What are Amino Acid Chelates?

What are Amino Acid Chelates?

This is part of our ongoing series helping consumers better understand ingredients, chemicals, chemistry, and product formulations. We translate the science, bust the myths, and give you an honest assessment, so you can make informed choices for your family!

Ingredient: Amino Acid Chelates

What they are: In the realm of supplements, amino acid chelates are a specific form of nutritive minerals. An amino acid chelated mineral is simply a mineral (like magnesium or iron) that’s been molecularly attached to an amino acid. What’s an amino acid? Amino acids are needed by all living things and are the natural building blocks of protein.

What they do: The functions and benefits of each chelate depends on the specific mineral foundation. Currently, in Honest Health & Wellness products, we use the amino acid chelate forms of magnesium, copper, and molybdenum, which have the following nutritional benefits.

Magnesium - Magnesium is involved in more than 300 essential metabolic reactions including:

  • energy production

  • biological synthesis of DNA, RNA, proteins, and glutathione, an important antioxidant

  • supporting the structure of bone, cell membranes, and chromosomes

  • helping transport ions like potassium and calcium across cell membranes, which affect the conduction of nerve impulses, muscle contraction, and normal heart rhythm

  • cell signaling and migration

Copper - Copper is a critical functional component of several essential enzymes and is involved in:

  • energy production

  • formation of connective tissue

  • formation of red blood cells

  • helping keep the blood vessels, nerves, immune system, and bones healthy

Molybdenum - Molybdenum is an essential trace element for virtually all life forms and we’re still learning about the role it plays in the human body. To date, studies have found it plays a role in:

  • DNA and RNA reproduction

  • cellular respiration

  • maintenance of cell membrane integrity

  • metabolism of drugs and toxins

  • sequestration of free radicals

Clearly, all three of these minerals are absolutely vital to optimal health!

Why we use them: Minerals are essential to so many aspects of human health it’s mind boggling! But they are often poorly absorbed by our bodies. Attaching amino acids to the mineral molecules creates a more stable structure that’s better able to survive the acidic environment of the stomach. Then, it can make its way into the small intestine where absorption into the bloodstream takes place. Choosing to use these minerals in the amino acid chelate form is just one of the many ways we’ve optimized our supplements to give you the most nutritional benefit possible.

Do you have any questions or thoughts? Let us know in the comments — we love hearing from our community!


We aim to provide you with the most honest and credible information possible. This article was reviewed for accuracy by The Honest Team and was written based on trusted sources that are linked at the bottom of the article.