Calcium - is the most abundant, essential mineral in the human body and is needed to for bones and teeth and is also required for blood clotting, transmission of nerve cell signals, and muscle contraction. Calcium is also important in preventing osteoporosis. Osteoporosis, osteomalacia and rickets are all symptoms of Calcium and/or Vitamin D deficiency. Calcium is found in dairy products, salmon, green leafy vegetables and tofu, but most people eat below the recommended amount of calcium and should consider a supplement.


Chromium - is an essential mineral that helps the body maintain normal blood sugar levels. Chromium has also been associated with increased fat loss and lean muscle growth. Diabetes has been associated with low chromium levels. Chromium is found in brewer's yeast and also in some grains and cereals.


Copper - is an essential element that is needed to: absorb and utilize iron, create some antioxidants, harvest energy from food and synthesize collagen. Many people consume slightly less than adequate levels of copper. Copper deficiency can result in anemia, lower levels of good cholesterol and cardiac arrhythmias. Oysters, nuts, potatoes and many vegetables and meats are sources of copper.


Iodine - is a trace mineral needed to make thyroid hormones. Deficiency can cause low thyroid function, goiter or cretinism. Seafood and sea vegetables as well as iodized salt are sources of iodine.


Iron - is an essential mineral that, among other things, is part of hemoglobin--the oxygen carrying component of the blood. Iron deficiency is characterized by chronic fatigue. Iron is also needed to create ATP--the molecule used by our cells for energy--so even non-anemic individuals can become fatigued if they are low on iron. Over-supplementation of iron is harmful, especially in children. Iron is found in oysters, meat, poultry, fish, leafy green vegetables and molasses.


Magnesium - is an essential mineral needed for bone, protein and fatty acid formation. It is also needed to make new cells, activate B Vitamins, relaxing muscles, clotting blood and the formation of the energy molecule ATP. Magnesium deficiency can cause many problems including fatigue, abnormal heart rhythms, muscle weakness and pain, depression, loss of appetite, listlessness and potassium depletion. Nuts, grains, beans, dark green vegetables and fish contain significant amounts of Magnesium.


Manganese - is an essential mineral needed for healthy skin, bone and cartilage formation as well as glucose tolerance. It is also required to activate important antioxidant enzymes. People with osteoporosis are often deficient in manganese. Nuts, seeds, wheat germ, wheat bran, leafy vegetables, tea and pineapple are all good sources of manganese.


Molybdenum - is an essential mineral needed for the proper function of many enzymes, and the metabolism of iron. Molybdenum is also involved in detoxifying sulfites. Molybdenum deficiency has not been reported in humans. Molybdenum is found in vegetables if they are grown in molybdenum rich soil as well as hard tap water.


Phosphorus - is an essential mineral that is important in bone formation, as well as creation of cell membranes. Phosphate containing molecules are also important in aerobic exercise. Phosphorus deficiency is rare but can result in bone loss. Protein-rich foods and cereal grains are high in phosphorus. Also, soft-drinks generally have a significant amount of phosphorus.


Potassium - is an essential mineral needed to regulate water balance, levels of acidity, blood pressure and neuromuscular function. It also plays a critical role in the transmission of electrical impulses in the heart. Potassium deficiency can lead to heart arrhythmias. Potassium is found in most fruits as well as beans and milk.


Selenium - is an essential mineral that activates cancer-fighting antioxidants, is essential for healthy immune function, activates thyroid hormones and is important in male fertility. Selenium deficiency has been associated with increased risk of heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Brazil nuts, yeast, whole grains and seafood are good sources of Selenium.


Zinc - is an essential mineral that is a component of more than 300 enzymes needed to repair wounds, maintain fertility in adults and growth in children, synthesize protein, help cells reproduce, preserve vision, boost immunity, protect against free-radical damage and more. Zinc deficiency can lower the immune system, cause poor vision and reduce wound healing time. Good sources of zinc include oysters, meat, eggs, seafood, black-eyed peas tofu and wheat germ.

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