Iodine, A Vital Trace Mineral You Cannot Live Without

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  1. Vitafakta | Iodine – a vital and often overlooked trace mineral
  2. Trace Minerals: What Are They? And Why Are They Important?

They help the body perform regulatory and structural functions. It also refers to the fact the body typically only has 5 grams or less of the mineral in the body. What Exactly Are Trace Minerals? So what are some examples of trace minerals? All trace minerals are necessary for the body, especially the ones listed above. I will start with iron, as there are some major issues that lack of iron and iron overload can have on the body.

Iron To start with, iron deficiency is the most common nutritional problem worldwide 1. This is mostly due to the third world and developing countries, but iron deficiencies are still prevalent in the United States. Of utmost concern is iron deficiencies in children. Because their brain is still developing, iron is very necessary for proper development 2. Iron is important because it is able to easily change from one form ferrous iron to another ferric iron.

This lets iron move to other substances via electron transfer. Besides energy metabolism, iron is needed in the immune system and in brain development. Are you iron deficient? Your metabolism and immune system counts on iron supply! Interestingly, iron is absorbed differently, depending on if you are eating an animal, or a plant 4. Bioavailability in animal forms of iron is much greater than in any plant based food 5 , thanks to phytates, fiber and polyphenols, which all block absorption of this trace mineral. Iron deficiency is a very serious problem, and leads to poor growth, cognitive impairment, decreased performance and hair loss, among many other issues.

Seizures, fever and low blood sugar are common, as is liver damage. Selenium Selenium is a much-forgotten trace mineral but it is very important in the body.

Selenium helps to regulate glutathione peroxidase, which is vital to protecting the body from oxidative damage 6. Oxidative damage means disease, aging, etc. Selenium was only just discovered in and there are actually more than 50 different protein versions found in the body…so far.

Foods that are best for selenium are Brazil nuts 3 will meet your daily requirement , oysters, tuna, pork, beef and lamb, and chicken. Selenium is an oft forgotten but important trace mineral. Get your fill with Brazil nuts or oysters. Selenium is also required to produce a thyroid hormone called tetraiodothyronine, or T4. Selenium is also needed for the conversion of T4 to the more active form, T3 triiodothyronine. T cells are produced via the help of selenium and they kill harmful bacteria that invade the body. As in iron, selenium is important for the development of brain cells.

In these cases, glutathione peroxidase cannot be formed. This should give you some idea of how important selenium truly is, since glutathione peroxidase is vital for cellular health 8. Zinc Zinc is a trace mineral with a slightly better reputation than selenium. Many are aware of zinc issues and as result, zinc supplements have become very commonplace. As with other trace minerals, zinc is better absorbed from animal sources, rather than plant sources. Foods high in zinc include: Zinc is a part of every living cell, and more than 75 enzymes contain zinc 9. Perhaps now you are beginning to understand the importance of trace minerals.

Zinc is a part of every single one of your living cells. Your immune system is greatly affected by zinc, which explains its presence in many cold supplements. Within weeks of low zinc in the diet, you will notice decreased immune system functioning. Those with alcoholism, diabetes, metabolic disorders, gastrointestinal diseases and the elderly are the most at risk. Magnesium in combination with Vitamin C, acts as an effective natural laxative and often provides immediate relief. This trace mineral also has proven to aid in reversing high blood pressure, insulin resistance, osteoporosis, bone mineral density loss and occasionally migraines.

While calcium requires magnesium for absorption, if the intake of calcium is too high, one will absorb neither calcium nor magnesium! Natural organic yoghurt, whey and similar dairy products. Phosphorus is another acidic trace mineral that the body needs for healthy bones, nerve cells, muscles, DNA production, and fat metabolism. It is the main component of ATP adenosine triphosphate , the energy storage molecule and is thus important for energy production and a working immune system. It comes second to calcium in terms of total body mass, making up a large portion of the nucleus and cytoplasm of most cells in the body The biggest health impact of phosphorus is an excess, which is commonly coupled with calcium deficiency.

