Trace minerals in nutrition

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Trace minerals in nutrition, by acting synergically, help in the maintenance of dynamic equilibrium of our health by altering the physiological variables.

What are trace minerals?

We are aware of essential elements like calcium and sodium required in nutrition in greater quantities for our body's health and maintenance.
But there are a number of essential elements required by our body in very minute doses for its health function, and these elements are categorized as trace minerals.
Like macro-elements, these minerals are also equally important in nutrition for the proper functioning of our body and have various functions in osmoregulation, mineralization of bones and excretion.

Nutrition benefits of trace minerals for health

The presence of these elements in our nutrition is very important for the cellular function.
They are required in minute quantities and excess of them can create health problems and toxicity.
These elements boost our immune system and make it strong.
Magnesium is important for the proper absorption of calcium by our body.
Minerals like selenium are potent antioxidants getting rid off the free radicals.
Along with calcium, boron, nickel, selenium, vanadium, manganese and zinc are required for the bone mineralization and growth.
Many micro-elements stimulate the endocrine system and help in the proper function of our glands.
Iodine is very important as it is required for functioning of the thyroid gland.

Trace minerals in nutrition

Our food, especially food from plant origin, provides us, minerals requirement for our health.
However our present farming practices are depleting the soil of these elements and there is a great drop in their availability from soil.
Essential element nutrition deficiencies have become widespread, especially in cereal producing soils.
This situation in turn has lead to reduction in the minerals content of the produce.
Use of micronutrient fertilizers, organic manure, change of crops and cropping patterns only can invigorate the soil; then only we can get back to optimum levels of  minerals from our food for our health.
Plant food sources of marine environment are relatively unaffected by human activity and are rich sources of these elements.
In trace minerals deficiency related health disorders, specific supplements are given to correct the deficiency.

Trace minerals requirements for our health

Minerals RDA/AIDeficiencyExcess
Cobalt- B12 deficiencycobalt poisoning
Copper900 µgcopper deficiencycopper toxicity
Chromium- chromium deficiencychromium poisoning
Fluoride- dental cavitiesfluoride poisoning
Iodine150 µgiodine deficiency-
Iron8 mganaemiairon overload disorder
Molybdenum45 µgmolybdenum deficiency-
Manganese2.3 mgmanganese deficiencymanganism
Nickel- enzyme disordernickel poisoning
Selenium55 µgselenium deficiencyselenosis
Zinc11 mgzinc deficiency-
Vanadium- vanadium deficiencyvanadium toxicity
Boron2.1 mgboron deficiencyboron toxicity
A balanced nutrition comprising lots of vegetables and fruits gives required trace minerals for our health.

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