Minerals Proteins Fats Carbohydrates Fiber Water Vitamins Minerals are elements that originate in the Earth and cannot be made by living organisms. They are, therefore, inorganic. Plants obtain minerals from the soil, and most of the minerals in our diets come directly from plants, however this varies with geographic locale because of soil mineral content. Some minerals come indirectly from animal sources.…not from the beef of the cow, but from the milk of the cow. Minerals may also be present in the water we drink, but this also varies with geographic locale. Like vitamins, minerals often Minerals are sturdy nutrients, serve as coenzymes. They help meaning they will not be destroyed protein form enzymes that during most food preparation speed up body reactions during methods, although some leach out digestion and metabolism. into the water used in various cooking methods. About 17 minerals are considered ‘essential’ to humans… required for proper functioning and good health. Those seven needed in amounts of 0.1 gram or more daily are considered major minerals, or MACROMINERALS. An ion is an atom or group of atoms that carries a positive or negative electric charge as a result of having lost or gained one or more electrons. Sodium is a ‘cation’ (kăt'ī‘on) or a positively charged ion… NA+. Chloride is an ‘anion’ (ăn'ī'ən) or the negatively charged ion of chlorine… Cl¯. Together they form SALT. Sodium and chloride are essential macrominerals. Approximately 75% of your daily salt intake in the U.S. comes from processed and manufactured foods. The remaining 25% comes naturally in foods and from adding salt to foods at the table. The lowest salt intakes are associated with diets that emphasize unprocessed foods, especially fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Absorption of sodium in the small intestine plays an important role in the absorption of chloride, proteins (amino acids), carbohydrates (glucose), and water. Chloride, in the form of hydrochloric acid (HCl), is also an important component of gastric juice, which aids the digestion and absorption of many nutrients. Sodium also helps the body to retain water and prevent dehydration, and may have some activity as an antibacterial. Endocrine glands, such as the pituitary, thyroid, adrenals, and pancreas work with the kidneys to regulate sodium levels. They ‘sense’ changes in blood pressure and volume. Blood pressure is a measure of the force blood exerts on the walls of blood vessels. When blood pressure is low, the kidneys hold onto sodium and the body responds by holding onto water. This increases blood volume and blood pressure. When blood pressure is high, the kidneys release sodium, and the result is water loss in the body. Blood volume and blood pressure decrease. Sodium has functions that go beyond dietary benefits. Salt has a reputation as a germ killer. Some people use a sodium solution as an antibacterial mouthwash to combat microorganisms that cause sore throats or inflamed gums. Plain saltwater soaks have also been recommended as a remedy for sweaty feet. Saltwater soaks have been used by some to relieve sore or aching muscles and even appear to have some therapeutic value in treating arthritis. Salt is believed to have a drying effect by soaking up excess perspiration. Sodium and chloride are electrolytes, meaning they are the positively and negatively ionized salts in body fluids, primarily those outside the cells including blood plasma. When sodium is dissolved in bodily fluids, its mild electrical charge is necessary for normal functioning of nerve transmissions and muscle contractions. Sodium works hand-in-hand with another mineral, potassium, to maintain the concentration and pH (alkalinity and acidity) balance of intra- and extra- cellular fluids. This balance is referred to as ‘membrane potential’, and will be discussed in the section of this lesson on potassium. The AI or Adequate Intake Level for adolescents and adults ages 14-50 years is 1.5 g sodium or 3.8 g salt per day for males and females, based on the amount needed to replace losses through sweat in moderately active people and to achieve a diet that provides sufficient amounts of other essential nutrients . Food Serving Sodium (g) Salt (g) Hot dog, beef 1 0.51 1.3 Dill pickle 1 spear 0.30 0.8 Fish sandwich 1 0.94 2.4 w/ tartar sauce sandwich Ham 3 oz. 1.0 2.5 Pretzels 10 (2 oz.) 1.0 2.5 Chicken Noodle 1 cup 1.4 3.4 Soup (canned) Macaroni & 1 cup 1.3 3.3 Cheese (canned) Potato Chips 8 oz. bag 1.2 3.0 Food Serving Sodium (g) Salt (g) Olive oil 1 tbsp. 0.000 0.000 Orange juice from 8 oz. 0.000 0.000 frozen concentrate glass Fruit cocktail, 1 cup 0.009 0.023 canned Carrot 1 medium 0.042 0.105 Tomato 1 medium 0.006 0.015 Potato Chips, 8 oz. bag 0.018 0.045 unsalted Popcorn, air- 1 cup 0.001 0.003 popped & unsalted Sodium and chloride deficiencies do not generally result from inadequate dietary intake, even in those on very low-salt diets. Children with cystic fibrosis have increased sodium and chloride concentrations in their sweat. Hyponatremia (hī'pō-nə-trē'mē-ə) is the deficiency of sodium levels in the blood. It may result from excessive water intake or fluid retention, or if losses from heavy sweating are not replaced. Conditions that increase the loss of sodium and chloride include severe or prolonged vomiting or diarrhea, excessive and persistent sweating, the use of some diuretics, and some forms of kidney disease. Symptoms of hyponatremia include headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps, twitching or weakness, fatigue, memory loss, lack of concentration, disorientation, and fainting. Acute or severe hyponatremia has been recognized as a potential problem in individuals competing in very long endurance exercise events such as marathons or Ironman triathlons. It has been speculated that the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) used for joint and muscle pain may increase the risk of exercise-related hyponatremia by impairing water excretion… even if fluid intake is modest. Aspirin Clinoril (sulindac) Daypro (oxaprozin) Feldene (piroxicam) Indocin (indomethacin) Lodine (etodolac) Meclomen (meclofenamate) Mobic (meloxicam) Motrin, Advil (ibuprofen) Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn (naproxen sodium) Orudis (ketoprofen) Relafen (nabumetone) Partial list of common NSAIDS: Tolectin (tolmetin sodium) Voltaren, Arthrotec (diclofenac) Recent surveys have found that the average dietary salt intake in the U.S. is 7.8-11.8 grams/day for adult men and 5.8- 7.8 grams/day for adult women… and those did NOT include salt added to food at the table. This exceeds the 3.8 grams recommended per day and the 5.8 grams that is considered the maximum safe intake level. Excess sodium can increase the risk of edema (swelling, particularly in joints, caused by an accumulation of fluids) and high blood pressure. Hypernatremia is an abnormally high blood plasma sodium level developed from excess water loss, and frequently accompanied by an impaired thirst mechanism or lack of access to water. Symptoms of hypernatremia may include dizziness or fainting, low blood pressure, and diminished urine production. Like sodium, potassium is a cation : K+ This positively charged ion is in the fluid inside the cell, while sodium (NA+) was the principal cation in the fluid outside of the cell. Internal fluid Internal fluid The richest sources of potassium are fruits and vegetables and nuts. Examples: 1 banana contains 422 mg., 1 baked potato with skin contains 926 mg., ½ cup of raisins contain 598 mg., 1 medium tomato contains 292 mg., 1 oz. almonds contain 200 mg. Do you remember step 5 of the metabolic process? Potassium and sodium chloride are two of the primary elements in this step. Energy The energy cannot get to the part of the cell it needs to without assistance. It has to be transported in a vehicle called Adenosine (ə-dĕn'ə-sēn') Triphosphate… ATP. Phosphate Enzyme Phosphate Phosphate Phosphate Phosphate Energy Phosphate Phosphate Phosphate Energy Energy ADP… adenosine Then the ADP picks Reaching its destination, diphosphate picks up another free enzymes break off the extra up the energy floating phosphate, phosphate… releasing Phosphate and becomes ATP. large amounts of energy. Phosphate The ADP returns to pick up more energy and phosphates. Potassium concentrations are about 30 times higher inside than outside cells, while sodium concentrations are more than ten times lower inside than outside cells. The concentration differences between potassium and sodium across the cell membranes create an electrochemical gradient or balance known as the ‘membrane potential’. Potassium helps maintain membrane potential. Inside the cell Enzyme pump or “gate” Semi-permeable cell membrane Potassium molecules Sodium chloride molecules Free-floating phosphate Outside the cell used to make ATP energy A cell's ‘membrane potential’ or balance is maintained by ion pumps in the cell membrane, especially the sodium, potassium-ATPase pumps: Na+/K+ATPase . (the suffix “ase” indicates an enzyme and is pronounced ‘ace’) Potassium and sodium serve as co-enzymes, with protein, to form an ion pump in the cell membrane. Enzyme Phosphate Phosphate Phosphate Energy Phosphate As sodium is pumped out of the cell Enzyme in exchange for potassium, the Phosphate Energy enzyme pumps release or use ATP Phosphate (energy). Their activity has been estimated to account for 20%-40% of the resting energy expenditure in a typical adult. The large proportion of energy dedicated to maintaining sodium/potassium concentration gradients emphasizes the importance of this function in sustaining life. When sodium chloride and potassium are dissolved in bodily fluids, they have a mild electrical charge. For this reason, they are called ELECTROLYTES. In the correct balance, these fluids are necessary for normal functioning of nerve transmissions and muscle contractions. A beverage called an ‘electrolyte solution’ simply means that it contains a good balance of sodium chloride and potassium, as well as other electrolytes such as magnesium