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Look for citrates, malates, or lactates.

In order to be absorbed and utilized, the tablet has to dissolve, and the minerals have to be connected to a molecule that can enter the cell and integrate into the chemical processes.  Citrate, malate, aspartate, and lactate are good carriers for minerals.  Amino acids can also be good carriers of minerals.

Many supplements contain minerals in their oxide form.  The oxide is a smaller, lighter molecule which allows the manufacturer to pack more of the mineral into the pill, which makes the label more impressive. It is also MUCH cheaper to make an oxide than a citrate.  However, oxides are generally insoluble, which means they will not be well absorbed. The oxide has almost no place in the cell to enter the chemical reactions, and what was useable would be accompanied by a highly reactive free-radical oxide molecule. No, thanks!

For example, two bottles of magnesium.

Bottle #1:  Magnesium citrate, 150mg per tablet,  90 tablets for $11.00.

Bottle #2: Magnesium oxide, 500mg per tablet, 90 tablets for $9.00.

The uninformed consumer would almost always choose the cheaper bottle. In fact, even if price were $15 or $18 for the 500 mg oxide, most people would buy it since the label claims more than three times the amount of magnesium.

In this case, the uninformed consumer spent $9 for useless magnesium, consumed free radicals, and is still magnesium deficient but thinks they are not.

The informed consumer spent $11 (the actual price of magnesium citrate in our office), may take one to three capsules per day, and will be absorbing and assimilating almost all of what they take without creating more stress on their body.

Any supplement with an "oxide" mineral is immediately suspected to be of low quality.  Unfortunately, oxides are almost universal in supplements, and there is no regulation about how they are sold.