It’s All About the Salt
What do you know about the salts in the minerals you’re buying from the pharmacy? Now we’re not talking about regular table salt. We mean the molecule that’s produced when you’ve got your metal, for example zinc or magnesium, together with another compound.
Salt and Supplements
You might have seen our other blog and video about the importance of elemental minerals. That is, how much of the mineral you’re taking is your body able to absorb? Instead we are looking at what salt of magnesium, calcium or zinc you’re actually swallowing.
When you go to the supermarket you might find that a lot of the vitamins and supplements there are a lot cheaper. But take a look at the back of the bottle and find out what you’re actually taking. For example, on the back of a bottle of magnesium capsules, look for the presence of magnesium oxide.
If we go back to the truck and trailer analogy from our explanation around elemental minerals, when you take a magnesium tablet, the magnesium oxide ‘cab’ doesn’t separate very easily so it can be processed by the body. Magnesium has what’s called a bioavailability of 4 percent, which means for every 100mg you’re going to get about 4mg actually passing through into your bloodstream.
What does that mean?
Absorbing The Good Elements
You’re buying a large amount of magnesium that won’t make it into your cells, instead continuing through your intestine. At the least, it’s a great laxative, and it worst it may potentially give you diarrhoea. But those cheaper minerals are useless at getting high levels of magnesium into your blood, which is where it does all it’s good work.
On the other hand you may have a product like magnesium diglycinate. This has two glycine molecules together with the magnesium. The glycine molecules drag the magnesium through different channels into your bloodstream, making it very easy for your body to absorb. Because of this, diglycinate is a lot dearer, but you are getting a lot more bang for your buck.
Check The Supplement Label
To make sure you’re getting tablets worth taking, stay away from magnesium oxide. Instead, look for magnesium citrate, magnesium amino acid chelate, magnesium aspartate, or magnesium diglycinate so the magnesium ‘cab’ will come off easily and become absorbed into your body.
If you’re looking at a bottle of magnesium in the supermarket and it doesn’t tell you exactly what kind of magnesium it contains, or if it lists different types but doesn’t tell you the amounts, don’t buy it. You need to know exactly what you’re putting into your body. If you’re in any doubt, ask a trusted health professional, or come and speak to the team at Stay Well Pharmacy. We can help you get the best bang for your buck from your vitamins and supplements, helping you to live well and stay well.
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