Because the body is very efficient at absorbing individual amino acids, it allows a mineral chelated to an amino acid to be carried along with its amino acid ligand into the intestinal cell during absorption. Clinical studies have shown that the intestinal absorption pathway of an amino acid chelate is different than minerals from inorganic metal salts. As the amino acid chelate approaches the intestinal wall, it remains the same molecule that was ingested. The chelate does not require digestion prior to absorption due to size. The glycine amino acid chelate for example is stable and does not become disassociated in the stomach.
On the intestinal wall are finger-like projections called villi. The villi increase the surface area for the amino acid chelate to be absorbed. On each villus are microvilli. It is through the membranes of the cell walls of the microvilli that the amino acid chelate is absorbed. Once inside the cells, the components of the chelate are used by the body as any mineral and amino acid would be after absorption. Chelating with ligands like glycine to form a glycine amino acid chelate makes more of the ingested minerals available for metabolic purposes (growth, reproduction, immunity, etc.) compared to other inorganic and organic mineral forms (metal proteinates or amino acid complexes).
Numerous clinical studies have proven that Albion's metal amino acid chelates are better absorbed than inorganic minerals, metal proteinates, or amino acid complexes. In fact the absorption pathway of a metal proteinate is unknown. Amino acid complexes are hydrolyzed in the stomach and intestine and the minerals absorbed similarly to inorganic metal salts.
Due to pH constraints, minerals from amino acid complexes or digested metal proteinates can only be absorbed in the upper portion of the small intestine (duodenum). Proteinates do require digestion prior to absorption due their large size. Complexes are not stable compounds and will disassociate in the stomach.