Trace Minerals Explained
The body needs minerals, inorganic compounds commonly called elements, to support essential functions such as nerve transmission, muscle contraction and the production of hormones. The term macro minerals is used to describe the minerals that the body needs in large quantities, such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium. The minerals that we need in minute amounts in the body are called trace minerals.
The following list contains some of the primary trace minerals and describes part of the bodily processes in which they participate.
Main functions of trace minerals
Trace minerals serve to strengthen bones, cartilage, and other body tissues. Although it does not look like it, the bone structure of our body is continuously changing, repairing and renewing itself. Trace minerals function as an architectural grid/grid. Both calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium allow bones to remain healthy and strong.
The cellular system requires trace minerals to produce red blood cells (erythrocytes), necessary for transporting oxygen to the body and producing energy. At the same time, red blood cells require iron to be able to transport that oxygen, which, without it, would not have the "magnetism" that is needed to attract oxygen and make it part of the energy production process.
Both the central nervous system and the muscles require trace minerals to facilitate nerve impulses. If the body lacked potassium and sodium, for example, the muscles of the heart would not contract, the brain would stop working, and the organs of the body could not move or flex. Sodium and potassium are needed to retain the water balance within the cells.
Zinc is the defender of the immune system, as it helps fight infections, heal wounds and repair cell damage. Selenium, on the other hand, helps protect the heart muscle, inhibit the formation of cancer cells and optimize the functioning of the thyroid gland.
More minerals, more features...
- Calcium helps in formation of bones and teeth and also in blood coagulation.
- Phosphorus remains a crucial component of DNA and RNA; it controls the acid-base balance of the organism and many other functions.
- Iron plays a vital role in the formation of hemoglobin and cytochromes. It helps to form myoglobin and provides energy to the cells.
- Sulfur helps to form Coenzyme A and B. This benefits the hair, skin and nails. It also helps to detoxify the massive metal organism.
- Iodine is vital for the synthesis of the thyroid gland and hormones. It also indirectly helps control the metabolic rate.
- Magnesium is a co-factor of physiological processes of ATP and enzymes. It controls neuromuscular functions.
- Chlorine is an important mineral in gastric juice that helps form HCl. It also helps to maintain acid-base balance.
- Calcium fluoride helps to form strong bones and teeth.
- Copper is essential to activate enzymes. It is also necessary for the formation of blood vessels and also helps oxygen to be used by cells.
- Cobalt is an important mineral component of cyanocobalamin / B12
- Zinc acts as a co-factor of human digestion and more than 200 enzymes. It supports the immune system and helps to obtain healthy skin.
- Chromium helps in the catabolic processes of the organism and the health of the skeletal muscle.
- Manganese has antioxidant properties. It helps in the formation of healthy bones, muscles, and nerves.
- Selenium is an antioxidant (prevents peroxidation of lipids in cells) — an essential component of the enzyme glutathione. It contributes to the health of the immune system. It is a co-factor of several enzymes. Also, it help tocopherol (vitamin K) to perform its function.
Why may you not be getting enough trace minerals?
Numerous reasons abound why you may not be getting all the trace minerals your body needs. They are as follow;
Poor diet: A well-balanced diet remains the primary reason why you may not be getting adequate trace minerals your body requires.
Where you live: Trace mineral amounts present in soil and water are not the same in various parts of the world. Hence, where you live could also impact the quality and quantity of trace minerals in your food.
Gastrointestinal diseases and Malabsorption: If the digestive tract becomes swollen, disease-ridden or has a disease which interferes with absorption of minerals and other nutrients, this inevitably result in reduced absorption and excess loss of minerals.
Surgery: Surgical resection of bowel segments can result in massive loss of significant uptake and carrier channel sites for mineral uptake.
Pregnancy: Trace mineral deficits regularly occur during pregnancy.
The bottom line…
Minerals help your body carry out its routine functions and processes most efficiently and beneficially possible. There literally is no bodily process, on either the cellular or systemic level, that can operate at its best, or even continue to work efficiently, without the right amounts of minerals. Trace minerals are that critical to your body’s daily functioning.
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