Minerals

Yes! Iodine helps your thyroid function as it’s designed to and the hormones it creates help your overall health. The amount of iodine you need is recommended to be 150mcg (microgram) per day. Too much iodine or iodine deficiencies both create health problems. Pregnant women with iodine deficiencies are at risk of giving birth to a child that’s mentally retarded or one with severe motor skill problems. Infants that have iodine deficiencies face the some potential problems with motor skill problems and retardation that newborns face.

Adults that have an iodine deficiency may develop hypothyroidism which is caused by too little iodine and can manifest itself with a slower metabolic rate which could lead to excess weight and low energy. Other problems associated with hypothyroidism may be forgetfulness, personality changes, skin that’s yellowish, dry or scaly and depression. An enlarged thyroid gland which is called goiter is also a possibility.

Hyperthyroidism can also manifest itself in people with excessive iodine in their systems. These manifestations may be in the form of goiter, irregular heart rates, palpitations, sweats, nervousness, tremors, increased activity or eye abnormalities.

Some of the natural sources for iodine are: sea water, kelp, some types of seafood, citrus products such as oranges and grapefruit, egg yolks and garlic.

Many Americans get their iodine from iodized salt but this isn’t a good way because table salt isn’t good for you.

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Iron is probably more important than you were taught and you probably weren’t taught that too much iron can be toxic and cause you problems. Iron deficiencies may manifest itself as anemia, fatigue, constipation, brittle nails, menstrual problems or restless leg syndrome in adults.

Children are usually born with enough iron in their tissues to sustain growth for 6-12 months so they don’t need additional iron in their diet. Breast milk is almost completely devoid of iron yet many baby formulas are fortified with iron which often leads to babies that are very uncomfortable because of bloating and gas discomfort otherwise known as colic. A baby is born with stomach bacteria designed to digest breast milk and not artificial formulas that contain ingredients not normally found in breast milk. Given this information, it’s easy to understand why so many infants are fussy and crying when their poor mothers are on the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) Program because the infant formula obtainable through this U.S. government program is iron fortified.

Iron is a key element in the metabolism of humans and almost every other living organism. This element is vital to hundreds of proteins and enzymes in the human body.

Your blood is partially made up of hemoglobin and myglobin proteins. These two proteins make up about 2/3rd’s of your body’s iron supply. Hemoglobin’s role is to transport oxygen from your lungs to the tissues and organs that need it throughout your body. Myglobin is a protein that supplies oxygen to your muscle cells and helps with proper oxygenation of your muscles when they are active.

Other enzymes and proteins that contain iron perform the following functions:

  • energy metabolism
  • electron transport
  • antioxidant functions
  • beneficial pro-oxidant functions
  • oxygen storage
  • DNA Synthesis
  • regulation of intercellular iron

As with many other vitamins and minerals your body utilizes there is an interaction between iron and other nutrients.

  • Zinc, when acquired from supplements, may have lower absorption rates when combined with iron supplements on an empty stomach.
  • Consuming foods that contain calcium and iron in the same meal may reduce the amount of iron the body absorbs.
  • A deficiency in vitamin A will make a deficiency of iron even worse.
  • An adequate level of copper is needed for normal red cell formation and iron metabolism.

The amount of iron you need will vary according to your sex, age, lifestyle and activity level. For example, menstruating women lose iron as a normal part of the menstrual cycle so more iron is needed during this period. Pregnant women lose iron to their developing fetus and placenta so additional iron is needed during pregnancy and people regularly engaging in strenuous exercise or activity may need more iron than someone with a less active lifestyle.

Iron can be obtained naturally in a variety of foods in two different types. Heme and nonheme iron are in different foods. Heme iron is more readily absorbed and used by your body and its absorption is less influenced by the rest of your dietary intake. Nonheme iron is absorbed using a different mechanism than heme iron so your dietary intake and iron levels play a larger role in the amount you absorb.