Phosphorus is found in large amounts in high protein foods, but without the calcium to balance it out, it leads to osteoporosis. One should ingest and absorb double amounts of calcium to phosphorus to maintain a healthy ratio. Soft drinks contain about milligrams of phosphorus per serving without any calcium, making this one of the leading contributors to osteoporosis worldwide. Fermenting these or cooking them can enhance bioavailability. Natural Milk and dairy. While the following trace minerals are needed in relatively smaller amounts, they more than make up for quantity in terms of the diversity required!

Iron is primarily needed for transporting oxygen around the body in the form of blood and making red blood cells. Many important proteins and enzymes are created from iron too. A deficiency in trace amounts of iron is relatively common and results in anemia, reduced oxygen, stiff muscles, reduced cognition and more Iron deficiency is usually a result of poor soils, malnutrition or trace mineral malabsorption, but losing blood will also do it.

Menstruation and pregnancy are also causes for concern. Many people think that supplementing with iron or using iron pots and pans is a good idea — however, these sources of iron are usually in an inorganic form and are thus difficult to absorb. This results in iron poisoning and does not cure deficiency. Phytic acid found in cereal brans and plant polyphenols such as the tannins both block the uptake of iron.

Other substances that hamper iron absorption include calcium and phosphorus. Meat, especially red meat and organ meats. Fermented grains and cereals which have reduced phytic acid. It plays a huge role in your immune system, heavy metal chelation, fighting off pathogens, and providing antioxidant protection.

The body uses zinc to make DNA and other proteins, to grow, develop, repair tissues and heal wounds. Zinc deficiency is common in vegetarians, as animal products tend to contain more zinc than plant products. Extreme deficiency in this trace mineral generally results in hair loss, sexual impotence, diarrhea, appetite loss, rapid weight loss, slow regeneration, dermatitis, loss of taste or smell and a drop in mental alertness.

Vitafakta | Iodine – a vital and often overlooked trace mineral

Zinc is also useful for treating a sore throat, improving eyesight in macular degeneration and can even put an end to diarrhea, particularly in the nutritionally deficient. Natural dairy products and whey. Other roles of Manganese include energy metabolism, thyroid hormone potency, blood sugar regulation, cerebral performance, and keeping free radicals in check. Manganese deficiency is rarely recorded and tends to occur in countries that have a poor soil quality with severe malnutrition. Infants in these areas tend to have a deficiency unless mothers take care to supplement more Manganese in their diets.

Manganese deficiency can result in a compromised immune system, epilepsy, weight loss, dermatitis, slow hair and nail growth, reddening of darker hail and a decline of blood lipids. Manganese supplementation has been clinically used to treat sports injuries, as it directly interacts with the immune system and boosts the level of bodily antioxidants.

Trace Minerals: What Are They? And Why Are They Important?

High amounts of iron, calcium, phosphorus, phytate and insoluble fiber appears to inhibit absorption. Copper is used in many bodily processes, but it is most important in blood where it works with iron to bind to oxygen. This trace mineral is also used to move chemical components around the body 19 , catalyze reactions 20 , create enzymes and hormones, as well as promote organ and nerve health. Iron and copper work hand-in-hand to make haemoglobin, the red component in blood.

Without one, the other is missing, therefore those who suffer from copper deficiency tend to be anemic. Bariatric surgery worsens this deficiency Poisoning due to consuming large amounts of copper is another problem, especially for those who have copper pipes in their homes. Even though copper deficiency is rare, studies reveal that the majority of individuals do not meet their daily dietary needs for copper consumption Fruit sugars appear to enhance the absorption of copper more than starch, along with iron, manganese, zinc, calcium and magnesium.

Copper is found in most fruits and vegetables in trace amounts.

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Foods with high levels of copper include:. Liver, Kidney and other organ meats. Green, leafy vegetables copper is a main component of Chlorophyll. Iodine is primarily used to create thyroid hormones, which in turn regulates metabolism and overall homeostasis in the body Those who do not get enough iodine in their diets suffer from hypothyroidism and do not produce enough thyroid hormone for optimal well-being. The opposite condition also exists where one receives too much iodine, known as hyperthyroidism.

