What Makes A Real and Biologically Functional Nutritional Chelate

Posted: February 26, 2021

For over 50 years Albion has been the leading global supplier of chelated minerals. Albion has been manufacturing amino acid chelates used in mineral supplements and food fortification for organic mineral nutrition.

Many manufactures claim to be making mineral amino acid chelates, but there are many different ways to make a chelated mineral. The amino acid piece that links to the mineral can vary significantly. Amino acids are the building blocks for proteins which is why they can be so important for our body. But amino acids are also the building blocks for all forms of life including plants too. Did you know that many amino acid chelates on the market today are made from soy based amino acids. Many companies will just call these chelates ‘plant’ based chelates or plant based amino acids and not mention they are from soy. Soy products, if not specifically stated as being GMO free are GMO plant sources.Here are a few things that make Albion’s TRAACS® range of mineral chelates stand out:

  • We use a specific amino acid called glycine to create our chelated minerals
  • Only Albion mineral amino acid chelates (bisglycinate chelates) are Kosher and Halal
  • Only Albion’s chelates are hypoallergenic
  • Albion mineral amino acid chelates have been chemically validated, and consequently, are the only known chelates that meet the NNFA definition.
  • Virtually all published research on amino acid chelates has been done using Albion’s bisglycinate chelates.

No other mineral amino acid chelate manufacturer can make these claims. Years of extensive research, clinical analysis, third-party critiques and careful laboratory manufacturing enable Albion to produce fully reacted and highly effective chelates. In fact, Albion is the only chelate manufacturer that can scientifically prove their molecular structure.

Minimum Chelation Requirements

The minimum requirements, or conditions, for the creation of a chelate are as follows in general descriptions. If any of these conditions are not met, chelation will not occur, regardless of what a manufacturer claims.  

  1. The ligand (glycine amino acid) must form a ring with the mineral as the closing member of the ring.
  2. It must be sterically possible to chelate the mineral. This has to do with mineral structure itself. It must be able to share certain electrons in order to chelate. For instance some companies claim to have a boron or selenium chelate, it is impossible to chelate these minerals.
  3. The quantity of the ligand to the metal must be at least 1 to 1 preferably at 2:1 ratio as indicated by the bisglycinate, bis meaning two and glycinate meaning reacted glycine so bisglycinate means two reacted glycine molecules to one mineral molecule.

Requirements for a Nutritionally Functional Chelate

The previously mentioned criteria are the minimum requirements for chelation to occur, but chelation does not guarantee mineral absorption and there are some other qualifications that are necessary for a nutritionally functional chelate, that is, a chelate that can be absorbed and metabolized safely by the body. A mineral must be chelated in a specific manner for maximum absorption and metabolism to occur. A nutritionally functional chelate must also do the following:

  1. The chelate must be small in size, expressed as a low molecular weight, this very specific size is a scientific measure called Daltons and the size is 800 Daltons or smaller.
  2. The chelate must be electrically neutral. Molecules carry electric charges either positive, negative or neutral.  Creating a neutrally charged chelate is difficult to do but important. Like magnets, positive and negative charges attract. Food in the stomach carries a positive or negative charge and when it comes in contact with an oppositely charged chelate they stick together and are ultimately flushed out of the body together.

Summary and Conclusion

The requirements and conditions that a molecule must meet in order to be considered a nutritionally functional mineral amino acid chelate are very explicit. A nutritionally functional mineral amino acid chelate is a mineral form that has the following benefits:

  • Great absorption potential
  • Great tolerability
  • Low toxicity
  • More freedom from dietary interference
  • Less effect on the senses, when added to food products
  • Stability when combined with other vitamins in a capsule or tablet
  • Stable through the stomach’s harsh environment

Albion Human Nutrition manufactures the only nutritionally functional mineral amino acid chelates backed by published clinical research that supports all the benefits listed above.