The sources of heme iron are the hemoglobin and myglobin in the meat, poultry and fish you eat and sources of nonheme iron are iron supplements, iron salts, meat, dairy products, bananas, black molasses, prunes, raisins, whole rye, walnuts, kelp and lentils.

Since vegetarians receive nonheme iron in their diets and many factors can inhibit the absorption of iron, it is recommended that vegetarians take special care to increase the iron in the diet.

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Manganese is another trace element found in almost all living organisms. The name manganese is derived from the Greek word for magic. The name’s origin fits because scientists are still trying to understand the diverse effects on living organisms of manganese deficiency and toxicity.

This mineral plays an important role in the healthy development of cartilage and bone and the production of collagen used in wound healing. The metabolism of cholesterol, amino acids and carbohydrates is done by enzymes activated by manganese. Sex hormone production, enzyme activation and glucose metabolism are all affected by manganese. The brain, muscles, thyroid, nerves, and mammary glands are all influenced by enzymes associated with manganese if if not directly by manganese itself.

Manganese deficiencies may be indicated by dizziness, hearing loss, ear noises and muscle coordination problems.

Some foods that are rich in manganese are kelp, spinach, leafy vegetables, beets, nuts and whole grains. Note: As much as 75 percent of the manganese in wheat is lost when it it processed into flour.

While manganese may not be the cause of diabetes, osteoporosis, asthma, allergies, fatigue and epilepsy; it may help in the management of them.

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Copper is a trace mineral you would have trouble living without. The highest concentration of copper can be found in your brain but it is also important to hemoglobin and red blood cell formation, your body’s healing processes, development of your hair and skin color, your bones, blood, skin, nerves and connective tissues.

Some of the signs of copper deficiency may be: anemia, high LDL cholesterol, baldness, impaired immune function, early aging signs, joint dysfunction and pain, slow healing sores, brain disturbances, low energy, general weakness, artery wall damage, aneurysms ruptures or cardiovascular disease.

Having too much copper in your system can cause nausea, vomiting or diarrhea with mega high levels adversely affecting the absorption of zinc.

We’ve told you the bad and the ugly now it’s time to tell you what good copper is. Copper helps your body make elastin and collagen which are the connective tissues of your skin, heart, blood vessels, and lungs. Copper is also involved in hair and skin coloring, taste sensitivity, energy production and in the healing process. Nerves and joints need copper to be healthy.

Keep your copper levels where they should be to help your body prevent heart disease, high cholesterol, artery wall damage, chronic fatigue, arthritis, osteoporosis, skin dryness/inelasticity, Alzheimer’s disease, immune dysfunctionality, anemia or baldness.

Some of the natural sources of copper are: green leafy vegetables, beans and legumes, almonds, prunes, beef liver, oysters and other shellfish and other organ meats.

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I know you’ve been taught the importance of calcium for good bones but phosphorus is another of the 9 minerals that are used in your bones. 88% of the Phosphorus you have in your body is found in your bones. In addition to being an important part of your bone structure; the remaining 12% of the phosphorous in your body is used by your brain, heart, kidneys, nerves, and teeth.

Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the method used to deliver cellular energy. Phosphorous is a vital component in the structural framework of both RNA and DNA. Cell growth and repair uses phosphorous in the cell membrane. The calcium and sugar metabolisms are influenced by phosphorous and oxygen delivery and utilization is affected by the phosphorous attached to your hemoglobin. Phosphorous helps your body maintain the proper pH balance and helps with a number of enzymes and hormones.

Phosphorous is utilized by almost everything that lives so a balanced diet will generally provide all the dietary phosphorous you’ll need with some of the foods sources for phosphorous being: whole grains, seeds, nuts, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy products.

We usually excrete excess phosphorous when we urinate so an excess is uncommon. Phosphorous deficiencies aren’t common in properly nourished people but some of the signs of deficiency may be: obesity, weight loss, loss of appetite, nervousness, irregular breathing and fatigue.

Phosphorous, calcium and vitamin D interact with each other so improper levels of one will affect the levels of other two.

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