This post include information about Minerals : Full details about the major and minor minerals, sources, function, deficiency related information and role of minerals in the body.
WHAT IS MINERALS?
Our body require minerals elements for variety of functions. They are also known as micro nutrients. Vitamins which are organic substances and minerals are inorganic and are found in rocks and salt. Vegetables absorb minerals as they grow and animals digest through their diet.
Dietary minerals are the chemical elements required by living organisms, other than the four elements carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen that are present in nearly all organic molecules.
Two group of minerals are:-
- Trace minerals are iron, zinc and iodine.
- Major minerals are sodium, potassium, calcium, and phosphorous.
Trace minerals account for less than 15 g(approximately 0.5 oz) or 0.02% of the total body mass. Excess mineral intake the serves no useful physiologic purpose and can produce toxic effects.
Some dietitians recommend that these can be supplied from foods in which they occur naturally or at least as complex compounds, or sometimes even from natural inorganic sources.
Some minerals are absorbed much more readily in the ionic forms found in such sources. On the other hand, minerals are often artificially added to the diet as Supplements; the most famous is Likely iodized salt which prevents goiter.
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Role of minerals in the body
- Provide structure in forming bones and teeth.
- Help to maintain normal function (e.g., heart rhythm, muscle contractility, neutral conductivity, and acid -base balance).
- Regulate metabolism by becoming constituents of enzymes and hormones that modulate cellular activity.
- Minerals activate reactions that release energy during carbohydrates, fat and protein metabolism.
- They participate in the biosynthesis of nutrients-(glycogen from glucose, proteins from amino acids, triacyiglycerol from fatty acids and glycerol)
- Lack of one or essential minerals can disrupt the fine balance b/w catabolism and anabolism.
- Minerals also form important constituents of hormones. E.g. inadequate thyroxin production from iodine insufficiency slows the body’s resting metabolism. In extreme cases, this could predispose a person to develop obesity.
- Control of body processes mainly nervous system.
- Form part of body fluid and cells
Function – Blood clotting, nerve transmission, bone and teeth formation.
Deficiency– Stunted growth, rickets, osteoporosis, convulsions.
Excess- Not reported in human.
Function– Bone and tooth formation, acid and base balance, helps prevent loss of calcium from bone.
Deficiency– Weakness, demineralization, depression.
Excess-Erosion of jaw.
Function– Fluid balance, nerve transmission, acid base balance, building of muscle and for normal growth.
Deficiency- Muscles cramps, irregular cardiac rhythm, mental confusion, loss of appetite; can be life threatening.
Excess- None if kidney function properly, poor kidney function causes potassium buildup and cardiac arrhythmias.
Function- Maintains water balance in body, nerve function, and control body temperature.
Deficiency– Muscle cramps, mental apathy, reduced appetite.
Excess – Contributes to high blood pressure.
Function– Important part of extra – cellular fluids.
Deficiency – Unlikely to occur with adequate dietary intake.
Excess- Contributes to high blood pressure.7. Magnesium
Source- Whole grain, green leafy vegetables.
Function– Activates the enzymes involved in protein synthesis.
Deficiency– Growth failure, behavioral disturbances.
Function-Constituent of enzymes association with iron metabolism.
Excess- Rare metabolism condition (Wilson’s disease).
Function- Constituent of enzymes involved in digestion, aid the immune system, needed for the smell and taste.
Deficiency- Growth failure, small sex glands, dries skin.
Excess- Fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.
Source- Marine fish and shell fish, dairy products, vegetables, iodized salt.
Function– Thyroid glands function and body metabolism.
Deficiency- Goiter (enlarged thyroid)
Excess- High intake depress thyroid activity.
Source- Legumes, cereals, vegetables, meats, whole grains.
Function– Constituent of some enzymes involved in glucose and energy metabolism.
Deficiency- Not reported in humans, impaired ability to metabolize glucose.
Excess- Inhibition of enzymes, Occupational exposures, skin and kidney damage.
Source– Seafood, meats, grains.
Function– Function in close associated with vitamin E.
Excess- Gastrointestinal disorders, lung irritations.
Sweat loss during exercise usually dose not increase the mineral requirement above recommended values.
Mineral bio availability
Vitamins also affect mineral bio availability. E.g.: vitamin D facilitates calcium absorption, while vitamin C improves intestinal absorption of iron.
high fiber blunts the absorption of calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus by binding to them so they pass unabsorbed through the digestive tract.
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