Required Minerals for Your Health.
Magnesium is one of the minerals that is essential for a wide variety of body processes, including energy production, protein formation, DNA production, and nerve conduction. It helps maintain normal levels of potassium, phosphorus, calcium, adrenaline and insulin, and keeps the bones strong and the heart healthy.
Magnesium helps to relax the heart muscles to maintain a regular heartbeat, and thus prevent sudden changes in blood pressure. In fact, magnesium can be used to treat high blood pressure,angina, and arrhythmia. If given immediately after a heart attack and for the following four weeks, magnesium has been shown to speed recovery by reducing the number of dangerous arrhythmias.
Reputed to be one of the "anti-stress" minerals, magnesium has been found to help ward off the formation of blood clots, lower blood pressure, prevent complications related to diabetes, assist in maintaining bone strength, and contribute to greater life expectancy by reducing the risk of heart disease and by limiting the effects of free radical damage.
Zinc is necessary for the functioning of more than 300 different enzymes and plays a vital role in an enormous number of biological processes. Its immune-enhancing activities include regulation of natural killer cells, and interleukin II. In addition, zinc possesses antiviral activity. It also plays a role in wound healing, especially following burns or surgical incisions. It is involved in sensory perception (taste, smell, and vision) and controls the release of stored vitamin A from the liver. Within the endocrine system, zinc has been shown to regulate insulin activity and promote the conversion of thyroid hormones
Zinc has also gained popularity for its use in the prevention of the common cold.
Dosage should be carefully monitored since there are possible side effects from excessive use. Check the internet for specific dosages for your particular application. Since many of the multivitamin products include a little zinc, check to be sure the sum of your products does not exceed recommendations.
Selenium is one of the minerals found as a trace element in soil, and is required in small amounts to maintain good health. It is essential for many body processes and is present in nearly every cell but especially in the kidneys, liver, spleen, testes, and pancreas.
Selenium acts as an antioxidant against free radicals that damage our DNA. It is often included with Vitamins C and E to help fight against cancer, heart disease and even aging. It has also been used to fight viral infections. Selenium also contributes to good health by promoting normal liver function.
Other benefits of selenium include the protection against heart disease, the protection against toxic minerals, and the neutralization of alcohol, smoke, and fats. Selenium is also vital for converting thyroid hormone, which is needed for the proper functioning of every cell in the body, from a less active form (called T4) to its active form (known as T3).
In addition, selenium is essential for a healthy immune system, assisting the body in defending itself against harmful bacteria and viruses, as well as cancer cells.
Too much selenium on the other hand is possible. If you are taking a selenium supplement you should remember not to exceed 600mcg per day.
Manganese, a trace mineral that participates in many enzyme systems in the body, was first considered an essential nutrient in 1931. Manganese is found widely in nature, but occurs only in trace amounts in human tissues. The human body contains a total of 15-20 milligrams of manganese, most of which is located in the bones, with the remainder found in the kidneys, liver, pancreas, pituitary glands, and adrenal glands.
Manganese activates the enzymes responsible for the utilization of several key nutrients including biotin, thiamin, ascorbic acid, and choline. It is a catalyst in the synthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol, facilitates protein and carbohydrate metabolism, and may also participate in the production of sex hormones and maintaining reproductive health. It is important to emphasize, however, that manganese deficiency is very rare in humans, and does not usually develop unless manganese is deliberately eliminated from the diet.
Chromium supplementation as one of the vital minerals has the effect of normalizing blood sugar levels. High blood sugar is a damaging hallmark of diabetes. When cell membranes are sensitive to the presence of insulin, they are more receptive to insulin’s efforts to usher glucose molecules out of the bloodstream and into cells, where glucose is then burned for energy.
Without adequate chromium, additional insulin evidently becomes ineffectual. As glucose piles up in the bloodstream, the pancreas produces ever-greater amounts of insulin, to little avail. While insulin escorts glucose to the cell membrane, chromium activates receptors, and allows insulin to move glucose into the cell. Without chromium’s help, membrane portals simply fail to open. Blood sugar levels remain stable when adequate chromium is present.
Chromium supplementation is believed to be an important tool in the war on diabetes and obesity. By promoting normal glucose metabolism, chromium supplementation may allow diabetics to reduce their dependence on medications to control hyperglycemia.
Calcium is one of the minerals crucial to building and maintaining strong bones, teeth, and connective tissue. Equally important are the other roles calcium plays in the body: it promotes healthy digestion through the production of hormones and enzymes, helps nerves pass the electrical messages needed to contract the heart and other muscles in the body, and assists in normal blood clotting.
Without an adequate supply of calcium, you are almost certain to develop osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition that causes the bones to become thin and brittle. 99 percent of all the calcium in your body is located in the teeth and bones and the remaining 1 percent is in the blood stream; however, this 1 percent is so important to the normal functioning of other bodily systems that your body will cannibalize its bone to perform them if you don’t get enough in the diet.
Iodine is essential to a proper functioning thyroid. But as we grow older, our thyroid starts slowing down. It just can’t metabolize the iodine it needs as efficiently, and that means the hormone produced (also known as thyroid) goes down as well. There is a rather simple test to see if you are deficient in iodine. Use a small quantity of tincture of iodine – the kind you put on wounds – not a supplement. Do not ingest. Paint a small area of skin on the inside of your arm and note how long it takes for the red-brown iodine stain to fade out. If it fades in a few hours, your body has taken the iodine in through the skin and is deficient. If it lasts over 12 hours, you probably have sufficient iodine without needing to supplement it.Supplemental iodine is available as Iodoral.
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