Last week week’s column focused on the 3 major minerals utilized by the human body. This week’s column looks at some common trace minerals our body needs to function.
Deficiency of silicon has been linked with bone and joint malformations as well as reduced collagen in the femur and vertebrae. Silica is commonly used as a supplement for healthy skin, nails, and hair.
Potassium is essential in the functioning of our nerves and muscles and also in controlling blood pressure. Supplementation should only occur if blood tests indicate a deficiency.
Selenium plays an important role in reproduction, thyroid metabolism, DNA synthesis, and protection from oxidative damage and infection. Short term use of selenium is likely safe but long term use should be monitored for possible signs of selenium poisoning.
This mineral aids in synthesis of cholesterol, fats, and proteins and also helps stabilize blood sugar levels. It is sometimes recommended for use in non-insulin dependent diabetics and for those with a diagnosed deficiency.
Found in cells throughout the body zinc supports the immune system and helps our body use carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Zinc lozenges are commonly used for sore throat and short term boosting of the immune system.
As with all medications and supplements always follow directions found on product labels and consult a health practitioner when considering the use of mineral supplements.