Frequently Asked Questions

What are Minerals?

As simple as it may seem, this question sets the stage for our concern of trace minerals in human nutrition. Webster describes minerals as solid, crystalline substances (naturally occurring elements found in the earth), not of animal or vegetable origin. Important in this definition is the indication that their origin is not from animal or vegetable sources. Minerals for nutritional purposes cannot be synthesized by animals or plants. They must be utilized as natural elements from nature.

Why Are Minerals Important?

Obtaining the full  spectrum of essential minerals in a bio-available form is very important.  In clinical, nutritional medicine, minerals are considered more important than vitamins due to common deficiencies. Minerals are basic constituents of  all matter and are part of living tissue.  They assist the body in energy production and are  present in tissue protein, enzymes, blood, and vitamins. They are also essential to our physical and mental health, as well as our bones, teeth, soft tissue, and both structural and functional support. Minerals help in nerve transmission, muscle contraction, cell permeability, and blood and tissue formation.

Active individuals and those who engage in heavy exercise, those who are under great stress, on restricted diets, mentally or physically ill, take medication, recovering from surgery, smoke, consume alcoholic beverages, eat a high sugar diet, all need higher than normal amounts of nutrients.

The body can not manufacture minerals.  They come from the earth and top soil.  Due to mineral soil depletion, most food is mineral deficient and  can not provide the body with adequate mineral nutrition through food consumption.

The following table shows various systems in the body which utilize trace minerals. Research is showing that imbalances or deficiencies in trace mineral nutrition can affect these systems.  In summary, a deficiency of a mineral, or an improper ratio of one mineral to another may cause some diseases.  Supplying the right minerals in the right amounts, at the right time, in a bioavailable,chelated form,  is an essential part of health management.

Systems

  • Immune System
  • Energy Production
  • Hormone System
  • Vitamin Production
  • Blood Production
  • Enzyme Systems
  • Reproduction
  • Cardiovascular System
  • Muscle and Nerve System
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism

Are There Antagonisms Between Minerals That Affect Nutrition Responses?

Yes. Looking below at the mineral wheel, whenever a mineral has an arrow pointing to another mineral, it indicates interference that can exist between those minerals.  This is caused by imbalances of one mineral to the other. The antagonism can cause problems with mineral utilization.

mineral_wheel

This is important because it relates to mineral balance. Not only are levels of minerals important, but the ratio of one mineral to another can affect final use. For instance, we know that high levels of molybdenum found in soils can tie up copper. Ultimately this affects the ratio of copper in the body systems.

What Is Bioavailability And Why Is It Important?

One good definition put forth by Dr. E. R. Miller of Michigan State University is, Bioavailability of a mineral element implies the availability of that element to some organism for body use. It is important because all nutrition must be available to various body systems for growth, maintenance, reproduction, and other performance factors. No matter how high the nutrient levels or how well formulated the product, if it is not available at the cellular level, then money and effort have been wasted.

What Are Chelated Minerals?

When minerals such as zinc, manganese, magnesium, copper, iron, cobalt, and others become surrounded by and bonded to amino acids, on a stable form, this is referred to as chelation. Chelation is a natural means for the body to transport minerals across the intestinal wall as part of digestion.

Why Are Minerals Bound To Amino Acids To Form A Chelate?

The body is very efficient at absorbing amino acids. In a priority list of nutrition substances crossing the intestinal wall after digestion, amino acids rank high. In fact, 95% of all amino acids broken down in the process of digestion are absorbed. Chelating minerals to these allows them to be “smuggled” in the transport process across the gut wall.

Why Is It Important For The Mineral To Have A Stable Bond To The Amino Acids?


Simply mixing inorganic minerals with amino acids in a liquid or dry mixture and taking them as” proposed chelates ” does not fall into the category of a “true amino acid chelate”. This simple ionic and hydrogen bonding of minerals to amino acids does not produce a stable product. Special processing must be performed to create that stable (covalent) bonding so important to create bio-availability.

Life Zone® uses patented processes to assure this.

mineral_bond

There are many products on the market which are reported to be chelates. Some are only complexed mixtures of minerals and proteins which do not fit the definition of true amino acid chelates.  Minerals that have been complexed lose integrity during digestion, becoming unstable and compromise availability.

When looking for available trace minerals, look at Life Zone® chelates.  The patented amino acid chelated mineral process guarantees purity and stability.

What Makes Life Zone® Chelates So effective?

Size

Picture in your mind the fuel filter on your car engine. The filter allows fuel to pass through but holds back large particles from entering the engine. This same idea applies to the absorption of minerals from the intestine to the blood stream. Large particles cannot easily pass through the intestinal wall. Many trace mineral products on the market have molecular weights too large to be absorbed intact.

fuel_filter

Through patented technology, Life Zone® uses chelated trace minerals with molecular weights small enough to pass easily through the intestinal wall. The result is a compound similar to that which the body itself produces by natural chelation.

