A basic working knowledge of the main vitamins and minerals used by the human body for folk and practitioners of a variety of treatments.
|Mineral||Chemical element (as opposed to organic compound, as in the case of vitamins) necessary for the health and maintenance of bodily functions.|
1.Minerals found in a typical adult human body in quantities greater than 5g.
2.Minerals required by a typical adult human body in quantities greater than 100mg per day.
1. Minerals found in a typical adult human body in quantities less than 5g.
2. Minerals required by a typical adult human body in quantities of 1mg-100mg per day.
|Trace Element||Chemical element which are required in small concentrations for normal bodily functions and growth.There is some overlap between the classification such elements as “Micro Minerals” and “Trace Elements” – in different textbooks copper, manganese, zinc, for example, can be placed in one or other category.|
The following table (in alphabetical order within categories) includes basic information about some of the major minerals used by the human body.
|Key constituent of bones and teeth;Essential for vital metabolic processes such as nerve function, muscle contraction, and blood clotting.||Dairy Produce||Deficiency (or insufficient uptake) may lead to:Osteomalacia; Osteoporosis; Rickets; Tetany.||Formation of “stones” in the body, especially the Gall |
Bladder and the Kidneys.
for transfer of oxygen between tissues in the body;
|Blood (e.g. “Black Pudding”); Eggs; Green (leafy) vegetables; Fortified foods (e.g. cereals, white flour); Liver; Meat;Nuts; Offal; Peas; Whole grains.||Deficiency may lead to:Anaemia;Increased susceptibility to infections.||Long-term |
excessive intake of iron can lead to:Haemochromatosis or Haemosiderosis (involving
organ damage), and both of which are rare;Insufficient calcium and magnesium in the
body (because these minerals compete with
each other for absorption);Increased
susceptibility to infectious diseases.
for healthy bones;Functioning of muscle & nervous tissue;Needed for functioning of approx. 90 enzymes.
|Eggs;Green leafy vegetables; Fish (esp. shellfish); Milk (and dairy products); Nuts; Wholemeal flour.||Deficiency can occur gradually, leading to:Anxiety; Fatigue; Insomnia; Muscular problems; Nausea; Premenstrual problems.The most extreme cases of deficiency may be associated with arrhythmia.||Unusual.|
of bone tissue;Forms compounds needed for energy conversion reactions
(e.g. adenosine triphosphate – ATP).
|Dairy products; Fruits (most fruits); Meat; Pulses; Vegetables (leafy green ).||Insufficient |
phosphorous may lead to:Anaemia; Demineralization of bones; Nerve disorders; Respiratory problems; Weakness;Weight
phosphorous can interfere with the body’s absorption
of: calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc.
base ion of intracellular fluid;Necessary to maintain electrical potentials of the nervous
system – and so functioning of muscle and nerve tissues.
|Cereals; Coffee;Fresh Fruits;Meat; Salt-subsitutes; Vegetables; Whole-grain flour.||Insufficient potassium in the body may lead to: General muscle paralysis;Metabolic disturbances.||Excessive |
amounts in the body (whether due to intake
or other causes) may lead to:Arrhythmia, and ultimately cardiac arrest
(“heart attack”). Metabolic disturbances.
the volume of extracellular fluid in the
body;Maintains the acid-alkali (pH) balance in
to maintain electrical potentials of the nervous system
– and so functioning of muscle and nerve tissues.
|Processed bakery products;Processed foods generally (incl. tinned |
and cured products);Table Salt
sodium in the body may lead to:Low blood pressure; General muscle weakness/paralysis; Mild Fever; Respiratory problems.
amounts in the body (whether due to intake
or other causes) may lead to:Hypernatraemia; De-hydration (especially in babies);Possible long-term effects may include hypertension.
in the functioning of skeletal muscle.
|Cereals; Cheese; Fresh fruit;Meat;Nuts;Wholemeal flour.||Deficiency |
may lead to:Confusion; Depression; Irritability; Weakness.
of the enzyme copper-zince superoxide dismutase
(CuZn SOD);Also present in other enzymes, including
cytochrome oxidase, ascorbic acid oxidase,
and tyrosinases;Found in the red blood cells, and in blood plasma;
|Cocoa; Liver; Kidney;Oysters; Peas; Raisins.||Insufficient copper has been associated with:changes in hair colour & texture, and |
hair loss; disturbances to the nervous system;
bone diseases. Serious deficiency is rare but can leadto: Menke’s syndrome.
Fertility;Formation of strong healthy bones, nerves,
and muscles;Forms part of the enzyme copper-zince superoxide dismutase
(CuZn SOD) system;
|Avocados; Nuts; Pulses;Tea; Vegetables; Whole-grain cereals.||Deficiencies are unusual but may lead to:Bone deformities;Rashes & skin conditions;Reduced hair growth;Retarded growth (in children).||Excessive |
intake has been associated with brain conditions
such as symptoms similar to those resulting
from Parkinson’s disease.
properties (prevents peroxidation of lipids
in the cells);Essential component of the enzyme glutathione
peroxidase;Contributes to efficiency of the immune
system -very wide variety of protective functions within the
|Egg yolk; Garlic; Seafood; Whole-grain flour.||Deficiency may lead to:Cardiomyopathy; Kaschin-Beck disease (affects the cartilage at joints).||Excessive |
intake can lead to selenium poisoning.
build-up of toxic substances in the body;Structural health of the body (sulphur is
a part of many amino acids incl. cysteine
and methionine);Healthy skin, nails & hair.
|Beans; Beef; Cruciferous vegetables (e.g. broccoli); Dairy produce; Meat .||Deficiency of sulphur is unusual.|
|Needed for: functioning of many (over 200) enzymes and strong immune system.||Dairy produce; Egg yolk;Liver; Red meat; Seafood; Whole-grain flour. ||Deficiency is rare but may lead to:Lesions on the skin, oesophagus and cornea;Retarded growth (of children);Susceptibility to infection.||Excessive |
intake is not a common problem but especially if zinc
supplements are taken over an extended period of time,
can reduce the absorption of Copper (so Copper supplements
may also be appropriate).