When you’re looking for a vitamin or mineral supplement, you probably pay a lot of attention to the label to read what vitamins or minerals the supplement contains and in what quantities. This is great, but there’s one important bit of information that label doesn’t contain: how much of these nutrients will your body actually use?
You see, just because you ingest units of nutrient doesn’t mean that your body will actually absorb and use units. This is the concept of bioavailability. The bioavailability of a substance is the percentage of the ingested amount that actually gets absorbed and potentially used by your body, and minerals and vitamins taken orally aren’t absorbed perfectly by your body. The amount that your body uses will be less than the amount that hits your stomach.
A vitamin or mineral supplement can only help if your body is able to use it. One way supplement manufacturers attempt to increase the bioavailability of their products is by offering nutrients in organic forms, such as mineral chelates. Chelation refers to binding the nutrient to an organic compound so that the digestive system can better absorb it. Companies like AMT Labs offer chelated mineral supplements to increase the bioavailability of the minerals your body needs in order to function ideally.
Another thing to consider is the form of specific nutrients. A specific vitamin or mineral can be provided by a variety of slightly different compounds. For example, calcium in supplements is usually available as either calcium carbonate or calcium citrate. These compounds are slightly different, and there is some debate about whether one of them is more easily absorbed by the body than the other. Depending on the specific nutrient, there may be compounds that are more effective than others because your body can absorb them more easily. Whenever you’re looking into a specific vitamin or mineral supplement, it’s important tn find out what forms that particular vitamin or mineral can take and which will be best for you.
By doing a bit of research and going beyond the information provided by the label on a supplement, you can potentially find the