121 Microminerals

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Proteins     Fats   Carbohydrates

   Fiber    Water      Vitamins
  About 17 minerals are considered ‘essential’ to
humans… required for proper functioning and good
  health. Seven of them are macrominerals. The
   remaining ten are needed by the body in daily
   amounts of 0.01g or less. They are called the
  Iron (Fe) is a key element in the metabolism of almost
    all living organisms. In humans, iron is an essential
     component of hundreds of proteins and enzymes.

                                    Hemoglobin and myoglobin
                                       of the blood are iron-
                                    containing proteins that are
                                   involved in the transport and
                                        storage of oxygen.

                                    An iron-containing enzyme
                                        is required for DNA
                                    synthesis. Iron is required
 Anemia results in a decreased         for a number of vital
amount of oxygen being delivered   functions, including growth,
          to the cells.             reproduction, healing, and
                                         immune function.
                                          The amount of iron in food (or
                                       supplements) that is absorbed and
                                        used by the body is influenced by
Heme iron is found mostly in meat,
                                         the iron nutritional status of the
fish, and poultry. It is more readily
                                        individual and whether or not the
   absorbed than nonheme iron.
                                          iron is in the ‘heme’ (hēm) or
                                      ‘nonheme’ form. Individuals who are
                                        anemic or iron deficient absorb a
                                        larger percentage of the iron they
                                      consume (especially nonheme iron)
                                      than individuals who are not anemic
                                         and have sufficient iron stores.

Nonheme iron is found in plants, dairy
products, meat, and iron salts added to
      foods and supplements. The
absorption of nonheme iron is strongly
 influenced by other foods in the same
  meal such as ‘enhancers’ (vitamin C)
and inhibitors (polyphenols like coffee
        and tea, and soy protein).
  The recommended daily allowance of iron is:
  Adolescents 14-18 years: 11mg for males and 15mg for females
  Adults 19-50 years: 8 mg for males and 18mg for females
  Adults 51 years and older: 8mg for males and 8 mg for females
  Overdoses of iron are the leading       An iron deficiency eventually
    cause of poisoning fatalities in    results in iron deficiency anemia.
    children under 6 years of age.            Symptoms may include
   Symptoms may include nausea,           paleness, fatigue, rapid heart
vomiting, abdominal pain, tarry stools,    rate, palpitations, and rapid
 lethargy, weak and rapid pulse, low        breathing on exertion. Iron
   blood pressure, fever, difficulty        deficiency impairs athletic
         breathing, and coma.            performance and physical work
                                            capacity, and the ability to
                                              maintain a normal body
                                           temperature on exposure to
                                        cold. Severe cases may result in
                                         brittle and spoon-shaped nails,
                                            sores at the corners of the
                                         mouth, taste bud atrophy, and a
                                                    sore tongue.
                                               Iodine (I), a non-metallic
                                              trace element, is required
  Thyroid hormones regulate a number of           by humans for the
physiologic processes, including growth and      synthesis of thyroid
repair of tissues, metabolism, functioning of         hormones.
 nerves and muscles, reproductive function,
 development of the fetus, and the condition
      of the skin, hair, teeth, and nails.

  The iodine content of most foods depends
   on the iodine content of the soil. Seafood
    is rich in iodine because marine animals
can concentrate the abundant levels of iodine
   in seawater. Certain types of seaweed are
also very rich in iodine. Processed foods may
contain slightly higher levels of iodine due to
 the addition of iodized salt or food additives,
such as calcium iodate and potassium iodate.
Dairy products are relatively good sources of
iodine because iodine is commonly added to
               animal feed in the U.S.
Salt (iodized) 1 gram   77mcg
Cod 3 ounces 99mcg
Milk (cow's) 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) 56mcg
Turkey breast, baked 3 ounces 34mcg
Tuna, canned in oil   3 ounces (1/2 can)   17mcg
Adolescents 14-18 years   150mcg/day for males and females
                          900 UL (upper tolerable limit)
Adults 19 years+   150 mcg/day for males and females
                   1,100 UL (upper tolerable limit)

 The spectrum of IDD (iodine deficiency
 disorders) includes mental retardation,
   hypothyroidism, goiter, and varying
      degrees of other growth and
 developmental abnormalities. Goiter, or
 the enlargement of the thyroid gland, is
   one of the earliest and most visible
        signs of iodine deficiency.
  Acute iodine poisoning from overdose is
 rare and usually occurs only with doses of
  many grams. Symptoms of acute iodine
  poisoning include burning of the mouth,
     throat, and stomach; fever; nausea;
vomiting; diarrhea; a weak pulse; and coma.
   Zinc (Zn) is an essential trace element for all forms of
    life. The significance of zinc in human nutrition and
          public health wasn’t recognized until 1961.
  Numerous aspects of cellular
metabolism are zinc-dependent.
  Zinc plays important roles in
  growth and development, the
immune response, neurological
 function, and reproduction. On
the cellular level, the function of
  zinc can be divided into three
     categories: 1) catalytic, 2)
 structural (of proteins and cell
  membranes, and 3) regulatory
  (binds to DNA and influences
    the transmission of genes)
                                         Shellfish, beef, and other red
                                           meats are rich sources of
   The zinc in whole grain products       zinc. Nuts and legumes are
  and plant proteins is more difficult   relatively good plant sources
for the body to absorb. The enzymatic                of zinc.
  action of yeast in leavened whole
  grain breads improves absorption.

