Good Nutrition Nutrition

Nutrition Notes Topics

Mineral Nutrients

Minerals play a vital role in living systems. Life began in the sea and sea salts in water remain the internal milieu of all living cells. The main sea-water salt, sodium chloride, is the critical determinant of body fluids - held at 0.9% concentration in the human body, sodium intake must neither be deficient nor excessive for the body to function well. Sea water also contains trace minerals that are essential in very small quantities. These include manganese, chromium, selenium, boron and silicon. Descriptions of nutrient minerals can be accessed from the links to the left

Mineral Supplements

The consideration of mineral interactions illustrates the complexity facing any nutritional programming strategy. A practical approach to individual nutritional prescription would seem a hopelessly complicated task. Obviously, an initial step is to stabilize food intake, and then to calculate the probable mineral content of the food supply.

Municipalities who supply drinking water should measure and publish regularly the mineral content of their water. Vegetable growing regions should also sample and publish the mineral levels in their produce, since soil mineral levels will determine vegetable content. Soil mineral content varies from region to region. Before iodized salt, iodide deficient soils caused low thyroid function, associated with a higher incidence of mental retardation cretinism  in children and goiters adults.

With a person's mineral intake data at hand, the mineral ratios can then be checked and adjusted by supplementation. A mineral multi-supplement, containing all the essential minerals in balanced proportions is a practical response to nutritional needs. The prescription of individual mineral supplements in separate bottles would not seem to be a good idea, unless managed by a clever therapist. Better methods of measuring effective tissue concentrations of minerals would be an invaluable asset. Hair analysis is not helpful and blood measurements may mislead, unless the interpreter is fully aware of their limitations.