This foum is dedicated to supportive discussion about Dietary minerals and essential nutrients.
Dietary Minerals are the chemical elements required by living organisms, other than the four elements Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, and Oxygen which are omnipresent in organic molecules. They can be either bulk minerals (required in relatively large amounts) or trace minerals (required only in minute amounts).
These can be naturally occurring in food or added in elemental or mineral form, such as calcium carbonate or sodium chloride. Some of these additives come from natural sources such as ground oyster shells. Sometimes minerals are added to the diet separately from food, as vitamin and mineral supplements and in dirt eating, called pica or geophagy.
In Human nutrition, the dietary bulk mineral elements (RDA > 200 mg/day) are (in alphabetical order):
Calcium (Muscles health, digestive system health, builds bone, neutralizes acidity, clears toxins, helps blood stream.)
Magnesium (Muscle health, builds bone, causes strong peristalsis, increases flexibility, increases alkalinity.)
Phosphorus (Bone mineralization.)
Potassium (Heart and nerves health.)
Sodium (Maintains the electrolyte balance inside and outside of cells.)
Sulfur (skin, hair, nails, liver, and pancreas health.)
The most important trace mineral elements (RDA < 200 mg/day) are (again, in alphabetical order):
Boron (Increases bone density.)
Chromium (Balancing the blood sugar.)
Cobalt (Helps: digestive disorders, fatigue, myelin sheath damage, nerve damage, pernicious anemia, poor circulation, slow or retarded growth rate.)
Copper (Destroyer of macro-parasites, cleanses the lymphatic system, assists with stimulating peristalsis, and strengthens the immune system.)
Fluorine (According to some health agencies, fluoride is good for human teeth. It is important to note that this is a highly controversial as some agencies promote unnatural fluoride sources. Natural fluoride sources are non controversial though.)
Iodine (Regulate the metabolism and the energy.)
Iron (Forming blood cells.)
Manganese (Adrenal mineral, a brain mineral, an oxygenator like iron.)
Molybdenum (Prevent premature aging, mobilizes iron from the liver reserves as needed, and aids in detoxifying the body.)
Selenium (Powerful antioxidant.)
Silicon (Bone and cartilage formation.)
silver (Destroys viruses on contact, harmful fungus and bacteria while keeping healthy tissue and good bacteria intact.)
Vanadium (Works with chromium, balances blood sugar, and mimics insulin.)
Zinc (Eliminates bad body odor and bad breath, helps protects the teeth, restores enzyme function of the immune system and skin, strongly fights viruses, protects the nervous system, important for sexual functions. Zinc plays many other roles in health.)
Iodine is required in larger quantities than the other trace minerals in this list and is sometimes counted with the bulk minerals. Sodium is not generally found in dietary supplements, despite being needed in large quantities, because the mineral is so common in food. This list is not an endorsement of the need of any of these minerals as dietary supplements.
Many other minerals have been suggested as required in human nutrition, in varying quantities. Standards of evidence vary for different elements, and not all have been definitively established as essential to human nutrition. Candidates include:
(elements for which convincing scientific evidence is lacking are marked as suspect)
Germanium (Protects the nucleus of the cell from viral and cancer damage, protects the valves that separate the five sections of the gastrointestinal tract.)
Gold (Balancing the endocrine and glandular system, protecting the DNA from free radicals,)
Indium (Suspect. It may enhance the absorption of all other minerals in a healthful matter. It may also help the healthy mineralization of organs.)
Platinum (Protect and energize the DNA.)
Tungsten (some organisms use tungsten rather than molybdenum.)
Rhodium and iridium are suspected to enhance brain performance as the human brain contains 5% monatomic iridium and rhodium. This has yet to be proven though.
An essential nutrient is a nutrient required for normal body functioning that cannot be synthesized by the body. Categories of essential nutrient include vitamins, dietary minerals, essential fatty acids and essential amino acids.
Different species have very different essential nutrients. Most essential nutrients are substances that are metabolically necessary but cannot be synthesized by the organism. Dietary minerals, for example, cannot be synthesized in biological systems, so (for example) a human must obtain the iron they need to build hemoglobin from their diet (of course, this iron is recycled as long as possible, but some is inevitably lost, for example during menstruation).
Most essential nutrients are needed only in small quantities, and are stored and reused by the body. As a result, unlike absence of air or water for humans, absence of essential nutrients usually leads only gradually to the development of a deficiency disease.
Nutritional wisdom is that it is difficult, if not impossible, to isolate all of the substances in our food which are important to good nutrition. Therefore nutritionists advise us to eat a wide range of minimally processed foods. This gives us the best chance of regularly obtaining small amounts, at least, of a wide range of essential nutrients, and reduces the chance of poor nutrition and ill health that may result. Further advice on essential nutrition will be based on the circumstances of the person, e.g. their age, occupation, even their location.
Secondary dietary minerals:
Bismuth (Bi) (suspect)
Fluorine (F) (necessity unknown in humans)
Rubidium (Rb) (suspect)
Strontium (Sr) (suspect)
Tellurium (Te) (suspect)
Tin (Sn)(may depend on definition of essential -- see reference)
Titanium (Ti) (suspect)
Tungsten (W) (some organisms use tungsten rather than molybdenum)