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Expensive chelated calcium and iron pills are advertised to be absorbed better than much less expensive non-chelated minerals. You can get all the minerals that you need from the foods that you eat, but if you want to take mineral pills, chelated minerals offers no advantage over non-chelated ones.

Once a non-chelated mineral is in your intestines, it chelates or binds to parts of food such as organic acids, such as citric acid in fruits; sugars such as the lactose found in milk; and amino acids found in any source of protein.

Mineral absorption depends on what is eaten with the mineral. Fat increases and fiber decreases mineral absorption. Vitamin C increase absorption of iron from plant foods. Taking calcium together with iron reduces absorption of both minerals and zinc inhibits absorption of copper. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for minerals includes a wide margin of safety to allow for this tendency of minerals to bind to other substances. You do not need to pay extra for chelated minerals.

1) Brise: Acta Med Scan Supp. 376:23,1963.

2) Nutrition Forum 3(1) January, 1986.

Checked 5/3/07

May 12th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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