Tag Archives: #mineralsandenergyresources

Mineral and Energy Resources for Our Healthy Life: Trace Minerals

What is micro-nutrient definition, types and its importance. Be aware about vitamins and minerals, mineral and energy resources, their categories and salient features.

Also, here you are going to know about the functions, sources, RDA, deficiencies and excess toxicity effects of some minerals. Those minerals are iron, zinc, iodine, selenium, manganese, copper and fluorine.

Micro-nutrients (Micro means very small)

Nutrients which are required in very much smaller qualities as compared to macro-nutrients in the body of an organism.

Types of micro-nutrients

  1. Vitamins (organic compounds): Water-soluble & Fat-soluble vitamins.
  2. Minerals (inorganic compounds): Macro-minerals & Trace minerals.

A). VITAMINS

Vitamins are micro organic compounds. These are made up by plants and animals, which can be broken down by heat, acid or air.

Categorized into two types: i). Water-soluble & ii). Fat-soluble vitamins.

i). Water-soluble vitamins (Vitamin-B group & C)

ii). Fat-soluble vitamins (Vitamin A, D, E, K)

B). MINERALS

Minerals are inorganic compounds present in soil or water and cannot be broken down.

Categorized into two types: i). Major or Macro-minerals & ii). Trace minerals.

i). Major or Macro-minerals

ii). Trace minerals

Minerals which are required in smaller quantity (mcg, µg or mg) than macro minerals.

