How Does The Body Absorb Minerals And Chelates?
You might remember the periodic table from science class at school. But you might not know that many of the elements on the table can actually be found in our bodies in very small amounts. In fact, minerals are completely essential in ensuring our health and wellness. Not only that, elements are also the building blocks for compounds.
A compound is made up of two or more elements. For example, water is made up of a combination of two elements of hydrogen combined with one element of oxygen. All vitamins are compounds, and are very important in allowing our bodies to function properly. Understanding the concept of elements and compounds is key in understanding what nutritional minerals are and how living organisms use them.
The major minerals are very important for life to be sustained. They include calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and sodium. There are also minerals known as trace minerals which are important but generally found in much smaller amounts. They include boron, cobalt, chromium, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, vanadium and zinc.
You can probably remember most of these from the periodic table, and all can be found in the earth in their natural solid form. They also mix with other elements to form compounds such as iron oxide. These minerals are known as ‘inorganic elements’. Minerals are all considered to be inorganic because they are not biological in their origin. Compounds that are biological in their origin are known as ‘organic’. It’s important to understand this so that you can also understand the concept of a chelate, which is a special organic compound.
Living organisms, like humans, can’t use inorganic compounds directly. The organism must first convert the inorganic material to its organic form. In the human digestive process this works as the digestive system chemically bonds the inorganic molecule to an organic molecule. This process is called chelation and the end product is a chelate.
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