Trace minerals part -2 - Requirements, Importances, Food sources, and Deficiencies image

Trace Minerals Part -2 - Requirements, Importances, Food Sources, And Deficiencies

Minerals are classified mainly into two categories:

1). Major Minerals,

  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Sodium
  • Chloride
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • sulfur

2). TraceMinerals

  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Selenium
  • Iodine
  • Chromium
  • Fluoride
  • Manganese
  • molybdenum

Copper (Cu)

Required amount

The Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) is

  • For Adults, men and women above 19 years of age, it is 900-1000 mcg daily.
  • In pregnancy and lactation, it is increased up to 1300 mcg daily.

Importance :

  • Nutritionally, copper is an essential Traceelement found in soil, water, and rocks.
  • It works to assist various enzymes that produce energy for the body, break down and Absorb iron, and build red blood cells(RBC), collagen, connective tissue, and brain neurotransmitters.
  • Copper also supports normal brain development and immune functions and is a component of superoxide dismutase, an Antioxidant enzyme that destroys harmful oxygen "free radicals." 
  • Abnormal copper levels result from genetic mutations, aging, or environmental influences that may predispose to conditions such as cancer, inflammation, and neurodegeneration.

Food sources :

Copper(Cu) is found in the highest amounts in protein foods like meats, shellfish, fish, Nuts, Seeds, whole grains, coarsely powdered flour, and chocolate.

  • Chickpeas
  • Millet
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Beef liver
  • Oysters, crab
  • Salmon
  • Dark unsweetened chocolate
  • Cashews
  • Sunflower, Sesame Seeds
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach

Deficiencies :

A copper deficiency is rare, but it occurs primarily in people with genetic disorders(Menkes disease) or having Absorption problems such as Crohn's and celiac disease.

It is also possible to create by taking high doses of zinc supplements(medicine) that can block the Absorption of copper(Cu) in the small intestine.

Signs of deficiency include:

  • Anemia, fatigue, weakness
  • High cholesterol
  • Osteoporosis, bone fractures, and nerves are damaged, which can cause tingling and Loss of Sensation in the feet and hands.
  • Increased infections
  • Loss of skin pigment. 

Chromium (Cr)

Required amount

The dietary recommended amount,

  • For men above 19 years of age, it is 35 mcg daily.
  • For women above 19 years of age, it is 25 mcg daily.
  • In pregnancy and lactation, it is increased up to 45 mcg daily.

Importance :

 It stimulates fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis.

  • Chromium is a Vital Trace amount.
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin) and Vitamin C(ascorbic acid) help improve chromium absorption.
  • Chromium(Cr) enhances the action of the hormone insulin. It is also involved in the breakdown and Absorption of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
  •  It stimulates fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis.

Food sources :

Chromium(Cr) is found in small amounts in various foods.

Chromium may be inadvertently added to food when processed with stainless steel equipment.

  • Whole grains
  • High-fiber Bran Cereals
  • Certain vegetables: broccoli, green beans, potatoes
  • Certain Fruits: apples, bananas
  • Beef
  • Poultry, egg yolks
  • Fish
  • Coffee
  • Brewer's yeast
  • Some brands of beer and red wine

Deficiencies :

A chromium deficiency is rare.

Diets rich in refined sugars can cause more chromium to be excreted in the urine. 

Pregnancy and lactation, as well as physical Stress from infections and trauma, can also increase chromium losses.

Symptoms of chromium deficiency may include 

  • weight loss, 
  • confusion, 
  • a reduced response to sugar (glucose) in the blood, increasing the risk of Diabetes.
  • impaired coordination

Manganese (Mn)

Required amount

The dietary recommended amount is 

  • For Adults above 19 years of age, it is 1.7mg to 2.2mg
  • In pregnancy and lactation, it is increased up to 2.6 mg

Importance :

  • Manganese is an essential Trace element.
  • Manganese is a cofactor for Several enzymes, including pyruvate carboxylase, manganese superoxide dismutase, arginase, etc. 
  • Through the action of these types of enzymes, manganese is involved in reactive oxygen species scavenging, reproduction, immune response, and bone formation.
  • Manganese also plays a crucial role in Blood Clotting and hemostasis in conjunction with Vitamin -K.
  • Manganese also helps metabolize amino acids, cholesterol, and carbohydrates.