This is common in people who consume too much iodated salt. A goiter an enlarged thyroid often sticking out the throat is a sign of iodine imbalance. It can mean you have too much or too little iodine. Iodine is also used by the body to combat the effects of radiation. In this day and age, electronic devices, cellphone masts and gaping holes in the ozone layer have contributed to an increased level of planetary radiation.

If you battle to sleep, experience hair loss, are sensitive to spending long hours on a screen, you may want to up your natural iodine intake by consuming sea vegetables. High levels of dietary arsenic, potassium, bromine, fluorine and calcium can also lower iodine absorption, as can low levels of manganese and selenium. Seafood such as fish, cod liver oil, seaweed, sea salt and algae. Many vegetables contain trace amounts of iodine from the soil.

Ordinary table salt is iodized to combat deficiency. However, it is also bleached and often contaminated with Aluminium, which can interfere with trace mineral absorption. This trace mineral is primarily used to regulate blood sugar levels and it is noted that less insulin is needed by the body when higher levels of Chromium are present A recent study has shown that Chromium is found in the bone of hip joints, but was reported to be significantly lower in those with osteoarthritis This suggests that it may play a role in maintaining bone mineral density.

The biggest health threat facing those with a chromium deficiency are all diseases related to blood sugar regulation — namely Diabetes, Hyperglycemia and Hypoglycemia. Those with obesity may suffer from a chromium deficiency. Since chromium enhances sugar metabolism, it makes sense that the body uses more when one consumes larger amounts of carbohydrates sugars.

Chromium is commonly added to diabetic drips in hospitals to aid sugar metabolism. It does this by enhancing the action of insulin.

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  5. Antacid and phytates can prevent the absorption of Chromium and indirectly help to cause the above health complications. Excessive amounts of Zinc or Iron may deplete Chromium as they compete during metabolism. Many grains, fruits and vegetables contain Chromium in trace amounts.

    The below foods have higher amounts. Black Pepper and other spices. Stainless Steel cooking equipment and containers may provide extra dietary Chromium when in contact with acidic substances. Molybdenum is a crucial component of enzymes that the body needs to metabolize or detox chemical compounds with. For example, this trace mineral forms a part of sulphite oxidase, which is necessary to break down all sulfur containing components within the body.

    Molybdenum excess or deficiency is rarely reported and has in fact only been documented in genetic enzyme-production defects or severe malnutrition. In the case where one does not receive adequate amounts of this trace element, severe toxicity as well as malabsorption of nutrients would occur. Ingesting too much molybdenum results in highly acidic joints and muscles, but has no other known toxic side effects Most people receive adequate doses from their diets. Selenium is required by our bodies for reproduction, DNA production, thyroid function, bone health, reducing free radical activity and fighting off infections Selenium deficiency is incredibly rare, but those who are undergoing kidney dialysis, who have HIV or live in areas with poor soils are at risk.

    Symptoms include infertility, thyroid imbalances, a severely compromised immune system, brittle bones, and heart problems. Some research correlates low Selenium levels with an increased risk of cancer and reduced cognition. Eating too much Selenium can happen if you indulge in too many Brazil nuts, which possibly contains the most known to man.

    This results in brittle hair and nails, nausea, irritability, discolored teeth, dermatitis, hair and nail loss, nervous system problems, diarrhea and sometimes a metallic taste in the mouth. Selenium appears to play a key role in aging. Given that it decreases as we grow older, that deficiencies cause sexual impotence and that the body needs it to protect against free radical damage; maintaining adequate levels of Selenium is required for longevity! Consuming lower amounts of Selenium daily results in better absorption of this trace mineral. In a diet rich in the amino acid Methionine, less Selenium is required and thus less is absorbed.

    Soluble fiber also inhibited the absorption of Selenium. Most foods contain Selenium, but the amounts vary depending on the quality of the soil. The below foods are rich in Selenium:. Meat, poultry and natural dairy products. Our bodies need it for making red blood cells, maintaining neuronal health, metabolizing sugar and activating enzymes.