Salient features of trace minerals
Iron
  • Iron: (RDA= 17 – 20 mg/day)
    • The amount of iron in our body is too less i.e. only appx 5 gm. But it plays very crucial functions in our body.
    • This is a component of Hemoglobin in the blood.
    • Iron absorption is enhanced with acidic environment.
    • Iron must be consumed in accompany with lemonade or salty chhach or fresh juice.
    • Excessive dietary fiber & consumption of tea or coffee (in any form just after meal) can hamper the absorption of iron.
    • Functions:
      • It helps in oxygen transportation from lungs to various organs and carbon dioxide from the organs to the lungs.
      • Helps in making some hormones.
      • It is present in the muscles in the form of Myoglobin for the storage and use of oxygen.
      • It helps in the formation of ATP for energy utilization in the cells.
      • Supports in detoxification of liver from residue of drugs.
      • It helps in strengthening of immune system.
      • It has a role of co-factor for many enzymes.
      • Plays a role in formation of the neurotransmitters.
    • Sources:
      • Fish, Meat, Egg, Lotus, Spinach, Mustard leaves, Mint leaves, Potato and Onion. Also in Bathua, Banana, Dates, Sesame seed, Coconut, Almond, Apricots, Walnut, Whole grain, Bajra, Pea, Gram etc.
    • Deficiencies:
      • Anaemia, which affects optimal growth, stamina, academic performance, physical activity etc.
    • Excess:
      • It is uncommon. But excessive consumption can lead to liver damage, heart diseases and gastro-intestinal disorders.
Manganese
  • Manganese: (RDA= 4 mg/day)
    • It plays vital role in bone formation, blood clotting and reducing inflammation.
    • It is stored in liver, brain, kidney, pancreas and bones.
    • Functions:
      • Helps in metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids and cholesterol.
      • It supports bone health and reduce blood sugar.
      • Helps in healing wounds.
      • It helps in forming antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) so that to help in building immune system.
    • Sources:
      • Pine apple, Beans, Sweat potato, Spinach, Green and black teas. Also found in Brown rice, Whole wheat bread, Almonds etc.
    • Deficiencies:
      • Growth retardation.
      • Reduced glucose tolerance.
      • Skeletal or bone abnormalities.
      • Infertility.
    • Excess:
      • Respiratory diseases like acute bronchitis.
      • Muscle spasms in face.
      • Tremors and irritability.
      • Hallucinations.
Copper
  • Copper: (RDA= 900 mcg/day or 1.7 mg/day)
    • It plays a vital role in making RBCs, nerve cells and immunity.
    • It is stored in liver.
    • Most of copper found in liver, kidney, brain, heart and skeletal muscles.
    • Functions:
      • Helps in formation of connective tissues and nervous system functioning (neuron signaling).
      • It helps in absorption of iron and energy production.
      • Helps in cardiovascular functions.
      • It helps in improving immune system and reducing free radicals.
    • Sources:
      • Whole grains, Potato, Beans, Yeast, Green leafy food, Cocoa, Black pepper, Meat etc.
    • Deficiencies:
      • Causes cardiovascular diseases and thyroid problems.
      • Menkes disease/ syndrome (genetic defects, growth failure & nervous deterioration)
      • High risk of osteoporosis.
      • Poor immunity.
      • Deficiency may be cause of high intake of Vit.C and zinc.
    • Excess:
      • Nausea
      • Stomach pain
      • Headache
      • Diarrhea
      • Vomiting
      • Dizziness
      • Heart problems, RBCs abnormalities and Jaundice.
Zinc
  • Zinc: (RDA= 10 – 12 mg/day)
    • It is a component of more than 300 enzymes.
    • Zinc is involved in synthesis and degradation of macro and micro nutrients.
    • It is known for reducing severity & frequency of diarrhea. Also acts for improving symptoms of pneumonia, respiratory infections & cold.
    • Functions:
      • Helps in synthesis of genetic expression.
      • Helps in building immune system and wound healing.
      • It is a part of antioxidant mechanism of our body.
      • Helps in metabolism of protein.
      • Supports in storage, production and release of insulin.
      • Helps in structure formation and functioning of cell membranes.
      • Helps in synthesis of the active form of Vit. A for visual pigments.
    • Sources:
      • Whole grain, Wheat, Gram, Soybeans, Pumpkin seed and Watermelon. Also from Sunflower seed, Milk, Chicken, Fish, Egg, Spinach, Mustard, Bathua, Potato, Banana, Orange etc.
    • Deficiencies:
      • Retardation in growth and maturation
      • Poor immunity
      • Diarrhea
      • Hair loss
      • Reduced appetite
      • Delayed wound healing
    • Excess:
      • Causes copper deficiency and lead to:
        • Vomiting
        • Diarrhea
        • Nausea
        • Cramps
        • Weak immune functions
Iodine
  • Iodine: (RDA= 150 mcg)
    • It is a constituent of the thyroid hormone T4(Thyroxine) and T3(Triiodothyronine). These hormones are critically required for metabolic activities.
    • Functions:
      • Helps in thyroid regulations.
      • It helps in growth, development and functioning of brain.
      • Regulates the speed of oxidation within cells and tissues.
      • It plays important role in metabolism of all nutrients, especially energy.
      • Development of muscle and nervous tissues.
      • Maintain circulatory system.
    • Sources:
      • Iodized salt, Sea salt, Salt water fishes, Sea vegetables, Potato, Spinach, Broccoli, Soybean, Almonds, Oats etc.
    • Deficiencies:
      • Goitre – Enlargement of thyroid gland due to iodine deficiency.
      • Cretinism – Incomplete physical development & mental retardness in infants and young children.
      • Hypothyroidism.
    • Excess:
      • Hyperthyroidism
      • Thyroid cancer
      • Auto-immune thyroid disease
Fluoride or Fluorine
  • Fluoride or Fluorine: (RDA= 1.5 – 2.0 mg/day)
    • It fights bacteria of mouth for the maintenance and safety of teeth.
    • Functions:
      • Helps in bone and teeth health
      • It helps to make the tooth enamel more resistant to the action of acids. These acids are produced by the bacteria present in the mouth.
    • Sources:
      • Fluorinated water, Sea foods, Salt water fishes, Tea and Foods growing in fluorine rich soil (through water, fertilizers etc.).
    • Excess:
      • Dental fluorosis
      • Skeletal fluorosis (stiffness of spine, arthritis, paralysis etc.)
      • Knock knee syndrome.
Selenium
  • Selenium: (RDA= 40 - 55 mcg/day)
    • It is important for cognitive function, immune system and fertility in both men and women.
    • Functions:
      • Helps in reducing the risk of miscarriage.
      • It protects against asthma.
      • Helps in cardiovascular functions.
      • Helps in thyroid regulation and reproduction health. Also, helps in prevention from free radicals.
      • It prevents  HIV from progressing to AIDS.
  • Sources:
    • Egg, Brown rice, Fish, Brazil nuts, Sea food, Meats etc.
    • Deficiencies:
      • Fatigue
      • Poor immunity
      • Brain fog
      • Infertility
    • Excess:
      • A garlic-like smell on the breath and a metallic taste in the mouth.
      • Brittle nails and mottled or decaying teeth.
      • Gastrointestinal problems such as nausea.
      • Neurological abnormalities
      • Fatigue and irritability
      • Skins lesions and rashes
      • Hair loss

Minerals are vital as compared to Vitamins. Lack of vitamins causes diseases but lack of minerals may cause even death.

-healthjaagran

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