The Benefits of Mineral Citrates|
Mineral Citrates are minerals bound to citric acid to form a salt called a citrate. This salt form is
believed to be superior to minerals bound to simple molecules such as oxygen(oxide), hydrogen and oxygen (Hydroxide) or
carbon (carbonate). Whereas, these forms of minerals are generally found in rocks; in food, many minerals are complexed with organic salts.
Minerals are absorbed through a complicated process involving the stomach, the small intestine and in some instances, the colon.
Many systems of absorption are still not clearly understood. For the sake of simplicity, let us explore one mineral system of absorption: calcium.
Calcium is primarily absorbed in its ionized (CA++) form, but this first requires the calcium to be solubilized. Minerals are
solubilized in the acidic enviroment of the stomach. That is why people with diminished stomach acids tend to Not absorb minerals at an optimal level. Mineral citrates are preferred
for two reasons; they are generally more soluble then other salts and they do not contribute to the reduction of stomach acid as other forms may, such as calcium carbinate,
which is used in antacids. Once the calcium is solubilized and in its ionic form, it can pass through the wall of the intestine and into the blood stream. This process is known as passive
transport or simple diffusion and is the primary means of mineral absorption.
To achive high levels of absorption, the body must actively transport the mineral across the intestinal wall. This process takes energy and, in the example of Calcium, Vitamin D. Citric acid
is an organic acid that can be actively transported across the intestinal wall. When this happens, the mineral is also transported across the intestinal wall.
The mineral is, in effect, a stowaway on the citric acid.