Essential Minerals for our Body

Minerals

Minerals are micronutrient substances that do not directly supply energy (unlike carbohydrates, lipids and proteins), but their presence is necessary for reactions with energy release. The organism is not able to synthesize any mineral; it is therefore necessary to introduce them with food and drink.

We can divide minerals into macroelements and microelements.

Macroelements

Sodium
It acts to regulate the acid-base balance and the hydrosaline balance and is fundamental for the functioning of the nervous system.
sodium
 
Potassium
It intervenes in the nervous transmission and in the regulation of the acid-base balance and of the hydrosaline balance.
potassium
 
Calcium
Stimulates muscles and nerves and makes blood coagulation; it also carries out enzymatic activity, and is a structural element of bones, teeth and cells.
calcium
 
Phosphorus
It represents the component of energy-rich phosphate bonds, and is a structural element of bones, teeth and cells.
phosphorus
 
Chlorine
It regulates the water balance and produces hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
chlorine
 
Magnesium
It acts as an enzymatic activator and acts as a modulator of the muscular electrical activity.
magnesium
 

Microelements

Iron
The main task of iron is to bind oxygen in the hemoglobin molecule and in other oxygen transporters (myoglobin, cytochromes).
iron
Zinc
It is involved in the production, storage and secretion of insulin.
zink
Copper
It is a fundamental constituent of the enzymes involved in iron metabolism and in the production of blood.
copper
Manganese
It is essential for the functioning of some enzymes.
manganese
Iodine
It is the component of thyroid hormones.
iodine
Chromium
A constituent of some enzymes, it is involved in glucose metabolism and in general in energy metabolism.
chromium
Selenium
It performs its function in association with vitamin E, protecting cells from oxidation damage and preventing the formation of free radicals.
selenium
Molybdenum
It is a cofactor of enzymes involved in redox reactions.
molibdenum

Other minerals, called trace elements because present in concentration lower than the microgram per gram of diet, have not yet been considered as essential (lithium, vanadium, silicon, nickel, arsenic, lead).

The minerals to be bioavailable must be chelated, that is transformed into assimilable form. Bioavailability is also influenced by intrinsic factors such as age, sex, intestinal or alimentary infections, eating habits, stress, pregnancy and lactation and extrinsic factors related to the chemical form and solubility of the mineral.

2 thoughts on “Essential Minerals for our Body

  1. Avatar
    Amina Rushisvili says:

    Although potassium is the eighth most abundant element on earth and comprises about 2.1% of the earth’s crust, it is a very reactive element and is never found free in nature.

  2. Avatar
    Slainie Auger says:

    Answeering to Amina: According to Wikipedia, bananas are high in potassium and contain good levels of protein and dietary fiber.

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