There seems to be common misunderstandings in the marketplace as to just what is a vitamin, a mineral and a chelate. Let's start with defining vitamins: A vitamin is an organic compound needed by organisms to keep it functioning and healthy. To further clarify, high school science teaches that the world in general is made up of elements or compounds. Elements are those molecules that are in a fundamental state in the earth as pure molecules with no other ingredients. Elements are represented on the periodic table which you may remember from your science class, they are the building blocks to ALL other compounds.
Compounds are made up of two or more elements. An example is water, made up of two elements (molecules) of hydrogen and one element (molecule) of oxygen (scientifically written as H2O). Vitamins are compounds.
Understanding this ‘element and compound’ concept is key to understanding what nutritional minerals are and how living organisms use them. Nutritional minerals are elements and can be found on the periodic table. The major minerals, also called "macrominerals", that are important for life are, in alphabetical order: Calcium (Ca), Chloride (Cl), Magnesium (Mg), Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K), Sodium (Na), and Sulphur (S). Another grouping of minerals based on intake requirement is “trace minerals”. The requirement for trace mineral intake is lower than for macrominerals and they are: Boron (B), Cobalt (Co), Chromium (Cr), Copper (Cu), Fluorine (F), Iodine (I), Iron (Fe), Manganese (Mn), Molybdenum (Mo), Nickel (Ni), Selenium (Se), Silicon (Si), Tin (Sn), Vanadium (V), and Zinc (Zn). Please note that like any rule there are exceptions. Nature has exceptions to general mineral intake requirements but for the sake of understanding we will not address these exceptions.
Living organisms cannot use inorganic minerals directly. If an inorganic mineral is presented to a living organism for use, the organism must first convert this inorganic mineral to an organic form, a biological form, or organic compound. In the human digestive process when an inorganic mineral is presented to the digestive system the chemical process of this system starts to work, chemically bonding the inorganic molecule to an organic molecule. The process for this is called chelation and the end product of this process is called a chelate. This chelate is now seen on a cellular level as an organic compound that can now be absorbed and used in the body of the organism.
But (there is always a "but" isn’t there), it is not a perfect biological world in the digestive process. Many things can affect the efficiency of the natural chelation process. As the mineral element moves through this process there is not enough organic matter to bond with the mineral before it passes through the organism unabsorbed. The mineral may come into contact with what are called "antagonists" and then get passed through the organism unabsorbed. The health of the organism may prevent the assimilation of this mineral and it is passed through the system. In nature it may be very difficult to get specific minerals available from food intake alone to keep the organism at optimal health.
This is where science and patented technology comes into the picture to create an organic molecule already in a form the body can assimilate. The molecule Albion manufactures is called… yes… a mineral amino acid chelate. This chelated organic form of inorganic mineral elements substantially increases the probability that the digesting organism will absorb the mineral for its use and benefit.
Thank you for taking the time to understand the basics of vitamins, minerals, and chelates. This website will continue to provide you with understanding and research on nutrition and mineral amino acid chelates.
We have a video that visually illustrates the basic concept of an organic chelated molecule vs an inorganic mineral form such as sulphates, carbonates and oxides. This video provides an understanding of the difference these mineral forms have in the digestive process: http://www.albionnutritionalfacts.com/science-videos/chelates-digestion
Minerals + Science = Chelates