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"The Importance of Trace Minerals"

Although most people know minerals are important to their health, few people know exactly why or even that much about them. Biochemically speaking. minerals are inorganic chemical elements not attached to a carbon atom.
There is a distinction between minerals and trace minerals (also called -trace elements) If the body requires more than 100 milligrams ( i.e., more than 1150th of a teaspoon) of 11 mineral each day. the substance is labeled a mineral. If the cellular body requires less than this, it is labeled a trace mineral.
Trace minerals are generally needed in quantities of only a few milligrams (mg) or micrograms (mcg) per day. For a list of the essential minerals and trace minerals as well as nonessential contaminants. please see Table 1 on NSN page 12.
When studying the relationship of minerals to human health, it becomes increasingly evident that keeping a balance level of minerals in every organ, tissue and cell of the human body may be a prominent key to maintaining a healthy existence.
As early as 1964, two mineral researchers wrote; "Even small departures from the normal mineral composition of the milieu interior [the interior of the cell may have profound physiological consequences...."
Although minerals comprise only a fraction of total body weight, they are crucial for many body functions including transporting oxygen, normalizing the nervous system and simulating growth, maintenance and repair of tissues and bones.
One can summarize the health benefits of some of the more important minerals and trace minerals as follow. As stated below, these minerals and trace minerals can be of most benefit if they are in balance with other elements they interact with.

Essential for developing and maintaining healthy bones and teeth Assists in blood clotting. muscle contraction, nerve transmission, oxygen transport. cellular secretion of fluids and enzyme activity Optimal intake helps reduce risk of osteoporosis.

Aids in glucose metabolism and helps regulate blood sugar by potentiating insulin and serving as a component of glucose tolerance factor.

Promotes the formulation of red blood cells and and serves as a component of the vitamin B-12.

Essential to normal red blood cell formation and connective tissue formation. Acts as a catalyst to store and release iron to help form hemoglobin. Contributes to central nervous system function.

Needed by the thyroid hormone to support metabolism.

Necessary for red blood cell formation and Required for transport of oxygen throughout the body> Important for brain function. Amount needed is higher in women of childbearing age.

Activates over 100 enzymes and helps nerves and muscles function. Helps maintain the integrity of cell membranes and stabilizes the cell electrically Critical for proper heart function.

Key component of enzyme systems, including oxygen-handling enzymes Supports brain function and reproduction Required for blood sugar regulation Part of bone structure.

Contributes to normal growth and development Key component in many enzyme systems including enzymes involved in detoxification.

: Works with calcium to develop and maintain strong bones and teeth. Enhances use of other nutrients Key role in cell membrane integrity and intercellular communication Critical for proper energy processing in the body

Regulates heartbeat, maintains fluid balance and helps muscles contract.


Needed for structure of most protein, including muscles and hair. Critical role in liver detoxification. Important functions in antioxidant nutrients and oxygen handling Role in growth.

Essential part of more than 200 enzymes involved in digestion, metabolism, reproduction and wound healing Critical role in immune response Important antioxidant

There are even more benefits than these, so it is certainly easy to see that minerals play an important role in health.
The variety of nutrients from the organism's environment that have been made available by absorption must be transported through the circulatory system to the aqueous microenvironment of the cells Then. they serve their ultimate purpose -- participation in the metabolic activities in the cells on which the life of the total organism depends.“’
The absorption of minerals is dependent on many different factors. not the least of which is age as well as adequacy of stomach acid output, balance of bowel flora, presence or lack of intestinal illness”- and parasites, and amount of dietary fiber intake.
Aging increases the risk of gastric atrophy, a condition that commonly is associated with a decreased secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. The problem becomes that as a level of hydrochloric acid output decreases the body’s ability to absorb minerals from the food-bound form diminishes. This inability to adequately absorb minerals contributes to age-associated degeneration. Hence, the form a mineral takes is crucial. since the less dependent It is on hydrochloric acid to be absorbed, the more likely it will be able to be utilized by the body.
Gastric atrophy or conditions such as achlorhydria (lack of stomach acid) or hypochlorhydria (inadequate stomach acid) can also impair the body’s absorption of important minerals. Achlorhydria has been found in children as young as five or six years of age. Hypochlorhydria, however, is more com-manly seen after age 35. It is estimated that between 15-35 percent of adults over age 60 have some degree of gastric atrophy, including hypochlorhydria.’
While it is known that free cadmium is very toxic, it has also been found to greatly increase the toxicity of other agents. Cadmium has a unique capacity to form a close bond with chloride compounds such as the chlorinated pesticide lindane. When the two are combined, they alter liver metabolism and tissue levels of lindane double. Cadmium accumulates in cells that are the most malignant; in prostate cancer, for example. there is a linear correlation between the grade of malignancy and cadmium content. On the positive side, little cadmium is absorbed orally unless there are nutrient deficiencies.
And the demand for some minerals, such as zinc, increases under psychological, stress. Drug-nutrient interaction can also create deficiencies and imbalances of minerals at the cellular level For example, the absorption of iron from the gut can be reduced by antacids and tetracycline. Magnesium and zinc are hyper-excreted by those receiving oral diuretics, nephrotoxic drugs, penicillamine, or antacids containing aluminum hydroxide.
Minerals and trace minerals do not exist by themselves but in relationships to one another Too much of one element can lead to imbalances in others, resulting in disease rather than the absence of disease. Factors such as diet, absorption ability, toxicities and drug-nutrient interactions play a role in maintaining a balance of trace elements in the body.
Essential Minerals:
Essential Minerals: Nonessential Contaminant Minerals:
Calcium Chromium+ Chromium+
Chloride* Copper+ Arsenic (in abundance)
Magnesium Cobalt Barium
Phosphorus Fluorine+ Beryllium




Sodium* Iron Lead
Sulfur* Manganese Lithium
Molybdenum Mercury
Selenium Rubidium
Vanadium+ Strontium