Functions of key minerals
Functions of Key Minerals
What is the biological function of each individual type of mineral in the body?
Every living cell on this planet depends on minerals for proper function and structure. Minerals are components of body tissues and fluids that work in combination with enzymes, hormones, vitamins and transport substances. Minerals specifically assist in proper composition of body fluids, formation of blood and bones, maintenance of healthy nerve functions and regulation of muscle tone including that of the cardiovascular system.
Boron is a trace mineral essential for blood biochemical markers of energy and mineral metabolism.
The most abundant mineral in the body, comprising 2% of body weight. Calcium is a nutrient in the news because adequate intakes are an important determinant of bone health and risk of fracture or osteoporosis. In the USA alone there are approximately 1~5 million fractures annually with an associated health care cost of $13.8 billion.
Chlorine in the body is in the form of potassium chloride which is very important to efficient glandular function, particularly the liver. Chloride is an anion (negatively charged atom) generally consumed as sodium chloride or table salt.
Chromium is an essential nutrient required for normal sugar and fat metabolism. Chromium functions primarily by facilitating the action of insulin. This mineral occurs throughout the body with highest concentrations in the liver, kidney, spleen and bone.
Cobalt plays an essential role in the formation of B12 (cobalamin), which performs a number of important physiological functions. Cobalt is involved in the regulation of the nervous system. Cobalt, via B12 can help decrease hypertension, reduce muscle spasms and promote the healthy formation of mature sperm and ovum.
Copper is a trace element essential to human health due to the fact that it is part of enzymes, which are proteins that help biochemical reactions occur in every cell. Copper is involved in the absorption, storage and metabolism of iron.
Iodine is a nonmetallic element. It is converted to iodide in the gut. It forms an essential component of thyroid hormones that regulate cell activity and growth of virtually all tissues.
Iron is an essential nutrient that carries oxygen that forms part of the oxygen-carrying proteins, hemoglobin in red blood cell sand myoglobin in muscle. It is also a necessary component of various enzymes. Body iron is concentrated in bone marrow, liver, and spleen.
Lithium is a trace element that mediates the transmission of nerve cells by regulating the membrane potential. It has a sedative and non-hypnotic action. It has been used in the prevention of both manic and depressive mood swings. Lithium stimulates the elimination of urea and uric acid.
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant cation, (positively charged atom), in the body, with 60% in the bone and 40% distributed equally between muscle and non-muscular soft tissue. Magnesium has an important role in at least 300 fundamental enzymatic reactions.
Manganese is a nutrient involved in the immune system and energy production.
Molybdenum is an essential nutrient for animals and humans. It is a compound of a number of enzymes.
Phosphorus is an essential mineral that is found in all cells within the body. The body of a human adult contains about 400 to 500 gram, with the greatest amount in bone, (85%), and muscle, (14%). Phosphorus is primarily found as phosphate. It is involved in energy production and DNA.
Potassium is the main healing element in the body and occurs as colloidal compounds with phosphorus, sulfur and chlorine. With phosphorus it is the main healing constituent of grey nerve fibres and, combined with chlorine, it is the glandular element. Combined with sulfur it is the oxygen transfer element in cells which suspends their decomposition.
Selenium is an essential trace element that functions as a component of enzymes involved in antioxidant protection and thyroid hormone metabolism.
Silicon is a constituent of bone, tissue, organ and nerve sheath, hair, nails and skin. It is used for the removal of morbid waste matter and arthritic nodules and spurs. It is present as a silanate which may play a role in the structure of proteins in the connective tissues.
Sodium is important in the digestion of food and the viscosity of blood. It aids in keeping calcium in solution so that it can reach all the tissues. As a phosphate it is used for digestion and normal blood viscosity and, as a sulfate, to control the distribution of water in the system and to stimulate the liver and pancreas. Sodium acts with potassium to maintain proper water distribution and blood pressure. It is important in maintaining the proper acid base balance and in the transmission of nerve impulses.
Sulfur is a macronutrient and is part the thiamine molecule and important in the formation of coenzymes critical to specific biological processes. The body contains about 140 grams of sulfur. It is found in most cells in the body, but particularly in the skin, nails, hair and joints.
Vanadium is a trace element that is present at low levels in most animal tissues with the highest concentration in kidney, spleen, liver, bone, testes and lung.
Zinc is an essential trace mineral. The human body has between 1.5 to 2.5 grams of zinc. It is highly concentrated in specialised areas of the brain, pancreas and adrenal gland, but it is present in all cells.