DEFINITION: A mineral is an inorganic dietary element that is essential for good health. Minerals are necessary for most body processes including: nerve transmission, muscle contraction, tissue structure, hemoglobin formation and many others. Minerals fall into three categories.
1. Major Minerals, also known as Macrominerals These are minerals the body needs in large amounts. They are: Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sulfur, Sodium, Chloride and Magnesium.
2. Trace Minerals, also know as Microminerals These are minerals that scientists know the body requires in small amounts. They are: Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Selenium and Zinc. Some scientists believe that Nickel, Silicon, Boron, Tin and Vandium should be added to this list.
3. Other Trace Minerals, of which the required amount, if any, is not known. Humans probably need a minute amount of these other trace minerals, but the need for them has only been established in animal studies. As various minerals become dietary fads, unproven health claims will be made for them. However, according to the National Research Council, the following minerals have no accepted biological function in humans: Aluminum, Antimony, Barium, Beryllium, Gallium, Geranium, Gold, Mercury, Silver, Strontium, Thallium and Titanium.
Harry Sitren, human nutrition professor at the University of Florida, said that if people follow the Food Guide Pyramid, and eat a variety of foods within the Pyramid, they should have sufficient intake of all minerals. However, Sitren noted that many people eat based on taste first and nutrition second, and in that case it would be advisable to take a general multi-vitamin three times a week.
[VITAMINS | AMINO ACIDS | HISTORY | HERBALS | CHOLESTIN | WARNINGS | REGULATIONS | FUTURE | HOME | BIBLIOGRAPHY | NATURESWAY | FUTUREBIOTICS | CONTACT AUTHOR]