Stability

The chelating process used by Life Zone®, guarantees pH buffered stability of the trace mineral compound even through the acidic environment of digestion. This assures total bioavailability of the mineral by absorption of the intact molecule.

What good does it do to take an inorganic mineral which breaks down during digestion only to recombine in other forms which may not be available? This is the story with our traditional mineral compounds such as zinc sulfate, iron sulfate, or any of the oxide or carbonate forms. The body cannot utilize these forms of minerals as fed. The mineral must be broken apart and reconstructed to allow transport through the intestinal wall.

A similar situation exists with some reported chelate or complexed mineral products. Not properly stabilized, they break apart, exposing the raw mineral.

It is after digestion when the mineral has been cleaved from its carrier and becomes a free radical that availability is jeopardized. These free minerals can easily recombine to form totally unavailable substances. Only Life Zone® chelates maintain that bioavailable stability.

Neutrality

The process of chelation results in the final mineral compound becoming neutral, i.e., containing no electric charge. Why is this important? The free metals after cleavage usually have a positive charge. This means they can become attached to a negatively charged substance.

As an example, iron sulfate in the stomach undergoes acidic cleavage which results in free iron metal ions with positive charges. In its “free” state, the iron can now bind with any negative charged substance. Phytic acid from plant sources and free phosphorus are two common materials found in the stomach and intestinal tract which can permanently tie-up the free iron, rendering it totally unavailable.

Why Are Life Zone® Chelated Minerals Better?

Life Zone® uses chelated minerals which closely duplicate the natural chelation process which occurs in the body. This makes them highly bioavailable and therefore a more effective and reliable means of providing trace minerals nutrition.

There is both human and animal tests involving mineral movement throughout the body starting from the point of digestion.

What Proof Is There Of The Greater Bioavailability Of Life Zone® Chelated Minerals?

Scientific procedures and testing procedures utilizing the following determinative methods are part of the proof.

  1. X-Ray Diffraction
  2. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy
    1. Nitrogen Scanning
    2. Carbon Scanning
  3. Mass Spectrometry
  4. Infrared Spectrometry (IR)
  5. Specific Ion Electrode
  6. Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy
  7. X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy

 

What About Minerals In Water? Are There Antagonisms Which Exist?

We are all familiar with the problems of high concentrations of minerals in water. Also, we know that levels vary from region to region.
Some specific problems are:

  • Nitrates – tie up potassium.
  • Sulfates – become antagonistic with magnesium, copper, calcium, and selenium.
  • Iron – competes with zinc, manganese, copper, phosphorus, cobalt and copper.

With the potential for problems in both water and food, it makes sense to take a hard look at the highly available Life Zone® chelates.

How Are Life Zone® Chelates Used?

If you read through all the current questions and concerns about minerals you will realize there is a need for more available trace minerals in our nutritional programs. Our traditional sources (sulfates, oxides, carbonates, chlorides, and others) can be formulated to meet the requirements of the label. However, we never really know where we stand on availability of these sources in practical situations. We do know that their availability is low: estimates of 4-22%. Therefore are we receiving the true formulated levels?What about additional supplementation of inorganic sources to compensate for lower bioavailablity? But the real question is: how much more inorganic mineral sources can one digest? It is a situation of diminishing availability as more inorganic mineral sources are added.

How Does One Evaluate Life Zone® Chelates Against Other Mineral Forms In The Marketplace Which Also Talk Of Availability?

Simple, ask the following questions:

Are the minerals truly chelated to amino acids or just complexed by mixing trace minerals with protein?

Life Zone® chelates are made to fit the definition of chelation most like the body’s own method; buffered, low molecular weight, neutral, natural.

We can prove it.

Does the product have stability when subjected to various pH ranges found in digestion (2.0 – 7.5)?

Life Zone® chelates are buffered to remain intact and durable throughout digestion.

We can prove it.

Is the mineral products small enough in size to allow unhindered movement through the intestinal wall?

Life Zone® chelates are processed to critical size requirements. In terms of molecular weight, Life Zone® chelates are suited for availability.

We can prove it.

Is there test data to show that these minerals really work?

Accumulated data and results have resulted in over 150 patents world wide. This data is from analytical laboratory work.

We can prove it.

Compare pricing.

You may pay less for some reported chelates and complexes, but is it really cheaper? If the product is not truly a chelate, then you are essentially paying a premium for ‘fancy’ inorganic minerals. Without guaranteed availability, you lose two ways: cost and mineral utilization.

Only true amino acid chelates as described in this literature will give you your money’s worth.

Don’t be fooled by imitations.