Let’s take a look at some specific minerals and talk about what your body uses them for. These minerals should be considered when examining your diet and the contents of your mineral supplement. And now in alphabetical order:
CALCIUM is a mineral which is necessary for healthy, strong bones and teeth. Other functions of the calcium ion include its influence in blood coagulation, neuromuscular excitability, cellular adhesiveness, transmission of nerve impulses, maintenance and function of cell membranes, and activation of enzyme reactions and hormone secretion. Calcium absorption is dependent on the amount of exposure a person has to ultraviolet light, vitamin D intake, the sex and age of the individual and the bioavailability of calcium.
CHROMIUM is involved in carbohydrate, lipid, and nucleic acid metabolism. It functions in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism as a potentiator of insulin action. In nucleic acid metabolism, it is postulated to be involved in maintaining the structural integrity of the nuclear strands and regulation of gene expression.
COPPER is important in the formation of red blood cells and bones. Copper is part of many enzymes and works with Vitamin C to form elastin. Uncooked meat, high intakes of zinc, iron, phosphorus and ascorbic acid are inhibitory factors to the absorption and utilization of this nutrient.
IODINE is an essential part of the hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine. These hormones are required for normal growth and development and for maintenance of a normal metabolic rate.
IRON is essential to vertebrate forms of life because its role in the heme molecule is central in permitting oxygen and electron transport. It is necessary for protein metabolism, immune system resistance, growth, healthy teeth, skin, nails and bones. It is also needed for the formation of hemoglobin and myoglobin. Iron deficiency in adults is rarely due to an iron-poor diet alone. Excessive zinc and phosphorus can work against the absorption and utilization of this mineral. Vitamin C helps with the absorption of iron.
MAGNESIUM is essential for the normal metabolism of potassium and calcium. It is also required for the mobilization of calcium from bone. When it is absorbed and retained, it is used for tissue growth, which includes bone growth, and for turnover replacement. Magnesium plays a key role as an essential prosthetic group in at least 300 enzymatic reactions in intermediary metabolism.
MANGANESE promotes enzyme activation. High levels of this nutrient can be found in the bones, liver and pituitary gland.
PHOSPHORUS plays fundamental roles in modifying the development and maturation of bone, in governing renal excretion of hydrogen ions and in modifying the effects of the B vitamins. Also, this mineral is essential for the metabolism of carbohydrate, fats and protein. Because it plays a role in bone resorption, mineralization and collagen synthesis, it plays an integral role in calcium homeostasis.
POTASSIUM is stored almost entirely within the lean tissues, where it serves as the dominant intracellular cation. Potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium all need to be balanced for the nervous system to perform its actions.
SELENIUM preserves tissue elasticity, and works with Vitamin E. Like vitamin A, C, and E it is an anti-oxidant.
ZINC aids in the digestion and metabolism of phosphorus and protein. It is a component of insulin and of male reproductive fluid. It is necessary for healing processes. It is involved with prostate gland functions and carbohydrate digestion.
Trace or microminerals are needed in minute quantities. The best sources of microminerals are sea vegetables such as Kelp and algae.