and calcium. Pedialyte is a brand name example, often given to children with diarrhea. Gatorade is a brand name example, often given to adults involved in heavy exercise who are sweating profusely. The adequate intake level (AI) for potassium is based on intake levels that have been found to lower blood pressure, reduce salt sensitivity, and minimize the risk of kidney stones. Adolescents and adults, both male and female, need 4.7 grams or 4,700 milligrams per day. An abnormally low plasma potassium concentration is referred to as hypokalemia, and is most commonly a result of prolonged vomiting, the use of some diuretics, overuse of laxatives, anorexia nervosa or bulimia, alcoholism, some forms of kidney disease and metabolic disturbances. Symptoms include fatigue, muscle weakness and cramps, and intestinal paralysis, which may lead to bloating, constipation, and abdominal pain. Severe hypokalemia may result in muscular paralysis or abnormal heart rhythms (cardiac arrhythmias) that can be fatal. Black licorice candy contains a compound that increases urinary excretion of potassium. Use caution in habitually eating large amounts. Abnormally elevated serum potassium concentrations are referred to as hyperkalemia. Symptoms of hyperkalemia may include tingling of the hands and feet, muscular weakness, and temporary paralysis. The most serious complication of hyperkalemia is the same as hypokalemia… the development of an abnormal heart rhythm (cardiac arrhythmia), which can lead to cardiac arrest. The greatest risks of potassium overdose is with a drug interaction, or in taking potassium supplements. Gastrointestinal symptoms are common side effects of potassium supplements, including nausea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, and diarrhea. Intestinal ulceration has also been reported, especially when potassium chloride supplements have been taken without food. Potassium levels are often affected by over-the- counter and prescription drugs. Individuals with abnormal kidney function or on certain medications should be closely monitored. Common side effects of high blood pressure medications are increased frequency of urination and increased urinary excretion of potassium. Common medications affecting potassium levels include: Anti-coagulants High-dose antibiotics Decongestants Cardiac and blood pressure medications Diuretics NSAIDS (non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs) Calcium (Ca) is the most common mineral in the human body. About 99% of the calcium in the body is found in bones and teeth, while the other 1% is found in the blood and soft tissue. Calcium levels in the blood and fluid surrounding the cells (extracellular fluid) must be maintained within a very narrow concentration range for normal physiological functioning. The physiological functions of calcium are so vital to survival that the body will de-mineralize bone to maintain normal blood calcium levels when calcium intake is inadequate. Dairy products contain high levels of absorbable calcium, and provide nearly 75% of the calcium in American diets. Calcium rich plants in the kale family (such as broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, mustard, and turnip greens) contain calcium that is as absorbable as that in milk, but also contain some food components that have been found to inhibit the absorption of calcium. Oxalic (ŏk-săl'ĭk) acid, also known as oxalate, is the most potent inhibitor of calcium absorption and is found at high concentrations in spinach and rhubarb and somewhat lower concentrations in sweet potatoes and dried beans. Recommended Adequate Intake Calcium Tolerable Upper Male and Female Age (mg/day) Intake Level 0 to 6 months 210 7 to 12 months 270 1 to 3 years 500 2,500 mg/day 4 to 8 years 800 2,500 mg/day 14 to 18 years 1300 2,500 mg/day 19 to 50 years 1000 2,500 mg/day 51+ years 1200 Average dietary intakes of calcium in the U.S. are well below the adequate intake (AI) recommendation for every age and gender group, especially in females. Only about 25% of boys and 10% of girls ages 9 to 17 are estimated to meet the AI recommendations. Calcium is a major structural element in bones and teeth. Bone is a tissue that is remodeled throughout life. Bone cells called ‘osteoclasts’ begin the process of remodeling by dissolving or resorbing bone. Bone-forming cells called ‘osteoblasts’ then synthesize new bone to replace the bone that was resorbed. During normal growth, bone formation exceeds bone resorption. A condition known as ‘osteoporosis’ may result when bone resorption chronically exceeds formation. Calcium also plays a significant role in the secretion of hormones such as insulin and as a cofactor with vitamin K for clotting blood. Calcium levels in the blood must be maintained in precise balance in order for all physiological functioning to take place, such as regulating the constriction and relaxation of blood vessels, nerve impulse transmission, and muscle contraction. PHT ( parathyroid hormone) secreted from the parathyroid glands and calcitonin