What is food mineral?

Minerals are inorganic elements that originate in the earth and cannot be made in the body. They play important roles in various bodily functions and are necessary to sustain life and maintain optimal health, and thus are essential nutrients.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Some of minerals required by our body

The human body is electric and electrolytes are the ‘wires’ within the body which conduct that electricity.

Among major electrolytes in the human body are: cobalt, copper, fluorine, magnesium, sulfur.

Magnesium
Magnesium as a cation in the body ranks in overall abundance, but intracellularly it is second only to potassium. The human body contains about 760 mg of magnesium at birth, approximately 5 g at age 4-5 months, and 25 g when adult.

It serves as an essential cofactor for many important cellular enzymes. Magnesium complex with adenosine triphosphate severs as a substrate for enzymatic reaction mediating muscle contraction and relaxation.

Adequate stores of magnesium are required for the body to maintain the proper electrolyte balance, and balance electrolyte system is required for good health.

Magnesium is a minor component of bones and is present in soft tissue cells. Deficiency of magnesium is unusual, since most vegetable, cereals and cereal flours, beans, and nuts contain adequate amounts to take care of daily requirements.

Beverages rich in magnesium are coffee, tea and coca.

Sulfur 
All body proteins contain sulfur, for it is a component of some amino acids. The primarily placement of sulfur in the human body is in the sulfur containing amino acids, which are methionine, cysteine, cystine, homo-cysteine, homo –cystine, and taurine.

As a result of those relationship the sulfur moiety is incorporated into a number of end products, three of which, glutathione, taurine and proteins, have important roles in immune function.

Certain vitamins also contain sulfur, required for the function of some enzyme systems. Meats, fish, cheese, eggs, beans, nuts, and oatmeal are all good sources of sulfur.

Researchers have explored the allysulfur compounds found in garlic as antithrombotic and anticancer treatments.

Fluorine
A major function of fluoride is its stability to promote mineral precipitation from meta-stable solutions of calcium and phosphate, resulting in the formation of apatite.

It is important to protect the teeth against the development of cavities. Fluoride may function in part by associating with hydroxyapatite in teeth and to a lesser degree, bone.

Drinking water is the chief source of fluorine and fish is also a good source of this element. In high concentrations, fluorine is poisonous.

Copper 
Copper is required for some body enzyme systems and is present in trace amounts in all tissues.

Copper containing enzymes have many functions, including acting as an antioxidant, participating in the electron transport chain, and aiding the biosynthesis of the pigment melanin and the connective tissue proteins collagen and elastin.

The copper deficiency in human system results in inability to utilize iron stored in the liver. The excess of copper in human body is harmful.

A disease known as Wilson disease, upsets the copper metabolism of human system in such a way that to gets deposited in excess in the liver, kidney and brain.

Like fluorine, copper is poisonous in high concentrations. Fruits, beans, peas, corns, flour, rye, oats, eggs, liver, fish and oyster are adequate sources of copper. Dietary deficiency of copper is unknown.

Cobalt 
Cobalt is an essential trace element in the diet. An adult human’s body contains about 3 milligrams of cobalt in vitamin B12, which is also called cobalamin. Occurs in only minute traces in body tissues and the main storage area is the liver.

Cobalt is required to maintain normal bone marrow function and required for development and maturation of red blood cells. Excess do cobalt results in overproduction of red blood cells causing polycythemia.

It also helps the nervous system to work properly.

Sufficient amounts of cobalt are present in most foods, and some may absorbed from cooking utensils. Excessive amounts of cobalt cause toxic effects. Dietary deficiency of cobalt is unknown.
Some of minerals required by our body
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