Over the years I have discussed the merits of taking true Amino Acid Chelated mineral supplements versus non Amino Acid Chelated mineral Supplements. I have also discussed that some companies use the terminology “chelate or chelated mineral or amino acid chelated mineral” in their marketing and even on their supplement labels but are not putting true Amino Acid Chelated Minerals in their formulas. It’s one thing to say something and another thing to have actual proof and scientific documentation to back up marketing statements and product labels.
It becomes very difficult for the consumer to know what to believe and who to believe. A true Amino Acid Chelated Mineral will reference the U.S. Patent number(s) covering the chelation process for the minerals on its supplement label, which lets the consumer know they are true Amino Acid Chelated Minerals. The Albion Gold Medallion display may also be on their label indicating that ALL of the minerals in the formula are true Amino Acid Chelated Minerals. When it comes to your health, it is important to know who you are dealing with, and the integrity of the company behind the products you are using.
When AAFCO required an official world-wide definition of a true Amino Acid Chelated Mineral, they contacted my father, Dr. Harvey Ashmead, to provide the definition. AAFCO is an organization composed of all 50 U.S. State Chemists, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the Costa Rica Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). My father, Dr. Harvey Ashmead, is known as” the world authority on Amino Acid Chelated Minerals for Human Nutrition, Plant Nutrition, and Animal Nutrition”. It was his work and research that discovered how to duplicate the natural chelation process in the human body, animal kingdom, and in plant life.
So what does this have to do with using an Iron Supplement? EVERYTHING!
I recently received an email talking about Swiss researchers who wanted to know if taking Iron could reduce and relieve fatigue. The conclusion reached by the researchers was that Iron could help relieve fatigue. They suggested adding Iron rich foods to the diet such as red meat, poultry, fish, and dark green vegetables and making certain there was enough Vitamin C in the body to help the absorbency and uptake of Iron in the body. I think their thought process was that taking Vitamin C would help the Duodenum maintain its acidity level for assisting Iron uptake. However, they did not understand that taking Vitamin C would not guarantee Amino Acid Chelation of the Iron in the Jejunum for bio-availability. In fact, what large amounts of ingested Vitamin C can do in the body is negatively affect the role of Copper in Ceruloplasmin leading to a Copper deficiency.
A basic review of the chemistry of Copper would show that it is included and needed in the formation of bones, pigmentation of hair, keratinization, prevention of infertility, creation of elasticity in the cardiovascular system, enhancement of immunity, and lipid metabolism. It also facilitates glucose metabolism. Reduced glucose tolerance is brought about by reduced lipogenesis and glucose oxidation, which both come from a Copper deficiency. When glucose metabolism is impaired, fat deppostition is increased. Once deposited in the tissue, it becomes more difficult for the body to metabolize that fat in a Copper-deficient state. A Copper-deficient state usually leads to elevated serum cholesterol because the cholesterol cannot be degraded. The result is that while excessive intake of Ascorbic Acid is not directly related to weight gain, it could potentially be one of the root causes. The enhancement of Iron absorption/metabolism by Ascorbic Acid which negatively affects Copper absorption and metabolism could have an impact on glucogenesis, increased fat deposition in the tissue and lead to additional chemical imbalances or health problems. This is not what you want to have happen to Copper when you take an Iron supplement.
Perhaps the Swiss researchers were not aware that their recommendation of consuming high levels of Vitamin C could become a potent antagonist of Copper metabolism affecting the relationship balance between Iron and Copper. Why? Because they were working with natural inorganic free forms of Iron and Copper. High intake of Ascorbic Acid depresses Copper bio-availability. Even though providing higher levels of Vitamin C for greater uptake of Iron could be helpful, the Vitamin C doesn’t guarantee chelation of the Iron nor does it guarantee Iron bio availability and prevention of Anemia for lowering fatigue in the body, which was the goal of the Swiss Researchers. What it does do is negatively affect the role of Copper in Ceruloplasmin leading to a potential deficiency of Copper. This is a common mistake in mineral supplements that do not use true Amino Acid Chelated Minerals in their formulas. They do not take into consideration that all of those minerals are going to chemically react against one another and compete for chelation sites within the gut.
Technically all minerals come from Nature so they can be referred as natural. But minerals in their natural environment are not necessarily compatible with the human body or even bio available at the cellular level. Most of the time they provide very little benefit to the body unless they can be chelated. That is why through digestion and metabolism, minerals in their natural form are changed into an amino acid chelated mineral by the body. This is the form of minerals that the body wants for mineral bio availability. The body also tries to change natural inorganic minerals present in supplements to true Amino Acid Chelate Minerals also. There are several barriers that the body and digestion metabolism have to go through to complete this process. Sometimes the barriers win over the bodies’ ability to chelate. In that case the only winner is the toilet. If the body is successful completing Amino Acid Chelation of the minerals in food or in the supplement, then there can be several advantages to support health and the body.
- Stability: Genuine chelated minerals have pH buffered stability which is maintained even through the acidic environment of digestion. Minerals that are not PH stabilized can become free radicals and recombine with other substance to form totally unavailable compounds which block mineral metabolism.
- Neutrality: A true amino acid chelated mineral is neutral and has NO electrical charge. Free non-chelated minerals have a positive charge. They can become attached to a negatively charged substance such as free phosphorus and Phytic acid from plant sources which permanently ties-up free iron rendering it totally unavailable. Remember the Swiss researchers recommendation of eating more vegetables along with extra Vitamin C? Vegetables can be a source for Vitamin C and dietary fiber. If there is an imbalance in the diet from Vitamin C and dietary fiber, it can stop mineral chelation.
- Safety: A true amino acid chelated mineral will not enter into negative chemical reactions within the body. Imbalances from one free mineral in relationship to another free mineral can cause antagonism and interfere with mineral use such as the relationship between Iron and Copper already mentioned. This can negatively impact the health of the body. True amino acid chelated minerals avoid antagonism. They support the health of the body and will not enter into adverse chemical antagonisms. Another point to remember if you are taking any type of medication. Free non-chelated minerals can negatively interact with drugs and cause trouble. They can also negatively interact with herbs, caffeine, and soft drinks too.
There has to be balance between vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes etc. to avoid chemical reactions. Relying on your food to provide everything necessary for good health has been challenged by many. It is nearly impossible to receive all of the minerals the body requires via diet. Documentation has shown that our agriculture soil is severely mineral deficient. Thus the food industry takes massive efforts to “fortify” our food using minerals that are not true amino acid chelated minerals and may even be foreign to the body’s ability to use them. Please watch the U Tube video posted on the Life Zone blog titled “Amino Acid Chelated Iron” . This video shows a common food that has been fortified with Iron.
If you were to read the product label you would be impressed by the food fortification and nutritional fact panel. You might have a false sense of security regarding the quality of food you are eating. You might take the attitude that the food industry is looking after your well being. You would probably feel that food “fortification” improves and guarantees the nutritional quality of the food for health benefits. But like the Swiss Researchers, using the wrong type of mineral can trigger a Domino effect that can have far lasting problems.
It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. I have probably written more than a thousand words in this article but I think the short YouTube video posted on the Life Zone Blog titled” Amino Acid Chelated Iron” will be worth seeing. Remember– all minerals are not created equal and not all minerals are beneficial for the health of the body. Trust and use only true Amino Acid Chelated Minerals.
Dr. Janeel Henderson