As we all know, minerals are as important as vitamins for many bodily functions. Deficiencies in minerals are likely to lead to health issues over time. 61% of all Americans over the age of 19, intake less magnesium then required daily while 49% of all Americans take in less calcium than is required. In addition to dietary factors, medical issues like Crohn’s Disease may cause mineral deficiencies. When supplementing minerals balance is important.
Calcium, the most abundant mineral is a major component of both bone and teeth. Calcium, need a transporter or carrier to be absorbed. Also it is important to have both vitamins D and K present to aid in calcium absorption. High levels of other minerals may actual hamper calcium’s assimilation. Sodium for example is a mineral which we need very little of, however, it is ingested by many people in large dosages. This excess sodium binds to calcium and both are then excreted by the body.
It is commonly recommended to supplement calcium with magnesium at a 2:1 ratio (Calcium to Magnesium), with a 1:1 ratio recommended under certain medical conditions or when one has a diet heavy in calcium intake.
Magnesium is involved in over 300 enzymatic processes in the body. Adequate magnesium has been has been linked with a healthy cardiovascular function. The best food sources of magnesium are green leafy vegetables along with grains and nuts. Soil depletion of minerals may impact the magnesium content of these foods.
Iron is important for transporting oxygen in the blood. Iron deficiency is the number one nutritional disorder worldwide with up to 80% of the worldwide population considered iron deficient. Copper is needed in adequate levels to aid in iron absorption.
Zinc is a cofactor in over 300 enzymes and aids in immune support, healthy skin and healthy reproductive systems in men. Zinc deficiency is now becoming more common although the body does not need large amounts of this mineral. Dietary sources of zinc include red meat, oysters and chicken.
Selenium is unique among minerals because it is rare to have a deficiency in this mineral. Considered a trace mineral, selenium plays an important part in DNA synthesis, protection from oxidative damage and infection, metabolism of the thyroid hormone and reproductive health. Several studies have shown selenium deficiency to be associated with immune function impairment and increased viral infection progression.
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