Oysters   6 medium (cooked) 76.3mg
Beef 3 ounces (cooked) 6.0mg
Turkey (dark meat) 3 ounces (cooked) 3.8mg
Milk   1 cup (8 ounces)   1.8mg
Beans, baked    1/2 cup   1.8mg
  Adolescents 14-18 years 11mg/day for males 9 mg/day for females
  Adults 19 years and older 11mg/day for males 8mg/day for females
    The symptoms of severe zinc
  deficiency include the slowing or
       cessation of growth and
    development, delayed sexual
   maturation, characteristic skin
rashes, chronic and severe diarrhea,
    immune system deficiencies,
impaired wound healing, diminished
 appetite, impaired taste sensation,
    night blindness, swelling and
       clouding of the corneas,
    and behavioral disturbances.
  Overdoses of zinc have occurred as a result of the consumption of
  food or beverages from galvanized containers. Signs of acute zinc
  toxicity are abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Single
  doses of 225 to 450 mg of zinc usually induce vomiting. Long-term
             excesses of zinc result in copper deficiencies.
 Copper (Cu) is an essential trace element for humans and animals. In
the body, copper shifts between the cuprous (Cu1+) and cupric (Cu2+)
 forms, though the majority of the body's copper is in the Cu2+ form.
 The ability of copper to easily accept and donate electrons explains
   its important role in oxidation-reduction (redox) reactions and in
                        scavenging free radicals.
      Copper is a critical
  functional component of a
     number of essential
    enzymes. One of these
 enzymes helps maintain the
integrity of connective tissue
    in the heart and blood
vessels and also plays a role
  in bone formation. Others                          Dark chocolate
   help metabolize iron and                          has high levels
   contribute to the correct                           of dietary
 functioning of the brain and                           copper.
       nervous system.
                                           Remember this slide and
                                           how antioxidants work?

   This is a free                                  Now that the radical
 radical with one     This is the antioxidant.
                        He prevents the free      has two electrons, he
unpaired electron.                               is no longer free to do
                      radical from continuing
 He is destroying        his destruction, by              harm.
   fat and some         giving him an extra      More free radicals may
   proteins, and       electron to hold onto.    be created as a result
accelerating aging                                of tobacco, alcohol,
in a process called   COPPER EASILY FINDS
                       FREE RADICALS AND          stress, lack of sleep,
 oxidation… while                                     poor diet, and
  trying to find a          DONATES
                          ELECTRONS!                    pollution.
 second electron.
                                          Copper is found in a wide
                                             variety of foods.
It is most plentiful in organ meats, shellfish, nuts, and seeds. Wheat
    bran cereals and whole grain products are also good sources.
 The tolerable upper intake level (UL) of copper is:
 Adolescents 14-18 years       8,000 mcg/day
 Adults 19 years and older 10,000 mcg/day        900 mcg is the RDA
Copper deficiency may present itself
as a form of anemia or in abnormally
 low numbers of white blood cells,
     accompanied by increased
susceptibility to infection; low body
   temperature, bone fractures and
 osteoporosis, irregular heartbeat,
  loss of skin pigment, and thyroid
Copper overdose has occurred through the
 contamination of beverages by long-term
storage in copper-containing containers or
water standing in copper pipes. Symptoms of
  acute copper toxicity include abdominal pain,
nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Of more concern
from a nutritional standpoint is the possibility of
liver damage resulting from long-term exposure
            to lower doses of copper.
  Manganese (Mn) is a mineral found in large
quantities in both plant and animal matter, but        It aids in the
  only trace amounts can be found in human             formation of
tissue. Manganese is predominantly stored in       connective tissue,
    the bones, liver, kidney, and pancreas.           bones, blood-
                                                  clotting factors, and
                                                   sex hormones and
                                                    plays a role in fat
                                                   and carbohydrate
                                                  metabolism, calcium
                                                     absorption, and
                                                       blood sugar
                                                   Manganese is also
                                                      necessary for
                                                    normal brain and
                                                  nerve function. Like
                                                     copper, it is an
  Whole grains are a major source of dietary manganese. Refined
grains provide only half the amount of manganese as whole grains.
 Other rich dietary sources of manganese include nuts and seeds,
           legumes, pineapples, and green or black teas.
   The adequate intake (AI) for manganese is 2.3 mg/day
      for adult men and 1.8 mg/day for adult women.
Manganese rarely causes side effects
   when taken orally, but there are
      numerous symptoms when
 manganese is ‘inhaled’ (such as by
industrial workers or miners or taken
    intravenously, such as loss of
  appetite, headaches, leg cramps,
muscle rigidity, tremors, convulsions,
 extreme irritability, acts of violence,
           and hallucinations. Low levels of manganese in the body
                             can contribute to infertility, bone malformation,
                                 weakness, and seizures. Since calcium,
                               phosphorous, and manganese work closely
                              together in the body, dietary requirements of
                                manganese may increase as calcium and
 Malformation at end of bone     phosphorous consumption increases.
Fluorine (F) occurs naturally as the negatively charged ion, fluoride(F-).
Fluoride is considered a trace element because only small amounts are
  present in the body (about 2.6 grams in adults), and because the daily
   requirement for maintaining dental health is only a few milligrams a
  day. About 95% of the total body fluoride is found in bones and teeth.
  Although humans do not require fluoride for growth or to sustain life,
   its role in the prevention of tooth decay is well established. Fluoride
              hardens tooth enamel and stabilizes bone mineral.
Fluoride is absorbed in
the stomach and small
 intestine. Once in the
blood stream it rapidly
   enters mineralized
    tissue (bones and
 developing teeth). At
   usual intake levels,
     fluoride does not
   accumulate in soft
                                                     The major source of
                                                    dietary fluoride in the
                                                     U.S. diet is drinking
                                                      water. Most home
                                                      water filters do not
                                                       remove fluoride,
                                                    however most bottled
                                                        water is low in
                                                    toothpastes also add
                                                     fluoride to the body.