secreted from the thyroid gland regulate the amount of calcium either deposited into bone from the diet or stripped from the bone when deficiencies exist. Vitamin D is necessary to balance the calcium levels in the blood. Vitamin D is a component of the diet (extra is added to cereals and dairy products) but is also synthesized in the skin in the presence of sunlight. It stimulates calcium absorption from the small intestine and mobilization of calcium from bone, both serving to reverse a decrease in plasma calcium. Calcium absorption from the small intestine and excretion from the kidneys are regulated to ensure that the concentration of calcium in the plasma is very precisely balanced… in a state of homeostasis. A low blood calcium level is rarely due to low dietary calcium intake since the skeleton provides a large reserve of calcium. A low calcium level may be due to abnormal parathyroid or thyroid function, kidney failure, vitamin D deficiency, or low magnesium levels. Magnesium levels influence the functioning of osteoclasts and osteoblasts. A chronically low calcium intake in growing individuals may prevent the attainment of optimal peak bone mass. Once peak bone mass is achieved, inadequate calcium intake may contribute to accelerated bone loss and ultimately to the development of osteoporosis. Abnormally elevated blood calcium (hypercalcemia) resulting from the over consumption of calcium has never been documented to occur from foods, only from calcium supplements and usually when calcium supplements are taken in combination with antacids. Mild hypercalcemia may be without symptoms or may result in loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, constipation, abdominal pain, dry mouth, thirst, and frequent urination. More severe hypercalcemia may result in confusion, delirium, coma, and if not treated, death. Only the calcium listed as ‘elemental’ in supplements is absorbable by the body. Calcium is best absorbed in an acidic environment, hence calcium citrate is the best absorbed supplemental form of calcium and can be taken on an empty stomach. Calcium carbonate is alkaline based, it requires extra stomach acid for better absorption, and is best taken right after meals or with a glass of acidic juice such as orange juice. Approximately 12% of the U.S. population will have a kidney stone at some time. Most kidney stones are composed of calcium oxalate or calcium phosphate. Although their cause is usually unknown, abnormally elevated urinary calcium (hypercalciuria) (hī'pər-kal'sē-ōō'rē-ə) increases the risk of developing calcium stones. The pain from these stones, which have dislodged and travel through the ureter and urethra tubes, can be excruciating and incapacitating. Stones range in size from that of a grain of sand to pea-size and larger. Stones too large to ‘pass’ may have to be broken up with sound waves. Phosphorus (P) is an essential mineral that is required by every cell in the body for normal function. The majority of the phosphorus in the body is found as phosphate (PO4). Approximately 85% of the body's phosphorus is found in bone and teeth. In the bones and teeth, phosphorus combines with calcium to form calcium phosphate. Phosphate is found in association with protein, especially in milk and cheese. Only a few other foods contain a lot of phosphate like wholegrain cereals, baking powder, shellfish. Other sources are convenience foods which have phosphates added by food manufacturers. The recommended dietary allowance for phosphorus is based on the amount needed to adequately meet cellular and bone formation needs. Life stage Age Males Females (mg/day) (mg/day) Adolescents 14-18 yrs of 1,250 1,250 age Adults 19 yrs and 700 700 older Some foods that are high in phosphorus include: 8 oz. skim milk has 247 mg., 3 oz. cooked salmon has 252 mg., 1 oz. peanuts have 107 mg., 3 oz. turkey or beef has 173 mg., 1 egg has 104 mg., 1 oz. mozzarella cheese has 131 mg. Combined with calcium as calcium phosphate, the phosphorus builds strong Phosphorus binds with lipids to form bones and teeth. cell membranes. Lipid/ phosphorus layers shown in orange Nucleic acids, the DNA and RNA which Phosphorus serves the body as are responsible for the storage and a ‘buffer’. As such, it helps transmission of genetic information, maintain the pH of a system to are long chains of phosphate- absorb specific ions and become containing molecules… as shown here more acidic or alkaline. in blue spheres. Once again, do you remember step 5 of the metabolic process? Phosphate is a component of the ADP and ATP that helps carry and release energy. Energy The energy cannot get to the part of the cell it needs to without assistance. It has to be transported in a vehicle called Adenosine (ə-dĕn'ə-sēn') Triphosphate… ATP. Phosphate Enzyme Phosphate Phosphate Phosphate Phosphate Energy Phosphate Phosphate Phosphate Energy Energy ADP… adenosine Then the ADP picks Reaching its destination, diphosphate picks up another free enzymes break off the extra up the energy floating phosphate, phosphate… releasing