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What are Trace Minerals and Why are They so Important for the Body?

Trace minerals are elements that are essential for many bodily functions such as the maintenance and repair of bones and tissues, cellular health, oxygen transport, and balancing the nervous system to name a few. Unfortunately with such a heavy reliance on processed foods, many of the essential minerals that the body needs to function optimally are not ingested or improperly absorbed and so we become deficient. Deficiency symptoms can manifest themselves in many different ways from severe fatigue from low iron stores or glucose impairment issues caused by low amounts chromium in the body.

Here is a list of the main essential minerals our body needs and how they are utilized in the body:

  1. Calcium: Essential for developing and maintaining healthy bones and teeth.

  2. Chromium: Aids in glucose metabolism and helps regulate blood sugar by supporting insulin and serving as a component of glucose tolerance factor.

  3. Colbalt: Promotes the formulation of red blood cells and serves as a component of Vitamin B-12.

  4. Copper: Essential for normal red blood cell and connective tissue formation.

  5. lodine: Needed by the thyroid hormone to support metabolism.

  6. Iron: Necessary for red blood cell formation and for the transport of oxygen throughout the body.

  7. Magnesium: Responsible for activating over 100 enzymes in the body.

  8. Manganese: Also plays a key part in enzyme function in the body.

  9. Molybdenum: Contributes to normal growth and development. Main component in enzymes involved with detoxification.

  10. Phosphorous: Works with calcium to develop and maintain strong bones and teeth.

  11. Potassium: Regulates heartbeat, maintains fluid balance and helps muscles contract.

  12. Selenium: Essential component of a key antioxidant enzyme and is necessary for normal growth and development. Plays a role in detoxification of heavy metals.

  13. Sulfur: Provides main structure to muscle and hair in the body. Plays a critical role in liver detoxification.

  14. Zinc: Essential part of more than 200 enzymes involved in digestion, metabolism, reproduction and wound healing. Plays a large role in supporting the immune system.

Given the myriad of functions that trace minerals play in the body, it is easy to see that deficiencies can be a problem. If you are someone who is dealing with chronic, unexplained symptoms you may want to seek the advice of an alternative health care professional to explore whether this is a possibility.

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