It’s no surprise that there are lots of vitamins and supplements on the market. But, did you know not all vitamins and supplements are created equal?
When talking with people in Stay Well Pharmacy about which vitamins and supplements they should be taking, we often get asked about the elemental forms of minerals.
So, what’s an elemental mineral and what difference does it make?
What's An Elemental Mineral?
Compared to the total amount of a mineral in a tablet, the ‘elemental mineral’ is the amount of the mineral that is actually used by your body.
Let’s look at a bottle of Sanderson Triple Zinc FX. Zinc supports over 300 reactions within the human body, and plays an important role in our immune system, nurturing healthy skin, healing wounds, as well as promoting reproductive health and fertility.
Our body needs Zinc to survive, so it’s important to maintain good levels to stay healthy. Each Sandserson Triple Zinc FX tablet contains 32.25mg of Zinc Orotate, 35mg of Zinc Gluconate and 17mg of Zinc Citrate for an overall total amount of 84.25mg.
On the surface, that might seem like a lot of Zinc until you look at the elemental levels. Of the 32.25mg of Zinc Orotate, only 5mg is zinc elemental. Same for the Zinc Gluconate and Zinc Citrate. While you’re swallowing 84.25mg of zinc compounds in each tablet, you are only providing your body with a maximum of 15mg of elemental zinc.
Why is that?
Total Zinc vs Elemental Zinc
In this case, think of the zinc molecules in a tablet like a truck and trailer. The elemental minerals are the essential cab, while the rest of the tablet is the trailer. The elemental zinc molecules in the cab need to uncouple from their trailer in order to drive off and get absorbed into your bloodstream.
So, some minerals are more efficient than others. If we compare the three types of zinc in the Sanderson Triple Zinc FX pill you’ll see Zinc Citrate is more potent than Zinc Orotate. You can absorb 5mg of zinc elemental from 17mg of Zinc Citrate compared to 32.25 of Zinc Orotate. The zinc that does not get absorbed goes into your body’s waste disposal system.
Getting The Most From Your Supplements
That’s why some people complain that the only difference they notice from taking vitamins and supplements is that their pee changes colour. They may be taking lower grade minerals like Zinc Oxide that can’t uncouple their elemental cab from the rest of the trailer very easily. While these types of supplements may be cheaper, they’re not very good for you as much more zinc is being wasted than absorbed.
Contact Stay Well Pharmacy
Before buying vitamins and minerals, you must read the fine print. How much of the good stuff will your body actually absorb? At Stay Well Pharmacy, we only stock efficient minerals and supplements, so you can be confident of the choice you’re making. Of course, our friendly team of experienced naturopathic pharmacists are on hand to explain the fine print, and help you find the right vitamins and minerals for you.