The common minerals present in the body in large amounts (macrominerals) include the following:
1. Calcium. Vital for the proper function of all cells; also essential for proper bone formation and maintenance. Supplementation not generally recommended, except to acutely support healing. Even in the presence of osteoporosis, calcium supplementation has strong counterbalancing negatives, promoting most other degenerative diseases, including cancer and heart disease.
Common dietary sources: sardines, clams and oysters; turnip greens, mustard greens, broccoli, peas, beans; fruits. Note that pasteurized milk and milk products, fortified with vitamin D, deliver too much calcium to tissues other than the bones, promoting degenerative diseases.
2. Chloride. Major cellular anion, maintaining pH balance, activating enzymes, and essential for the formation of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Except for using sodium chloride (table salt) to taste, no specific supplementation is required.
Common dietary sources: table salt, seafood, meat, eggs.
3. Magnesium. Vital for bone formation. Essential for activating many different enzymes; involved in protein synthesis and nerve impulse transmission. When a magnesium deficiency exists, bioavailable magnesium supplementation can increase bone mass. Consider supplementing with 20 to 100 milligrams of a properly chelated form. Higher doses can be used temporarily to help mobilize excess accumulations of calcium in the body as reflected on hair analysis. Common dietary sources: nuts, peas, beans, cereal grains, corn, carrots, seafood, brown rice, parsley, spinach.
4. Phosphorus. Companion mineral to calcium; activator of many different enzymes. Generally should not be supplemented, for the same reasons as calcium.
Common dietary sources: meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, peas, beans, grains.
5. Potassium. Important cellular electrolyte; integrally involved with calcium and sodium in proper cell membrane function. Consider supplementing when blood or hair levels are low, but only with proper follow-up of subsequent blood and hair levels with a competent health care practitioner. Common dietary sources: avocado, fruits, potatoes, beans, tomato, wheat bran, eggs.
6. Sodium. Important cellular electrolyte, along with calcium and potassium. Generally needs only to be supplemented as table salt to taste.
Common dietary sources: table salt, meat, seafood, vegetables.
7. Sulfur. Important component of some amino acids. Consider supplementation only with organic forms such as MSM. Common dietary sources: high-protein foods such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, peas, nuts, beans.
The common minerals present in the body in small or trace amounts (microminerals) include the following:
1. Boron. Important for maintaining bone strength and structure. Consider supplementing with 100 to 200 micrograms daily of a chelated form.
Common dietary sources: fruits, vegetables, peas, beans, nuts.
2. Chromium. Important for the proper interaction of insulin and blood glucose. Consider supplementing with 25 to 50 micrograms daily of a chelated form.
Common dietary sources: prunes, nuts, asparagus, organ meats, grains.
3. Copper. Required for the proper use of iron by the body. Easy to overdose and hard to be frankly deficient. In general, avoid supplementing with copper; if supplementation is taken, be certain that the copper is in a chelated form, take no more than 1 milligram daily, and regularly reevaluate the need for ongoing supplementation.
Common dietary sources: liver, seafood (especially shellfish), grains, peas, beans, nuts, eggs, meats, poultry.
4. Iodine. Required for thyroid hormone synthesis. Consider supplementing with 150 micrograms daily of a form such as potassium iodide.
Common dietary sources: iodized salt, saltwater seafood, eggs, beef liver, peanuts, spinach, pumpkin, broccoli.
5. Iron. Required for the synthesis of red blood cells. Generally, men and postmenopausal women should never supplement iron, since it can easily accumulate to toxic levels in the absence of loss by bleeding. Menstruating women should consider supplementing under the guidance of a health care practitioner.
Common dietary sources: meat, especially organ meats such as liver; clams and oysters; peas, beans, nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables, fruits, grains.
6. Manganese. Important for normal brain function and numerous enzyme systems. Consider supplementing with 2 to 4 milligrams daily of a chelated form.
Common dietary sources: wheat bran, peas, beans, nuts, lettuce, blueberries, pineapple, seafood, poultry, meat.
7. Molybdenum. Important for the metabolism of the building blocks of DNA and RNA. Consider supplementing with 10 to 20 micrograms daily of a chelated form.
Common dietary sources: soybeans, lentils, buckwheat, oats, rice.
8. Selenium. Protects cells against free radicals; also helps neutralize heavy metals such as mercury. Consider supplementing with 10 to 20 micrograms daily of a chelated form. Men with higher levels of selenium appear to have a lower risk of prostate cancer than men with lower levels.
Common dietary sources: grains, meats, poultry, fish.
9. Zinc. Important for energy metabolism and the function of many enzymatic systems. Consider supplementing with 5 to 15 milligrams daily of a chelated form.
Common dietary sources: oysters, wheat germ, beef liver, dark poultry meats, grains.
Finally, don't take a large variety of different supplements each of which contains several vitamins or minerals. You can easily exceed the recommended dosages. Many preparations include various other nutrients along with the "featured" nutrient. Do your arithmetic, and don't overdo it!
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A time for giving and receiving, getting closer with the ones we love and marking the end of another year and all the eating also. We eat because the food is yummy and plentiful but we don't usually count calories at this time of year. This book will help you do just this.