Amino acid chelate

Put simply, chelates are the product of a naturally occurring chemical reaction (in the body) between a nutritional mineral and a molecule. This process, called chelation, is done so our bodies are able to transport these minerals across the intestinal wall to be absorbed and digested. Otherwise, they would either be used in even smaller amounts than required by the body, or not able to make it into the intestinal wall at all for digestion. A very tight bond forms, and the minerals are forced to follow the molecule, a.k.a the chelator, wherever it goes. The minerals that we need are not synthesized by the body naturally, and this process must occur to benefit us for nutritional purposes. Amino acids are one type of chelator that is perfect from both a nutritional and chemical aspect. The entire process contributes to the bioavailability of minerals because if our body is unable to use the minerals for metabolic processes, as is the case before chelation occurs, then the minerals are wasted the second they are put into our mouths.

Important Minerals

There are many important minerals found naturally on Earth that are essential for proper bodily processes and functions. These inorganic elements cannot be produced by the body so they must be taken in through food and then absorbed properly. In order for absorption to be maximized, a chelate must form. Boron, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Potassium, Sulfur, Calcium, Chromium, Vanadium, Iron, Cobalt, Manganese, Copper, Zinc, Selenium, Molybdenum, and Iodine are all regarded as essential for the human body from a nutritional standpoint. Many of these minerals affect more than one process in the body.

  • Selenium, Iron, Copper, and Zinc are important for immune function.
  • Phosphorous, Manganese, and Magnesium are utilized in energy production.
  • Iron, Manganese, Zinc, Magnesium, Copper, and Potassium are essential for hormone production.
  • Copper and Iron assist with blood production.
  • Cobalt helps with the production of vitamins.
  • The enzyme system requires Zinc, Copper, Magnesium, Potassium, Manganese, Calcium, Iron, and Molybdenum.
  • Calcium, Zinc, Manganese, Magnesium, Phosphorous, and Boron are critical for the skeletal system.

If any deficiencies occur, problems will result in the system or process that the mineral is supposed to be providing action for.

Amino Acids as Ideal Chelators
From a nutritional standpoint, amino acids work ideally as chelators because amino acids in general are easily absorbed by the body to be used for their normal functions as protein synthesizers or energy producers. When these minerals are attached to the amino acid ligand (the binding body), they will literally follow it directly into the intestinal wall for digestion. These minerals will then have unlimited access to the blood and other body tissues. Once absorbed, the components of the amino acids, and therefore the digested mineral, are used by the body for the metabolic processes specific to it. Studies have shown that amino acid chelates provide more of the mineral to be utilized than other chelators.

From a chemical stance, the three basic parts of an amino acid (its “amino” group, acid group, and R-group that determines its specific name and function) make it able to react with positively charged metal ions and allow a strong chemical bond to be formed. This bond must be very stable and specific. These ions are the dietary minerals that the body needs for various reasons. If the bond is not tight, the minerals will fail to cross the intestinal wall along with the amino acid. Amino acids are also capable of bypassing some of the obstacles that minerals tied to salts run into when being absorbed and digested by the intestine.

Last updated on Nov 4th, 2010 and filed under Nutritional Information. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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