Rich sources of fluoride include tea, which concentrates fluoride in its
   leaves, and marine fish that are consumed with their bones (e.g.,
 sardines). Foods made with mechanically separated (boned) chicken,
such as canned meats, hot dogs, and infant foods, also add fluoride to
the diet. In addition, certain fruit juices, particularly grape juices, often
               have relatively high fluoride concentrations.
Adolescents 14-18 years       3.0 mg/day males    3.0 mg/day females
Adults 19 years and older    4.0 mg/day males      3.0 mg/day females
  In humans, the only clear effect of inadequate fluoride intake is an
increased risk of dental caries (tooth decay) for individuals of all ages.

Researchers estimate
 that children under 6
years of age ingest an
 average of 0.3 mg of
     fluoride from
fluoridated toothpaste
  with each brushing.

 Children under the age of 6 years who ingest more than 2 or 3 times
  the recommended fluoride intake are at increased risk of a white
   speckling or mottling of the permanent teeth, known as dental
                                                        Chromium (Cr) is an
                                                       essential mineral that
The dietary form of chromium                             is not made by the
     is known as trivalent                               body and must be
  chromium, or chromium III.                              obtained from the
Chromium is important in the                                    diet.
    metabolism of fats and
  carbohydrates . Chromium
   stimulates fatty acid and
 cholesterol synthesis, which
    are important for brain
   function and other body
    processes. Chromium
appears to enhance the action
          of insulin.

    Non-dietary chromium is known as             The pancreas produces the
hexavalent chromium (VI), used for industrial
                                                  hormone insulin, which
 purposes. It is a strong skin irritant and is
                                                 acts like a key…unlocking
recognized as a carcinogen (causes cancer)
                when inhaled.                    cells and allowing them to
                                                       absorb glucose.
  Processed meats, whole grain products, ready-to-eat bran
cereals, green beans, broccoli, and spices are relatively rich in
chromium. Foods high in simple sugars, such as sucrose and
fructose, are not only low in chromium but have been found to
                    promote chromium loss
AI levels:
Adolescents 14-18 yrs 35 mcg/day for males      24 mcg/day for females
Adults 19 to 50 years 35 mcg/day for males     25 mcg/day for females

   No adverse effects have been
   convincingly associated with
excess intake of chromium (III) from
       food or supplements

