Trace minerals include copper, cobalt, iron, manganese, iodine, zinc, fluoride, and selenium. These trace minerals are only needed in relatively small amounts. However, they are needed by the body to accomplish different roles in the body.
Copper is an essential trace mineral required by the body. It works along with iron to form red blood cells in the body. In this way, copper can help maintain healthy blood vessels, nerves, and immune system. It may also help prevent cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. Copper also helps with energy production, tissue formation and iron metabolism. The U.S. recommended daily allowance is 800 micrograms for adults. Copper is found in foods like seafood, nuts, seeds, and grains.
Cobalt is used for vitamin B12 absorption. Cobalt assists with blood cell production and nervous system function. One of the things it does is help in the repair of myelin, a structure that surrounds and protects nerve cells. This is one of the trace minerals that can also help treat anemia and contagious diseases.
Iron is a component of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a substance in red blood cells that is responsible for carrying oxygen from your lungs to all the tissues and organs inside the body. Iron is also a critical component of many proteins and enzymes. The recommended daily allowance for men is 8 micrograms and 18 micrograms for women.
Manganese helps with enzyme metabolism, bone development, and wound healing. It is involved in the processing of carbohydrates, proteins, and cholesterol. It has an antioxidant role in sub cellular energy. It is found in tea, nuts, legumes, seeds, and leafy green vegetables. The daily recommended allowance for men and women is 2.3 and 1.8 micrograms, respectively.
Iodine is an essential trace mineral required for the production of thyroid hormone. Since the body does not make iodine, iodine is an essential part of your diet for proper thyroid function. Fortunately, it is naturally found in seafood, eggs, and poultry. In addition, table salt in the U.S. is an “iodized” salt that contains iodine. The recommended daily dose of iodine is 150 micrograms.
Zinc plays many different roles in the body! The body needs zinc for proper growth, development, and maintenance. This is one of the trace minerals that is required in numerous biological reactions including wound healing, blood clotting as well as for thyroid, neurological, reproductive, and immune function. This trace mineral also forms a part of the cell membranes.
Fluoride is one of the trace minerals that is found naturally in soil, water and food. Fluoride hardens the tooth enamel and help stabilize the mineral in bones. Fluoride is added to the tap water in the U.S. Research indicates that too much fluoride can cause damage to tooth enamel and bones.
Selenium plays a key role in metabolism. It is an antioxidant that can protect the body from cell damage. This mineral is found in the soil and many foods including beef, poultry, walnuts, Brazil nuts, and some fish. Research suggests that it may reduce a man’s risk of getting prostate cancer. Natural sources are better than supplements because the mineral can be destroyed during processing. The U.S. recommended daily allowance for adults and children 14 and up is 55 micrograms.
As stated, trace minerals are needed in relatively small amounts. However, a lack of trace mineral can lead to deficiencies and related health problems.