Food sources :

  •   Mussels
  •   Hazelnuts
  •   Pecans
  •   Brown rice
  •   Oysters
  •   Clams
  •   Chickpeas
  •   Spinach
  •   Pineapple
  •   Soybeans
  •   Bread, Oatmeal
  •   Tea
  •   Lentils
  •   Potato(flesh and skin)
  •   White rice

Deficiencies :

Manganese deficiency is very rare in humans, and signs/symptoms of deficiency have not been adequately established.

Manganese deficiency may cause 

  • bone de-mineralization,
  • poor growth in children
  • skin rashes, hair depigmentation
  • decreased Serum cholesterol
  • increased alkaline phosphatase activity in men
  • altered mood, as well as improved premenstrual pain in women.
  • Alter lipid and carbohydrate metabolism and lead to abnormal glucose tolerance

Flouride (F)

Recommended amount :

The dietary recommended amount is 

  • For children and teenagers, it is 1-2 mg daily.
  • For Adults above 19 years of age, it is 2mg to 4mg daily.

Importance :

When bacteria in the mouth cavity break down sugar and other carbohydrates, they produce acids that erode the Minerals from tooth enamel. This is called de-mineralization, and this process leads to dental cavities.

Fluoride is beneficial to teeth because it helps to:

  • prevent the growth of harmful oral bacteria
  • rebuild (remineralize) weakened tooth enamel
  • slow down the de-mineralization process
  • reverse early signs of tooth decay

Fluoride is also used:

  • As a cleaning agent.
  • In medical imaging scans like PET scans etc.
  • In pesticides.
  • To make Teflon, aluminum, and steel products.

Food sources :

There are so many food sources of fluoride as below:

  • Coffee,
  • Shrimp, 
  • Bottled water with added fluoride, 
  • Raisins, 
  • Oatmeal, 
  • Grapefruit juice, 
  • Potatoes, 
  • Rice, 
  • Cottage cheese, 
  • Pork chop,
  • Yogurt,
  • Lambchop, 
  • Toothpaste and other dental products containing fluoride
  • Other fluoridated foods and beverages and toothpaste

Deficiencies :

  • Fluoride deficiency can lead to tooth decay and possibly Osteoporosis.

Molybdenum (Mo)

Recommended amount :

The dietary recommended amount is 

  • Adults above 19 years of age are 34-40 mcg daily.
  • In pregnancy and lactation, it is increased up to 50-55 mcg daily.

Importance :

  • It acts as a Cofactor for necessary enzymes like sulfite oxidase (which converts sulfite to sulfate, which prevents the dangerous buildup of sulfites in the body) and Aldehyde oxidase (which breaks down aldehydes that are toxic to the body).
  • In humans and animals, it is associated with the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates.
  • Molybdenum is abundant in human tooth enamel, which is essential to reducing the risk of tooth decay.
  • Molybdenum(Mo) dust and fumes, found in some industrial units, can be toxic (because the dust particles are trapped in the sinuses when inhaled and then swallowed), and direct exposure can cause skin and eye irritation.

Food sources :

Adequate amounts of molybdenum(Mo) can get from a variety of foods, including the following:

  • Legumes such as lima beans and black-eyed peas
  • Beef, chicken, and eggs
  • Whole grains, bananas, rice, Nuts, potatoes, and leafy vegetables
  • Dairy products, cheese like milk, yogurt

Deficiencies :

  • Molybdenum cofactor deficiency is a rare condition characterized by brain dysfunction (encephalopathy) that worsens over a prolonged period. 
  • Babies, at birth time, appear normal although having this condition. But within a week, they have difficulty feeding and develop Seizures(this is not treated later).


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