MINERALS

 

See the drop down window on the menu bar above to locate each nutrient.

Minerals are naturally occurring substances. Each mineral has it’s own atomic number.

The number of protons in the nucleus of an atom is what determines its atomic number. Each mineral has a number on the periodic table of elements.  This number is its atomic number.

 

There are sixteen known minerals that are used by the human body and a couple that we’re not sure about.  In fact, there may be more that we’re not sure about but research on minerals and their effect on human biology is still in discovery mode.  Minerals are used by our bodies to work with each other and other nutrients.   A deficiency or overdose of a mineral can upset the balance needed in how nutrients are used so it is best not to take minerals supplementally unless you are under a doctor’s supervision.

Just as vitamins are ‘organic compounds’ needed by our bodies to function, minerals are ‘chemical elements’ needed by our bodies to function.  Plants absorb minerals from the ground and pass them up through the food chain.

Minerals needed by the human body are divided into two categories:

1. Macro minerals which are the most abundant: calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, sodium chloride and magnesium.

2. Micro minerals or trace minerals: iron, cobalt, copper, zinc, manganese, fluoride, molybdenum, iodine, and selenium.  Included in the micro mineral category are the ultra trace minerals: boron and chromium.

Arsenic and silicon are believed to have a role in keeping us healthy but there is no clear evidence of this.

Cobalt is the one mineral that is an exception.  Our bodies use it but only after having processed it into a complicated molecular structure we call cobalamin or vitamin B12.  This process is accomplished by bacteria.

 

 

Minerals:

a. Support our cells and their structure

b. Regulate several body processes

c. Help our nervous system to function properly

d. Help to manage our blood glucose levels

e. Support vitamins in their work as antioxidants.

To read about individual minerals go to the top of the page and access the drop down menu by clicking on minerals.

 

REFERENCES:

WIKIPEDIA:

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dietary_mineral

LINUS PAULING:

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/minerals.html

 

OTHER:

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fy891

http://www.ivy-rose.co.uk/HumanBiology/Nutrition/Minerals.php