Because your health (and whether or not your monthly vitamin supplement expense is money well spent) depends on the answer to the question I asked above, let's start off this issue of Foundations of Health by addressing this potential problem.
How available the nutrients in a supplement are to your body for absorption is often referred to as Bioavailability. For a nutrient to be bioavailable it first must be close to the cell so the cell can use it. In other words, it has to make it from your mouth all the way to the cell.
Also, for a nutrient to be bioavailable it has to be dissolved in some sort of solution, such as water, so that the nutrient can be transported across the cell membrane.
Here's an easy way to picture what needs to happen. The nutrient has to make it all the way from your mouth to the cell AND be in a form the cell can use. So how can you tell if your supplement is going to be bioavailable? You do this by making sure there is some sort of "USP" designation on the label of the product.
An example of the kind of USP designation that you want to look for on the label of a vitamin and mineral supplement product you are considering would be something like, "this product conforms to the USPXXVII requirements for disintegration and dissolution". By the way, those are the exact words that appear on the label of the LifePak vitamin and mineral supplement product our whole family uses. You can learn more about LifePak here.
It can be hard to get minerals all the way to that bioavailable state that I mentioned earlier. Chelation involves wrapping the mineral in an amino acid so that the body can more easily absorb it. This can improve the absorption of some minerals from only 10% absorption for a non chelated mineral to 45% and more for a chelated mineral.
So when you are looking at the label of a vitamin supplement and you find a trace mineral such as manganese as one of the ingredients, you want to see something like "Manganese (as Manganese Chelate)" on the label. This indicates that the manganese mineral has been chelated.
But what if you simply can't absorb all the great nutrition a good quality vitamin and mineral supplement provides because your body's ability to absorb it is severely limted due to poor health?
Click on over to the next page to find out how you can improve your body's ability to absorb your vitamin supplements.
Click here to continue.