Major Minerals vs Trace Minerals
To heal our body or maintain a healthy body, our intake and utilization of macronutrients and micronutrients are essential. Macronutrients are fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Whereas micro-nutrients are vitamins and minerals.
The purpose of this blog is to discuss minerals. Two types of minerals exist: Major and Trace. There are seven major minerals that are essential: phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, sulfur, and the electrolytes sodium, potassium, and chloride which maintain ionic equilibrium.
There are 13 trace minerals that are nutritionally essential: iron, copper, zinc, iodine, selenium, boron, cobalt, chromium, molybdenum, manganese, vanadium, silicon, and nickel.
Major minerals are called this because we require higher daily amounts, and with trace minerals, only a small amount is required for proper physiological function.
The essential minerals, both major and trace, support our physiology in the following ways:
- Electron activity
- Enzymatic function
- Bone development and the building and repair of tissue
- Nerve signaling
- Cell regulation
Either too little or too much of an essential mineral can cause physiological complications and or toxicity in the body. This deficiency or toxicity may affect the utilization of another mineral.
For example, too much zinc can cause a copper deficiency. Or iron deficiency can increase the toxic effects of lead. In my clinic I see new patients taking a single mineral or taking a single B vitamin, and I need to educate them as to the proper way to take these essential nutrients by including the synergist that allows for proper utilization.
In the USA, the RDA/DRI of minerals is not met by diet alone in most people. Deficiencies can also come from increased demand on the body, through depleted soils, environmental toxin interference, poor diet, and compromised digestion and absorption. Therefore, it is so important to work with a healthcare professional who is educated in nutrition, physiology, and metabolomics. Proper functional testing can assess the amount, utilization, and/or interference of nutrients in the body. Along with the appropriate lifestyle modifications, diet, stress management techniques, hydration, and proper sleep, a person will utilize and maintain a proper balance of minerals in their body.
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