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I have heard that most vitamin supplements can't be assimilated unless bound to other nutrients. Is this true ?

There are a lot of myths about vitamin and mineral absorption, usually from companies trying to claim their products are much better than everyone else's. Vitamins are not difficult for the body to absorb. Minerals, on the other hand, do need to be bound to something else to be absorbed. The best forms of minerals are ascorbates (bound to vitamin C), citrates (bound to citric acid) and amino acid chelates (bound to amino acids). If you look closely at the label of a multivitamin, for example, you will see 'selenomethionine' - selenium bound to the amino acid methionine, or perhaps zinc oxide or zinc citrate. In this case, zinc citrate is the better form. These binding agents - citrates, amino acid chelates or ascorbates - help to carry the mineral through the gut wall into the blood. Most forms of minerals in food are bound in similar ways.

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