The term chelate, in a broad sense, refers to complex compounds whose central metal ion is attached to an organic molecule (ligand) by two or more bonds resulting in a stable, often a ring structure. The purpose of chelated minerals is to surround a metal ion with an organic molecule that can be better absorbed in the human body.
Chelate comes from the Greek word, "claw." Through chelation, an amino acid “claws” onto, or binds to, a mineral. A chelate is a special type of bond between a metal atom and one or more organic molecules. The chelating organic molecule (or ligand) must have at least two atoms that can bond simultaneously to the metal atom. Metal atoms used in the nutritional industry are typically ions (since one or more of the electrons have been removed), giving the metal ion an overall positive charge. When metal ions are chelated, the ligand must have an overall negative charge to balance the positive charge of the metal ion. Thus ligands are usually acids that have had a hydrogen atom removed plus an additional atom that can bond with the metal atom. Examples of ligands include: citric acid, malic acid, ascorbic acid, and other amino acids. In order for the combination to be a true chelate, each metal ion must be bonded to at least one ligand molecule in at least two different locations. There must be a chemical reaction that bond the two together. Acids such as acetic acid will not form chelates, because the acid does not have the second atom that is available for bonding to the metal atom.
Official definition: Metal amino acid chelate is the product resulting from the reaction of a metal ion from a soluble metal salt with amino acids with a mole ratio of one mole of metal to one to three (preferably two) moles of amino acids to form coordinate covalent bonds. The average molecular weight of the hydrolyzed amino acids must be about 150 AMU (atomic mass units) and the resulting chelate must not exceed 800 AMU. The minimum elemental metal content must be declared. It will be declared as a METAL amino acid chelate, e.g., Copper Amino Acid Chelate.
For Minerals to be absorbed in the small intestine it has to meet two requirements: first, a mineral has to be soluble in the luminal fluid of the small intestine; second, it has to present itself in a singular molecule as an ionic entity, so that it will be able to penetrate the mucous membrane and be absorbed. This ability to be absorbed is may times called bioavailability.
In order for a mineral to be bioavailable, it must be soluble to some degree in the intestine where absorption takes place (large particles cannot penetrate the wall of the intestine and can not be absorbed). Many mineral forms depend on acid in the stomach to convert the mineral to a soluble form before absorption can take place. However, many forms of minerals are not soluble in the intestine due to chemical reactions that occur along the way from the stomach to the intestine that cause the mineral to precipitate out of the solution. Thus, defeating the purpose of the mineral itself. Amino Acid chelates are resistant to this type of chemical reaction. They are also generally soluble to some degree, and are readily absorbed into the body so that the mineral can be used.
Simply mixing inorganic minerals with amino acids in a liquid or dry mixture 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 a stable (covalent) bond which is important for greater bioavailability.
There are many products on the market, which are reported to be chelates. Some are only complex mixtures of minerals and proteins not fitting into the definition of true amino acid chelates. These lose integrity during digestion, becoming unstable and compromising availability.
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. The 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 mineral products on the market have molecular weights too large to be absorbed intact.
Through patented technology, Osteoform® has been able to produce chelated 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 Osteform chelation process guarantees stability of this unique mineral molecule throughout the digestion process which allows for a bioabailable mineral.
The body cannot utilize traditional mineral compounds in their natural state. Zinc sulfate, iron sulfate or any mineral sulfate, oxide or carbonate must be broken apart and restructured to allow it to be transported through the intestinal wall. A similar situation exists with some reported chelates or complexed mineral products. Not properly stabilized, they break apart, exposing the raw, ionized mineral.
It is after digestion when many mineral forms have their mineral payload separated from their carriers. In this situation, these minerals become charged ions and their bioavailability comes into jeopardy. These charged free minerals are known to block the absorption of one another, or to combine with other dietary factors to form compounds that are not absorbable. Only Ostefrom chelates are manufactured according to specific patented technology that maintains the bioavailable stability of these nutritionally functional mineral amino acid chelates.
Neutrality: The osteoform process of chelation results in the final mineral compound becoming neutral, i.e., containing no electrical charge. Why is this important? Mineral compounds that have electrical charges can interact with other dietary components and other oppositely charged molecules, and from substances that are not absorbable . In addition, mineral compounds that have electrical charges are reactive, and as such they can negatively affect other important nutrient factors, such as: vitamin E, ascorbic acid, various B-vitamins, as well as important medications.
Osteoform® Amino Acid Chelated Calcium Compound are true excellent mineral chelates. They are prepared at AMT Labs in Utah utilizing AMT’s patented chelation methods. The manufacturing process involves intricate and complex chemical reactions where metal ions are combined with an exact molar ratio of ligands composed of free amino acids. The resulting chelates consist of metal ions strongly bound to organic ligands through coordinate covalent bonds as well as ionic bonds. The metal ions in these chelates are well-protected by the surrounding ligands of small organic molecules. They are not only very soluble, but also very stable and allow for maximum absorption in the body.
You could. But as a result there will be more inorganic minerals precipitated in the stomach and small intestine. Have you ever had negative effects such as diarrhea or constipation after taking a mineral supplement such as calcium carbonate, which found in many nutritional supplements? If so, this is the side effect caused by the excess amount insoluble mineral left in the small intestine. The precipitate can also affect the absorption of crucial vitamins as it is excreted, thus depriving the body of essential vitamins.