Phosphate and becomes ATP. large amounts of energy. Phosphate The ADP returns to pick up more energy and phosphates. Inadequate phosphorus intake results in abnormally low The effects of blood phosphate levels hypophosphatemia (hypophosphatemia). may include loss of appetite, anemia, muscle weakness, bone pain, rickets (in children), osteoporosis (in adults), increased susceptibility to infection, numbness and tingling of the extremities, difficulty Fractures due to osteoporosis walking, and death in may not show up for years severe cases. following chronic deficiencies. Because phosphorus is so widespread in food, dietary phosphorus deficiency is usually seen only in cases of near-total starvation. Other individuals at risk of hypophosphatemia include alcoholics and some diabetics. The most serious adverse effect of abnormally elevated blood levels of phosphate (hyperphosphatemia) is the calcification of non-skeletal tissues. Calcium phosphate deposits can lead to organ damage, especially when the calcified deposits are in the kidney in the form of kidney stones. The upper tolerable limit is 4,000 mg/day. Abnormal and even painful calcium phosphate deposits can appear on joints and teeth, and appear on Xrays. Magnesium (Mg) plays important roles in the structure and the function of the human body. The adult human body contains about 25 grams of magnesium. Over 60% of all the magnesium in the body is found in the skeleton, about 27% is found in muscle, 6% to 7% is found in other cells, and less than 1% is found outside of cells. Because magnesium is part of chlorophyll, the green pigment in plants, green leafy vegetables are rich in magnesium. Unrefined grains and nuts also have high magnesium content. Meats and milk have an intermediate magnesium content, while refined foods generally have the lowest magnesium content. Water is a variable source of intake; harder water usually has a higher concentration of magnesium salts. Phosphate Magnesium is involved in more than 300 essential Phosphate metabolic reactions. It functions to help ADP pick Phosphate up the third phosphate molecule…becoming ATP. Energy Then the ADP picks up another free floating phosphate, and becomes ATP. Magnesium is required for the active Magnesium plays a transport of ions like potassium and structural role in bone, calcium across cell membranes. cell membranes, Through its role in ion transport ribosomes, and systems, magnesium affects the chromosomes. It helps conduction of nerve impulses, muscle teeth retain calcium. contraction, and normal heart rhythm. Because magnesium is found in ample supplies in many foods, and because the kidneys can limit excretion of this mineral when supplies are low, deficiencies are rare. Conditions that may increase the risk of a deficiency include gastrointestinal disorders, renal disorders, alcoholism, and old age. When magnesium deficiencies do exist (hypomagnesemia), the symptoms include rapid demineralization of bone, retention of sodium, low potassium levels, muscle spasms, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, mood swings and personality changes. While there have not been any adverse effects associated with dietary magnesium, a Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for supplemental magnesium has been determined. Adolescents and adults should not exceed 350 mg. intake per day of supplemental magnesium. The initial symptom of excess magnesium supplementation is diarrhea. Elevated serum levels of magnesium (hypermagnesemia) may result in low blood pressure. Some of the later effects of magnesium toxicity, such as lethargy, confusion, disturbances in normal cardiac rhythm, and deterioration of kidney function, are related to the severe low blood pressure. As hypermagnesemia progresses, muscle weakness and difficulty breathing may occur, and eventually cardiac arrest. Sulfur (S) is an essential mineral. It is a component of Sulfur compounds act as structural numerous compounds that entities (connective tissues such as play a variety of essential collagen), part of hair, skin, and nails, as functions in the body. No catalysts (enzymes), as oxygen carriers recommended daily (hemoglobin), as hormones (insulin), allowance has been set for and as vitamins (thiamine and biotin). this mineral, although 800- Sulfur is present in four amino acids. It 1,000 mg/day is suggested interferes with copper storage. for individuals 18 yrs and older. No deficiencies or toxicity symptoms have been specifically noted. The use of sulfur supplements (MSM or methylsulfonylmethane) have produced diarrhea, flatulence, bloating, and a ‘burning sensation’ in the stomach. Although sulfur is found in most protein foods, the top three foods containing this mineral are eggs, onions, and garlic. Sulfur content is responsible for their characteristic odors. Sulfur is often used as a homeopathic (non-traditional medical practices) remedy. It is often prescribed for internal ‘cleansing’ and for skin ailments.
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