorption of minerals from the intestine to the blood stream. Large particles cannot easily pass through the intestinal wall. Many mineral products on the market have molecular weights too large to be absorbed intact. Through patented technology, Albion produces chelated minerals with molecular weights small enough to easily pass through the intestinal wall. The result is a compound similar to that which the body itself produces by natural chelation.
  • Neutrality: The process of chelation results in the final mineral compound becoming neutral, i.e., containing no electrical charge. This is important because electrically charged mineral compounds can interact with other dietary components such as phytates and other oppositely charged molecules, and from substances that are not absorbable. In addition, charged mineral compounds are reactive and can deactivate other important nutrient factors, such as vitamin E, ascorbic acid, various B-vitamins, and certain medications.

Why are Albion chelated minerals better?

A. Only Albion has developed the ability to closely duplicate the natural chelation process which occurs in the body. Albion has the ability to turn inorganic rocks (mineral sources) into small organic molecules, making them highly bio-available and therefore more effective. It is a reliable means of providing mineral nutrition.

Can Albion prove the greater bioavailability of Albion chelated minerals?

A. Yes. Numerous clinical studies have been performed over the years by leading universities and independent researchers, demonstrating the superior bioavailability of Albion's chelates. Only Albion has been able to demonstrate the superior bioavailability of the unique chelates formed via Albion's patented processes. Only Albion has been able to demonstrate that its patented technology produces totally reacted, nutritionally functional mineral amino acid chelates and has incorporated many scientific procedures showing the validity of their chelation technology. Testing procedures utilizing some of the following determinative methods are part of the proof.

  • X-ray Diffraction
  • Electron Paramagnetic resonance Spectrometry (EPR)
  • Infrared Spectrometry (IR)
  • Fourier-Transformed Infrared Spectrometry (FT-IR)

How does one evaluate Albion chelates against the other mineral forms in the marketplace which also talk of availability?

A. 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?
  • Is there proof of the chelate bond formation in the product?
  • Is the product stable when subjected to various pH ranges found in digestion. (pH 2.0 - 7.5)?
  • Is the mineral product small enough in size to allow unhindered movement through the intestinal wall?
  • Does the product have test data to show that it really works?
  • Compare pricing. You may pay less for some reported chelates and complexes, but are they really cheaper? If the product is not truly a chelate then you are essentially buying inorganic minerals at a premium price. Without guaranteed availability, you lose two ways: cost and mineral utilization.

What is the Difference Between Glycine Chelates in Mineral Nutrition?

A. The positive opinion issued last year by the European Food Safety Authority on Albion® Advanced Nutrition's glycine-based trace mineral chelates has now passed into law. The EU Commission's Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health recently adopted a new entry in the list of European Union approved additives as Regulation EC 479/2006 of the EU Official Journal. With this approval, the new generation of glycine-based trace mineral chelates is now available from Albion. It includes the following products:

  • Ferrous chelate of glycine, hydrate
  • Cupric chelate of glycine, hydrate
  • Manganese chelate of glycine, hydrate
  • Zinc chelate of glycine, hydrate

This is great news for European customers who seek these glycine-based trace mineral chelates due to their efficacy and superior quality. Some mineral providers have circulated misleading information in effect claiming responsibility for this new law. However, it was Albion who sought to meet the needs of its customers as evidenced by the fact that Albion was the only provider of glycine-based trace mineral chelates who went through the process of submitting a dossier to the EU Commission and EFSA for review. Albion was able to successfully prove that Albion's glycine-based zinc, copper, iron and manganese chelates are safe and effective with a well defined chemical structure.

Prior to the EU approval of glycine-based chelates, Albion had also sought and received EU approval creating the regulatory space for the sale of its mineral amino acid chelates based on hydrolyzed soy protein. Research data has repeatedly shown the high bioavailability of Albion's glycine chelates and their clear advantage in today's animal nutrition. Trials carried out in the US, Europe, and many other countries worldwide have proven the outstanding performance of Albion chelates. Albion is also able to prove its chelation bonds by an analytical method developed by Albion scientists which has been validated according to the AOAC single laboratory validation procedure.

Albion, a US based company celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2006. Albion continues to be dedicated to its origins of pioneering research in mineral chelation that has changed the way the world handles mineral nutrition for plants, animals, and humans. Albion produces chelated minerals for both nutritional and pharmaceutical applications.

Stability: The Albion chelation process guarantees pH stability of this unique mineral molecule. Stability is maintained through the pH range encountered during the digestion process. This assures maximum presence of an intact mineral chelate for absorption via the special dipeptide-like absorption process. The body cannot utilize traditional mineral compounds in their natural state. Zinc sulfate, iron sulfate or any mineral sulfate, oxide or carbonate must be broken apart and restructured to allow their minerals to be transported through the intestinal wall. A similar situation exists with some reported chelates or complexed mineral products. Not properly stabilized, they break apart after digestion, exposing the raw, ionized mineral when the mineral payload is cleaved from its carrier. In this situation, these minerals become charged ions, and their absorbability is jeopardized. These charged free minerals are known to block the absorption of one another, or to combine with other dietary factors to form compounds that are un-absorbable. Only Albion chelates are manufactured according to specific patented technology that maintains the bio-available stability of these nutritionally functional mineral amino acid chelates.

Only true Amino Acid Chelates will give you your money's worth. Don't be fooled by imitations!