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Not All Minerals are Created Equal

Most people are familiar with the importance of minerals for overall health and their critical role in development, growth and maintenance of a healthy body. These inorganic elements are more crucial than even vitamins. However, not all minerals are created equal when it comes to absorption, effectiveness and side effects? The reason for this is because minerals available for supplementation can be found in a variety of different forms.

Many supplements contain minerals in their inorganic form. These forms have very low solubility, which means they are poorly absorbed and often times cause gastric discomfort such as constipation, diarrhea or nausea. When we ingest minerals in an inorganic form, the body tries to convert them into an organic compound by adding an amino acid – a process known as chelation. However, the process of chelation by the body is not very effective which leads to these mineral forms being readily excreted.

A ‘true’ mineral chelate is any mineral atom that is bonded to another molecule, also known as a ligand, at more than one attachment site. One of the most common and effective ligands used for mineral chelation is glycine, the smallest amino acid. The chelation process allows the mineral to survive the passage through the stomach and into the small intestine where it is absorbed into the bloodstream. If the mineral is not bonded in two or more places by the ligand, it is not a true chelate and the stomach acid can easily displace it. Once freed from its ligand, the mineral either becomes trapped by other contents in the stomach such as fiber or gets flushed through the intestine without getting a chance to be absorbed. With bisglycinate chelates, the bonds stay intact and the mineral is easily absorbed through the intestinal wall. Bisglycinate chelates also prevent minerals from competing with each other for absorption.

As the 4th most abundant mineral in the body, magnesium plays a role in over 300 metabolic reactions. It’s importance in nerve and muscle function, blood pressure regulation, bone metabolism, glucose management and hormonal health is essential. Yet, magnesium deficiency is extremely widespread, with some reports suggesting that as many as 60 to 70% of individuals do not meet the recommended daily allowance of 400 mg per day. Therefore, supplementation of magnesium becomes critical in preventing against deficiencies and the development of a variety of conditions. TrophicTM’s magnesium bisglycinate provides the highest magnesium yield possible for an amino acid chelate, it is absorbed intact through the small intestine and it is less likely to cause loose stools as compared to other forms such as magnesium citrate and magnesium oxide.

While calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, reports suggest that Canadians have inadequate intakes, with some numbers as high as 80%. Due to the fact that deficiencies of calcium and magnesium are extremely prevalent, these two minerals tend to also be the most popular mineral supplements.

Bisglycinate forms of calcium and magnesium are 2-4 times better absorbed than their inorganic counterparts calcium carbonate and magnesium oxide, respectively. The question, however, becomes on how do we choose the right ratio between calcium and magnesium in a supplement. TrophicTM’s calcium and magnesium formulas provide a variety of options. For example, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, diabetes and inflammation in general benefit from supplementation with lower calcium to magnesium ratios. The reason for this is that magnesium deficiency or hypomagnesimia is prevalent in these conditions. When choosing to supplement, look for a formula that provides a 1:2 calcium bisglycinate to magnesium bisglycinate ratio in order to address the underlying magnesium deficiency. For those with no particular health conditions but needing to supplement in order to ensure no deficiencies develop over time, a 1:1 ratio of calcium bisglycinate to magnesium bisglycinate would be more appropriate. On the other hand, if dealing with osteoporosis or bone loss, then a 2:1 calcium bisglycinate to magnesium bisglycinate is favourable.

Albion is the world leader and innovator in mineral chelates. TrophicTM is proud to have been exclusively providing Canadians with Albion’s chelated minerals for the past 50 years. Albion uses glycine as the ligand in its chelates because it improves absorption, stabilizes the mineral and reduces gastric irritation. The bisglycinate chelate is a neutrally charged molecule, which is easily absorbed through the intestinal walls and does not compete with other minerals for absorption. When it comes to chelation, Albion holds over 140 patents that ensure safe, proven and effective mineral supplements. Albion’s chelates are fully reacted which means that there is no by-product in the mixture. Each mineral is also fingerprinted by FT-IR, which examines the chemical signature of the mineral and validates whether chelation has occurred. Lastly, Albion has participated in over 70 clinical studies examining the safety and effectiveness of chelated minerals.