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Just like vitamins, minerals are micronutrients needed by the body to perform properly. Pets use minerals for many different jobs, including growth, muscle development, and heart function. This makes minerals an essential component in your pet's diet. There are two types of minerals: major or macrominerals and trace minerals. Macrominerals are essential to build muscles, bones, and nerve cells. They also act as essential electrolytes needed to regulate the acidity of the blood and the amount of water in the body. Some examples of macrominerals are Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium, and Magnesium. Trace minerals, on the other hand, are necessary for certain hormones that help regulate the body. Unlike macro minerals, trace minerals are needed only in small amounts. Examples of trace minerals are Copper, Manganese, Zinc, and Iodine. But did you know that some minerals, such as Magnesium, Zinc, and Iron, are not easily absorbable in their inorganic form? These minerals are essential in energy production and immune system function. To help make sure that pets absorb nutrients properly, minerals are bonded with amino acids or hydrolyzed proteins- a process called chelation.
Chelate means chemically bonding one substance to another. Chelation usually happens between minerals and amino acids. "When you chelate a mineral, two things happen. One, you make them more water-soluble, and number two, you will make them more absorbable," said Dr. Jean Paul Ly, DMV.