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Tinnitus Library

Ask Barry - May 2003

Do you have questions about tinnitus, our products or specific treatments? Ask Barry. Arches President Barry Keate will select the most representative questions each month publication. Regardless all questions will receive a personal reply from Barry.

ASK BARRY Tinnitus expert, Barry Keate, answers your questions about Tinnitus Send your question to:  Ask Barry

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Hi Barry.

In your review of the newest study of zinc [50mg daily ingestion] under the subheading "Get more Zinc in your Diet," you emphasized that ARCHES product contains chelated zinc. Barry, can you just briefly describe for me the terms or processes of CHELATION and why chelated zinc is better absorbed into our digestive system that just zinc and the zinc compound "relatives?" I've heard the term chelation before on a radio network that discussed vitamins, herbs, minerals with regard to health matters and issues.

Respectfully & Cheerfully

Ken Pollock

Hi Ken;

I’d be happy to explain chelation, though I don’t know the exact chemistry. The problem is that zinc in it’s elemental form, zinc oxide, is not absorbed at all well. Only about 5% is absorbed by the body and the rest passes through. If you ever see zinc listed as zinc oxide on a supplement, ignore it; it’s worthless.

Chelation is the process of combining zinc with an amino acid. The amino acid is absorbed, then the zinc is separated by the body. This increases absorption up to 40%, which is about the best we can get with a mineral. Many times, calcium and magnesium are chelated, as are some others.

The label may specify chelated but many times they don’t. Sometimes they’ll simply state that they’re formulated for increased absorption. These products are most likely fine. When you read the fine print, it should specify zinc as zinc then some word that ends in “ate” such as "chelate or aspartate." These products will have been chelated.

I hope this clears it up for you. Most zinc products you buy as a separate supplement will be chelated. However, a lot of multi-vitamins use zinc oxide.

To quiet times,

Barry Keate