    It can be used to replace zinc or manganese in certain chemical reactions Cobalt or B12 deficiency is one of the leading causes of pernicious anemia. Further symptoms include numbness, fatigue, tingling sensations and impaired neuronal ability. Too much inorganic cobalt in your system is toxic to your heart and will interfere with thyroid performance.


    Some experts claim that excess cobalt may increase blood sugar levels. Vegetarians tend to be deficient in B12 as animal products appear to be the only food source for it. Although cobalt is found in many foods, we can only absorb it in the form of B Some probiotic bacteria convert it into B in our guts, which means that probiotics enhance absorption of cobalt from foods.

    Root and bulb vegetables taken with probiotics. Bromine was originally considered non-essential, but it was recently discovered to have an important function. Bromine is actually quite toxic and tends to replace chlorine in the body in chemical reactions. It can pass the blood brain barrier and has many toxic effects in large quantities. Acute exposure has been known to irritate the skin and eyes, destroy tissues, result in neurological problems, dermatitis, and thyroid imbalance Most people are exposed to toxic levels of Bromine in their drinking water and aught to filter their water to avoid thyroid imbalances and more.

    Bromine is readily absorbed through inhalation, the skin and the gut. Iodine appears to replace bromine in the body and promotes better excretion of excess bromine Nickel is another new essential trace mineral discovery in the human body. We use it in minute quantities for hormonal activity, urea production and metabolism of fats Most people consume excessive amounts of nickel in the form of pollution and pesticides which causes dermatitis and toxicity. Nickel deficiency is incredibly rare and if often a result of malnutrition or starvation. Treating malnutrition would restore the natural balance of Nickel.

    Most people are over-exposed to this trace mineral, which eventually causes heavy metal poisoning and toxicity after accumulating in our tissues. In some cases, excessive nickel has been linked to impaired liver capability and cancer. Nickel is readily absorbed through respiration, the skin and gut. Boron is necessary for healthy bones and plays an important role in bone tissue regeneration. It is also utilized by the body for hormone activation and regulation, such as estrogen and vitamin D.

    Other functions of Boron are found in wound healing, nutrient absorption, antioxidant production, and heavy metal detoxification Many people suffer from a Boron deficiency, which affects hormonal balance as well as bone mineral density. This leads to a whole host of health problems from lack of sleep to metabolic issues. Since Boron plays such a significant role in making antioxidants and reducing free radical damage, a deficiency is linked to increases in cancer and other autoimmune disorders. Further research shows that Boron deficiency seems to be related to impaired electrical activity in the brain.

    This could be due to heavy metal toxicity, hormonal imbalance or impaired magnesium absorption. Boron is one of the main reasons why those who eat a plant-based diet have far less bone health problems, such as osteoporosis and arthritis. As it happens, Boron has many proven anti-cancer benefits too, from preventing tumor growth to destroying cancer cells. Little is known about Boron absorption, although Boron appears to enhance the absorption of Magnesium. Current research reveals that it may enhance the uptake of several other trace minerals too 39!

    Fat-soluble vitamins

    Silicon is needed in trace amounts by the body to cross-link collagen, which in turn makes for firmly toned skin and muscles, as well as healthy bone formation Silicon is mostly deficient in those who have bone regeneration problems, such as osteoporosis patients. Without this trace mineral, building strong healthy bones would be difficult. Since Silicon is needed to form collagen and elastin, a deficiency would also speed up aging and a lack of skin regeneration In recent studies, silicon has shown promise for protecting against atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.

    However, we cannot eat sand or absorb silicon from it in this form. Interestingly, it seems that men absorb more of it than women Many foods are high in silicon as it is so abundant in nature.

    The below foods contained higher amounts of silicon when tested:. Bananas and fiber-rich foods. Little is known about vanadium as a trace mineral. Researchers believe that it plays a role in hormonal function, cholesterol, and sugar metabolism, but are still in two minds about whether it is essential or not.