The human body is a dynamic and complex system that needs multiple nutrients for efficient functioning and good health. Among all the nutrients, trace minerals are required by the human body in minimal quantities. Thus, these play a crucial role in carrying out multiple biological processes.
This write-up highlights trace minerals' role in maintaining good health. Also, it will explore different trace minerals and their functions along with the potential health concerns caused by their deficiency.
What Are Trace Minerals?
They are also known as microminerals and are a group of essential nutrients that the human body requires in small amounts and less than 100 mg daily. Also, these minerals are necessary to deal with several functions, such as growth, health maintenance, and development.
The critical trace minerals include manganese, iron, zinc, copper, Selenium, and fluoride. Every mineral plays a vital role in maintaining good health and balance.
Sources of Trace Minerals
If you want to consume a sufficient amount of trace minerals, then eating a diverse yet balanced diet is essential.
Here is a list of trace minerals and food items they are present in:
- Zinc: Present in food items such as oysters, red meat, and whole grains.
- Copper: Food items like legumes, nuts, and shellfish are rich in copper.
- Selenium: Meats, cereals, and Brazil nuts are rich sources.
- Iron: It is usually found in poultry, beans, red meat, seafood, and leafy vegetables.
- Fluoride: This mineral is derived from specific tea, fish, and fluoridated water types.
- Manganese: It can be found in seeds, green vegetables, nuts, and whole grains.
- Iodine: As the name suggests, it is obtained from iodized salt, dairy products, and seafood.
Detailed Functions of Trace Minerals
As of now, you might have learned about the sources and definitions of trace minerals. Next, you will see a list of trace minerals and their functions.
The primary role of iron is to formulate hemoglobin in red blood cells, which is essential to transport oxygen all over your body. It is necessary for other metabolic processes, synthesis formation, and cellular functioning.
Hence, iron deficiency is a significant issue globally, and it can lead to conditions such as anemia.
Zinc is required for cell division, immune response, DNA synthesis, protein production, and wound healing. It is essential for rapid growth periods like childhood, pregnancy, and infancy.
Also, zinc deficiency can lead to delayed wound healing, hair loss, impaired immune function, and decreased sense of smell and taste.
Copper is one of the most important trace elements, as it can help form connective tissue, metabolism, and energy production. The role of copper in health and brain development is vital as it is included in maintaining the nervous system and neurodevelopment.
However, the deficiency of copper can result in health concerns such as osteoporosis, anemia, and neurological issues.
Iodine is essential for the fusion of thyroid hormones to maintain the growth of metabolic rate and development. Furthermore, a deficiency of iodine is associated with intellectual disability in children globally.
It can also result in hypothyroidism, goiter, and developmental lapse in children.
Another important micromineral is Selenium; it aids with thyroid hormone metabolism, reproduction, DNA fusion, and prevention of infection or oxidative damage. Additionally, it is known for playing an essential role in the effective functioning of the thyroid gland and immune system.
Its deficiency is directly related to multiple health concerns, such as male infertility, debilitated immune function, and heart disease.
This micromineral forms bones, connective tissues, sex hormones, and blood-clotting factors. It is also known for playing a crucial role in fat metabolism, carbohydrates, blood sugar regulation, and calcium absorption.
This mineral is being studied subsequently for its active role in neurological health and assistance in brain function.
It is majorly known for its part in maintaining humans' dental health and bone structure. Fluoride is known for its preventive qualities for dental caries, and it can help to develop strong bones and teeth.
Also, excessive intake of this micromineral can lead to fluorosis, and it could affect bones and teeth.
Importance of Trace Minerals for Optimal Health
It is a fact that bodies need small amounts of trace minerals, and their impact is potent and far-reaching. Also, these microminerals are crucial for multiple bodily functions.
The best trace mineral supplement protects the overall well-being and prevents various health ailments.
1. Immune System Support
Trace minerals like zinc and Selenium are integral in supporting our immune systems. Zinc is essential for immune cell development, communication, and inflammation response.
Selenium is a powerful antioxidant, offering protection from oxidative stress and infection. Deficiencies can lead to weaker immunity, making individuals more prone to illness and diseases.
2. Hormonal Balance and Metabolic Health
Minerals such as iodine and manganese play an integral part in maintaining hormonal equilibrium. Iodine is essential in thyroid hormone production, which regulates metabolism, growth, and energy production.
Manganese, on the other hand, is involved with carb and fat metabolism, blood sugar regulation, and calcium absorption - all crucial elements to metabolic health.
3. Bone and Dental Health
Fluoride and manganese minerals are vital for maintaining bone density and strength, with fluoride being best known for preventing dental caries. In contrast, manganese contributes to bone formation to ward off osteoporosis.
4. Neurological Function
Certain essential trace elements, like copper and manganese, play crucial roles in brain health and cognitive functions. Copper is vital in neurotransmitter synthesis and brain development, while manganese may play a part in cognitive performance and help prevent neurological diseases.
5. Cardiovascular Health
Minerals such as iron and Selenium are essential to keep your cardiovascular health intact. Selenium comes with antioxidant properties that can prevent heart diseases.
At the same time, iron is necessary for hemoglobin formation, as it affects energy levels and oxygen transportation throughout the body.
Trace minerals are indispensable components of healthful living. Their functions include oxygen transport, immune defense hormone synthesis, and bone health. So, a well-rounded diet is vital for getting enough trace minerals into our bodies. Do not wait; plan a healthy diet for yourself now.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been assessed by the FDA. The information contained within this page is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice or attention of health care professionals.