What forms of Trace Minerals should I look for in a supplement?

Minerals are important for different biological processes in the body.

The issue with minerals is bioavailability and how they interact with other ingredients. Depending on the form and the amount of the mineral, it may interfere with other ingredients by blocking or reacting to other ingredients. It’s important for a company to formulate a multivitamin with these considerations. Multivitamins are specially formulated and balanced so that each ingredient works together synergistically.

There are two different types of minerals our body needs: macro-minerals and trace minerals

  • Macrominerals: Sodium, Chloride, Potassium, Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Sulfur
  • Trace minerals: Iron, Zinc, Iodine, Selenium, Copper, Manganese, Fluoride, Chromium, Molydenum

Macrominerals such as calcium and magnesium is important for healthy bones, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, and immune system health.

Benefits of Trace Minerals

  • Trace minerals such as Zinc, Copper, Manganese are part of many enzymes in the body.
  • Iron is part of hemoglobin found in red blood cells and are needed for energy.
  • Selenium is a powerful antioxidant.
  • Chromium works closely with insulin to regulate blood sugar levels

Generally, our body needs large amounts of macrominerals, and small amounts of trace minerals.

The best food sources of trace minerals are cruciferous veggies, leafy greens, avocado, nuts, eggs, organ meats, and shellfish. When we don’t receive enough trace minerals from our diet, we need to receive them through supplementation.

The World Health Organization estimates that 17.3% of the global population does not consume adequate zinc in their diets.

The biggest issue with trace minerals is bioavailibility and absorption.

Inorganic forms of minerals like sulfates and oxides are difficult for the human body to absorb. Inorganic forms of minerals may also react with other nutrients such as Vitamin A, C, and E. Inorganic forms of minerals are common in many multi-vitamins because they are the least expensive form of trace minerals.

Currently, the most bioavailable forms of trace minerals are chelated minerals.

Chelated minerals are minerals bound to an organic compound such as amino acid or organic acids. In chemistry, the term “organic” means that the molecule has carbon atoms.

Non-chelated mineral compounds can destroy other important nutrient factors, such as vitamin E, ascorbic acid, various B-vitamins, and certain medications. Nutrients such as phytates and oxalic acids attach it selves to inorganic forms of minerals and block absorption, but they can’t bond to mineral chelates. When minerals are bound to organic compounds such as amino acids, the result is a small, stable molecules with no ionic charge. This means it doesn’t react with other nutrients. Mineral chelates are absorbed by the body better and more GI friendly than other forms of minerals.

The following amino acids are commonly used to make mineral chelates:

  • Aspartic acid: used to make zinc aspartate, magnesium aspartate, etc.
  • Methionine: used to make copper methionine, zinc methionine, etc.
  • Monomethionine: used to make zinc monomethionine
  • Lysine: used to make calcium lysinate
  • Glycine: used to make magnesium glycinate

The following organic acids commonly used to make mineral chelates:

  • Acetic acid: used to make zinc acetate, calcium acetate, etc.
  • Citric acid: used to make chromium citrate, magnesium citrate, etc.
  • Orotic acid: used to make magnesium orotate, lithium orotate, etc.
  • Gluconic acid: used to make iron gluconate, zinc gluconate, etc.
  • Fumaric acid: used to make iron (ferrous) fumarate
  • Picolinic acid: used to make chromium picolinate, manganese picolinate, etc.

While mineral chelates bound to organic acids like gluconates and citrates are better than inorganic forms of minerals, amino acid mineral chelates offer the most advantages.

The human body is very efficient at absorbing individual amino acids. For instance, the amino acid glycine is readily absorbed across the intestinal wall. When the glycine and bonds with a mineral, you get a glycinate. The mineral doesn’t break down in the digestive process. Instead it is easily absorbed, because it gets carried to your cells bound to the amino acid.

The leading supplier of chelated minerals is Albion. They have over 50 years of research on chelated minerals and have over 150 patents pertaining to supplements. Albion’s bio-process of creating mineral chelates relies on a global patent: Patent # US 7,838,042 B2 on “TRAACS – The Real Amino Acid Chelate System”

To date, over 134 articles and abstracts on Albion minerals in human nutrition have been published in peer reviewed journals.
To date, over 134 articles and abstracts on Albion minerals in human nutrition have been published in peer reviewed journals.

Features of TRAACS

The formation criteria of these compounds must be subject to production restrictions:

  • The weight of the molecule must be less than 800 Dalton (a unit of an atomic mass unit).
  • The electrical charge of the molecule must be neutral.
  • The molecule must stay stable to prevent a chemical reaction in the digestive system.
  • The compound must be bioavailable

Albion TRAACS method meets all these criteria and provides mineral compounds and amino acids with significant advantages such as:

  • High bioavailability (due to high absorption of active substances through the bowel barrier to the bloodstream).
  • The compounds are easy to digest and do not cause side effects and irritate the digestive system.
  • The compounds do not interact with other foods that prevent mineral absorption.
  • The compounds are made from 100% essential nutrients to the body.

Microplex VMz uses trace mineral ingredients from Albion.

Most of the trace minerals (except Iodine) used in Microplex VMz are mineral chelates (mineral attached to glycine amino acid):

  • Iron (Ferrous Bis Glycinate Chelate) Ferrochel
  • Zinc (Zinc Bis-Glycinate Chelate)
  • Selenium (Selenium Glycinate Complex)
  • Copper (Copper Bis-Glycinate Chelate)
  • Manganese (Manganese Bis-Glycinate Chelate)
  • Chromium (Chromium Nicotinate Glycinate Chelates

The following mineral is an iodide salt:

  • Iodine (Potassium Iodide)

There are two primary sources of iodine used in supplements. Iodide salts (Potassium iodide, sodium iodide), or kelp-derived iodide.

Currently, Microplex VMz utilizes Potassium Iodide.

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