We provide many indepth articles with information on various essential minerals such as zinc, sodium, magnesium and chromium and their effects on the body... and much more for you to gather information to assist you in your choices.
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General Information on Minerals
Minerals play a crucial role in our metabolic processes. They are central in helping the body produce energy, growth, and the reproduction and health of our cells. Lets explore some of the essential minerals your body needs in order to function properly. We will also look at how to get the proper dosages, and review the benefits and symptoms of mineral deficiency.
Symptoms of Mineral Deficiency
Low levels of just one mineral, such as calcium can cause irregular muscle contractions, a loss of bone density, problems with blood clotting and improper brain functioning. There are a number of basic minerals that you should be aware of, and ensure proper levels of.
Chloride - Fluid Balance
Chloride is one of the most important minerals in the blood, along with sodium, potassium, and calcium. Chloride helps keep the amount of fluid inside and outside of cells in balance. It also helps maintain proper blood volume, blood pressure, and pH of body fluids.
Chromium - Weight Loss
This mineral helps the hormone insulin work more efficiently, making it an especially important nutrient for people who have type 2 Diabetes or are at risk for it. Insulin usually helps lower blood sugar levels, but if you have type 2 diabetes, your insulin is less effective. In fact, some cases of type 2 diabetes are actually triggered by a chromium deficiency. Chromium's effect on insulin may also help you lose weight. Studies show that it can help you hold on to muscle while shedding fat but as with any healthy diet, don't expect immediate results. Chromium picolinate is thought to be the best form for weight loss purposes.
Copper - Tissues
Copper is necessary for the growth, development, and maintenance of bone, connective tissue, brain, heart, and many other body organs. It is involved in the formation of red blood cells, the absorption and utilization of iron, and the synthesis and release of life-sustaining proteins and enzymes. Copper stimulates the immune system to fight infections, repair injured tissues, and promote healing. Copper also helps to neutralize "free-radicals" which can cause severe damage to cells.
Iodine for Proper Thyroid Function
Despite its abundance, iodine deficiency is relatively common. Severe iodine deficiency often occurs in people that are afflicted with thyroid disease or a hyperthyroid disorder, or those who have developed a goiter. Symptoms of iodine deficiency may manifest as extreme fatigue, weight gain, facial puffiness, constipation, slowing of both physical and mental processes, and lethargy.
Magnesium - Potent Mineral
Magnesium is vital for a healthy nervous system, muscle contraction, and for the formation of healthy bones and teeth. Magnesium can also help guard against cardiovascular disease and lower high blood pressure. Magnesium deficiency can adversely affect the immune system Lastly, magnesium may be useful in preventing type II diabetes and its complications, alleviating the symptoms of PMS and minimizing the severity of asthma attacks.
Phosphorus - Calcium's Helpful Partner
New research shows calcium needs phosphorus to maximize its bone-strengthening benefits, and taking a lot of calcium supplements without enough phosphorus could be a waste of money. Phosphorus deficiency results in bone loss just as calcium deficiency does, so if you are taking calcium supplements, you should also check and see if you are getting enough phosphorus.
Potassium - Blood Pressure and a Healthy Heart
Potassium is an essential mineral and electrolyte. Research shows that increasing your potassium intake can lower your blood pressure. Individuals with existing hypertension, as well as those just looking to keep their blood pressure in check, can benefit from potassium.
Selenium - Ally Against Cancer
In recent years, laboratory experiments, clinical trials and epidemiological data have established the role of selenium in the prevention of a number of degenerative conditions including cancer, inflammatory diseases, cardiovascular disease, neurological diseases, aging, and infections. Most of these effects are related to the function of selenium in the antioxidant enzyme systems.
Sodium: Electrical Conductivity
Sodium works with chloride and bicarbonate to maintain the body's balance of positive and negative ions in our body fluids and tissues. Without this balance of ions, our bodies electrical systems would not communicate. Sodium holds water in body tissues. The average American diet provides far too much sodium than we need.
Information on Zinc
Zinc is an essential mineral that is found in every cell in our body. It stimulates the activity of about 100 enzymes, substances that promote biochemical reactions in your body. Among its many functions, zinc maintains a healthy immune system, is needed for wound healing, helps maintain your sense of taste and smell, and is needed for DNA synthesis.