Are chelated minerals worth it?
The question is whether they provide additional benefit to the dog or cat
In the petfood industry, inorganic forms of essential trace minerals such as iron, zinc, copper, manganese, iodine and selenium have been the staple. In recent years, though, chelated forms of these minerals have found their way into a number of petfoods. The questions are whether they provide additional benefit to the dog or cat and if they have a place in petfood.
What are they?
These so-called chelated trace minerals, also known colloquially as organic trace minerals, are purported to be nutritionally superior to the inorganic sources. What makes them different is their ligand. A ligand is an atom or molecule that forms a coordination complex with a central atom or ion. In this case, the ion is the mineral and the ligand is the compound to which it is bound. In their native form, most trace mineral ions are bound to an inorganic anion like an oxide, sulfate or chloride. But for chelated trace minerals, they are bound in a coordinate covalent bond (chelated) to a carbon-containing organic compound like a polysaccharide, short chain fatty acid, protein or amino acid. They are generally synthesized in very strong acid-base reactions under extremes in heat and pressure.
The rationale for adding chelated trace minerals to the diet is to improve mineral availability and animal health. Because of its bond to an organic ligand, the mineral is supposedly more bioavailable. There are a…