                            Chromium supplements
                            have been promoted as a
                            way to build muscle and
                             lose weight. There is no
                               scientific evidence to
                                   support this.
 Selenium (Se) is required for the functioning of several selenium-
dependent enzymes called selenoproteins. These selenoproteins are
 antioxidant enzymes, which play a role in preventing cell damage.
                                             Selenium appears to
                                          stimulate antibodies after
                                          you receive a vaccination.
                                           It also may help protect
                                               the body from the
                                             poisonous effects of
                                           heavy metals and other
                                             harmful substances.
                                             After a calf was fed a
                                           selenium-deficient diet, it
                                             died of a heart attack.
                                           This cross-section of its
                                           heart shows a white area
                                             or dead tissue in the
Plant foods, such as vegetables, are the most common dietary
sources of selenium. How much selenium is the vegetables you eat
depends on how much of the mineral was in the soil where the plants
grew. Fish, shellfish, red meat, grains, eggs, chicken, liver, and garlic
are all good sources of selenium. Meats produced from animals that
ate grains or plants found in selenium-rich soil have higher levels of

Brewer's yeast, used in the production of
   beer and wine, is a good source of
   selenium…but can cause bloating.
       The UL (upper tolerable level) of selenium is 400 mcg/day for
                            adolescents and adults.
Too much selenium in the blood can cause a
  condition called selenosis. Selenosis can
 cause loss of hair, nail brittleness, nausea,
 irritability, fatigue, and mild nerve damage.
         Other symptoms may include
gastrointestinal disturbances, skin rashes, a
  garlic breath odor, fatigue, irritability, and
        nervous system abnormalities.
                               Selenium deficiency is rare in people in the
                              United States. However, selenium deficiency
                            may occur when a person is fed through a vein
                                (IV line) for long periods of time. Keshan
                            disease is caused by a deficiency of selenium,
                             leading to an abnormality of the heart muscle.
                            Kashin-Beck disease, which results in joint and
                                 bone disease, is also linked to selenium
Molybdenum (Mo) is an essential trace element for virtually all life
  forms. It functions as a cofactor for a number of enzymes that
catalyze important chemical reactions in the carbon, nitrogen and
                            sulfur cycles.

  Enzymes are catalysts.
 An enzyme has a protein
  component and a non-
  protein component… a
  cofactor. Molybdenum
       is a cofactor.

 This leg bone of a sheep
shows painful, bony knobs
 caused by an excess of
  dietary molybdenum.
Legumes, such as beans, lentils, and peas, are the richest sources of
molybdenum. Grain products and nuts are considered good sources,
 while animal products, fruits, and many vegetables are generally low
in molybdenum. Because the molybdenum content of plants depends
on the soil molybdenum content and other environmental conditions,
       the molybdenum content of foods can vary considerably.
 Adolescents 14-18 years    43 mcg/day for males and females
 Adults 19 years and older 45 mcg/day for males and females
 Deficiencies are rare, especially considering
that the average dietary intake of molybdenum
 in the U.S. averages 76 mcg/day for women
           and 109 mcg/day for men.
Patients fed strictly
 through IV’s and
     deprived of
  developed rapid
      heart and                                   Extreme overdose:
 respiratory rates,                              acute psychosis with
  headache, night                                   hallucinations,
   blindness, and                                 seizures, and other
ultimately became                                     neurologic
     comatose.                                   symptoms; gout-like
  Cobalt (Co) is a naturally occurring
   element in the earth’s crust. It is a
  very small part of our environment
  and very small amounts are needed
      for good health. Cobalt is a
      component of Vitamin B12.

 As a component of Vitamin
B12, cobalt helps red blood
  cell production, nervous
  system function, sperm
 production, normal growth
 and the proper function of
 the immune system. It has
also been shown to improve
memory and concentration.
Industrial sources of cobalt in:
Chemistry/crystal sets
Dyes and pigments (Cobalt Blue)
                                   Dietary sources of cobalt are the
Drill bits and machine tools
                                 same as vitamin B12, such as foods
                                 of animal origin or fermented foods
                                   where the bacteria produce the
                                  vitamin. Organ meats are the best
                                 source of vitamin B12 (liver, kidney,
                                  heart, and pancreas), followed by
                                   clams, oysters, extra-lean beef,
                                   seafood, eggs, milk and yogurt,
                                      chicken, cheese, and miso.

   Miso is a fermented soy product with the consistency of peanut
  butter. It has a strong, savory flavor and is often used in Japanese
                            soups and sauces.
  The RDA for cobalt has not been set,
 but should be considered the same as
   for Vitamin B12, around 1.5 mcg/day
           (micrograms per day)
Cobalt poisoning can occur when you
    are exposed to large amounts of
cobalt. You can swallow too much of
 it, breathe too much into your lungs,
                                       Above: lamb on cobalt deficient
  or have it come in constant contact              diet
with your skin. Industrial exposure to  Below: lamb with normal diet
       high amounts of cobalt and
  consumption of beer contaminated
with excessive amounts of cobalt can
        produce heart problems.
A deficiency in cobalt is ultimately a
deficiency in vitamin B12 and would
be characterized by fatigue, diarrhea,
   depression, nerve damage, and

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