Nature and Level of Testing Mineral

Animals receive their mineral supply mainly from feed-stuffs and mineral supplements. In most cases, minerals from the former are less bioavailable than those from the latter. Bioavailability of the naturally occurring minerals in feedstuffs varies with their sources. For example, phosphorus bioavailability in soybean meal to simple-stomached species is approximately tenfold greater than that in sunflower seed meal or cottonseed meal.[9] Mineral supplements are primarily inorganic salts of sulfate, oxide, and carbonates. Chemical forms of mineral affect its bioavailability. Recently, a number of ''organic'' trace mineral complexes have been developed as mineral supplements. These complexes include metal polysac-charide, metal proteinate, and metal amino acid, along with metal amino acid chelates. A limited amount of research has shown that ''organic'' minerals are more available than corresponding inorganic reference sources. However, bioavailability estimates of organic mineral complexes are not well defined and are rather inconsistent among different experiments. It seems true to all mineral elements that bioavailability is higher when the elements are deficient than when the elements meet or exceed the requirements of the animal.

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