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Mineral supplements

Mineral supplements are a controversial topic since many consider them to be chemical in nature and therefore an unnatural way to good health. But the growing demand for these supplements indicates that there is a large section of people who believe that they are beneficial to health. These people see mineral supplements as important substitutes for individuals who are unable to eat balanced, healthy meals on a daily basis. Some also opine that these supplements should only be available by prescription. But why does the body require minerals?

There are certain minerals that are categorized as essential minerals because they are necessary for good health. The primary minerals and trace minerals aid in many body functions. For example, iron is required for the production of red blood cells that transport oxygen to the entire body. Magnesium and calcium help to boost the strength of the teeth and bones. There are other minerals that assist in the production of protein, amino acids and hormones. All the major organs of the body and also the muscles, skin, nerves, hair and fingernails depend on these essential minerals. Vitamins and minerals are both essential for human health. Most vitamins are water soluble and hence any excess of these vitamins is eliminated by the body through the sweat and urine. But this is not the case with some minerals and excessive intake of these minerals may lead to certain dangers. A diet that consists of all the food groups such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meats, low-fat  dairy and nuts and seeds provides all the necessary vitamins and minerals and hence supplementation is not required in such cases.  But there are many people who do not consume such a diet. The easy availability of fast-food and hectic lifestyles have made it difficult to consume balanced meals every day. Even vegetarians may depend on mineral supplements in some cases.

Liquid minerals supplements are specially formulated for those who cannot consume adequate food to fulfill their nutritional needs. Such people include the elderly and hospital patients. There are different purposes for each such supplement. There are supplements available for poor appetite, swallowing difficulties, weight loss and glycemic control. Liquid minerals supplements are generally composed of sugar, corn syrup, protein, water, milk and certain vitamins and minerals.  There are certain minerals which are needed in larger amounts, and some that are needed in smaller amounts. Minerals present in large amounts in the body are magnesium, potassium and calcium. Those which are required in small amounts are called trace minerals. These include selenium, copper and chromium among others. Colloidal minerals supplements consist of trace minerals. These are supposed to be negatively charged and hence are attracted to the intestinal walls. These trace minerals are beneficial for functions such as digestion, absorption of other nutrients and enzyme activation.  Many people take a multivitamin mineral supplement in order to prevent nutritional deficiencies. Not consuming a balanced diet on a daily basis can lead to such deficiencies and may also lead to certain types of cancers.  Many doctors recommend multivitamin minerals supplements for building muscle.

When buying vitamin and mineral supplements, it is important to do so after proper research and consultation. Reading the labels carefully is another essential step in buying the right supplements. The best vitamin and mineral supplements are not very cheap. The quality of nutrition contained in any supplement is determined by the way in which they are manufactured. Some supplements may contain certain additives which are not healthy for the body. The best thing to do before buying any vitamin and mineral supplement is to consult a doctor. Also one should not rely completely on these supplements since they are not a substitute for healthy food.



Submitted on January 16, 2014