Minerals are the “spark plugs” of life. They are involved in ALMOST ALL enzyme reactions in the body. Think about that for a second….Now think about what it MUST mean to optimize your mineral levels in your brain, heart, thyroid, adrenal glands, and on and on.
What are Minerals?
Imagine you are in middle school science class. Today, you are learning about elements. Yes, I am referring to the Periodic Table of Elements. Remember this thing.
Holy Moly! That is a lot of elements (118 in fact). As you may recall, everything on earth is composed of these elements. Elements can’t be broken down into a simpler form. This includes things like Boron, Carbon, Nitrogen, and Oxygen. Minerals are simply combinations of elements. For example, quartz, the mineral, is made up of the elements silicon and oxygen. Salt is made of the elements Sodium and Chlorine. There are minerals that are made of only one element called Native Minerals (I.e. silver, gold, mercury, copper, sulphur). This can be a little confusing as some minerals can be regarded as both an element and a mineral. Minerals occur naturally in things such as water, rocks and soil, as well as in plants and animals.
Why do I need Minerals?
Every day, your body produces skin, muscles, and bone. It churns out rich red blood that carries nutrients and oxygen to remote outposts, and it sends nerve signals skipping along thousands of miles of brain and body pathways. It also formulates chemical messengers that shuttle from one organ to another, issuing the instructions that help sustain your life. But to do all this, your body requires some raw materials. Some of those materials are minerals, which your body can’t synthesize on it’s own. That means it is up to us to consume them!
Ok, so what Minerals do I need?
I’m glad you asked! There are roughly 20 essential elements that you must consume, or you DIE. Yes, I’m not joking. Not enough Iodine? Dead. Not enough Calcium? First you become Skeletor, then you die. Without further Ado, here are the the essential minerals for human life.
Essential Macro Minerals
Essential Trace Minerals
Disputed Essential Minerals
A thimble could easily contain the distillation of all the trace minerals normally found in your body. There are approximately 3800 known minerals, 21 of which are essential to healthy functioning of the human body, Some minerals such as lead are toxic to humans. Some sources claim cobalt, boron, silicon, vanadium, nickel, fluoride, and arsenic are essential. The following are occasionally referred to as essential trace minerals, but there is limited circumstantial evidence of their biological necessity (lithium, aluminum, fluoride, nickel, antimony, rubidium, cadmium, stannum). Sulphur: A typical adult’s body contains about 100g of sulphur, making it the fifth most common macronutrient. Iodine, Goitrogenic Foods on Thyroid, Magnesium Baths, Why Sulphur is Important. Minerals are the “spark plugs” of life. They are involved in ALMOST ALL enzyme reactions in the body. Think about that for a second….Now think about what it MUST mean to optimize your mineral levels in your brain, heart, thyroid, adrenal glands, and on and on.
- The Periodic Table of Elements contains 118 elements. Elements can’t be broken down into a simpler form. This includes things like Boron, Carbon, Nitrogen, and Oxygen which we generally classify and organize on the Periodic Table of Elements by the number of protons, neutrons, and electrons they possess. Minerals are simply combinations of elements. For example, quartz, the mineral, is made up of the elements silicon and oxygen. Salt is made of the elements Sodium and Chlorine. There are minerals that are made of only one element called Native Minerals (I.e. silver, gold, mercury, copper, sulphur). This can be a little confusing as some minerals can be regarded as both an element and a mineral. What is undeniable is that the human body needs minerals in order to survive. There are roughly 4000 known minerals in the world. Some are essential to healthy functioning of the human body, some have limited health applications, and others are highly toxic. There are 16 essential minerals that humans MUST consume in order to survive. A deficiency in any of the ones listed below can cause a cascade of health issues. The essential minerals are categorized into two different groups: major minerals and trace minerals. Approximately 4% of the body consists of minerals, mainly consisting of the major minerals. A thimble could contain the distillation of all the trace minerals normally found in your body, but their contributions are just as essential as those of major minerals.
- Calcium (Major), Chloride (Major), Sodium (Major), Magnesium (Major), Phosphorus (Major), Potassium (Major), Sulfur (Major)
- Iron (Trace), Zinc (Trace), Copper (Trace), Manganese (Trace), Molybdenum (Trace), Iodine (Trace), Selenium (Trace), Chromium (Trace).
Iodine: Salt iodization, also known as universal salt iodization, programs are put into place in more than 70 countries, including the U.S. and Canada, and 70 percent of households worldwide use iodized salt. The intention of U.S. manufacturers iodizing table salt in the 1920s was to prevent iodine deficiencies. Potassium iodide and cuprous iodine have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for salt iodization, while WHO recommends potassium iodate due to it having greater stability. In the United States, iodized salt contains 45 micrograms iodine per gram of salt, which can be found in one-eighth to one-fourth teaspoon. Non-iodized salt is almost always used by food manufacturers, considering the majority of the salt intake comes from processed foods. A healthy balance is required, but different people’s bodies will react differently to dose amounts. People who have Hashimoto’s, thyroiditis or particular cases of hypothyroid individuals should speak with their doctors to discuss how much, if any, iodine should be taken through careful supplementation. Risk factors linked to iodine deficiency include low dietary iodine, Selenium deficiency, Pregnancy, Tobacco smoke, Fluoridated and chlorinated water, Goitrogen foods (raw cauliflower, broccoli, kale, cabbage, soy, Brussels sprouts). Iodine deficiency causes significant cognitive decline. Iodine Study.
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of calcium is 1,000 mg for men. Not all calcium that we consume is absorbed and the amount we need to consume daily varies depending on the source of the calcium. For instance, about 32-33% of the calcium from dairy products is absorbed. Our body actually needs 300-400 mg of calcium per day, but with dairy, this means we need to consume close to the RDA to get that level with the reduced absorption rate. Other food sources are more absorbable like bone broth, dark leafy greens, fish with bones, and even carrots. Some foods like spinach, which is often suggested as a good dietary source of calcium, are only 5% absorbable, which make them great for other nutrients but not a good source of calcium. Bottom line: We need about 300-400 milligrams of absorbed calcium per day from food sources and not much more than that. Vitamin D and Magnesium are both necessary for the body to use calcium and without these, calcium won’t be absorbed correctly. showed that people who were deficient in Vitamin D only absorbed 14% of the calcium from food while those with adequate Vitamin D levels absorbed 58% of the calcium from their food. A diet high in phytic acid () can also inhibit proper calcium uptake and use in the body.
- Mineral interactions are biologically quite complex. For the sake of brevity, I’ve tried to simplify things here. There are genetic variations in mineral transporters in our bodies that allow some people to flourish on massive doses of certain minerals — indeed, people who “dump” sulfur, who can’t absorb enough of it, are going to do very well with high dose MSM — it’s going to be just what they need. But not everyone needs high dose MSM. There are some people, in fact, like those with Crohn’s Disease (an autoimmune gut prob) and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) — among others — who tend to be already high in sulfur, to an extent that it perpetuates their disease process. High sulfur supps like MSM are contraindicated for some people.