Ultra trace minerals are essential for our body’s processes, such as digestive, respiratory, muscular, and neuronal functions. They are generally metals, which are essential for the proper functioning of cells and organic processes, which is why a daily supply of these elements is necessary for our diet, even if they are present in small quantities, as they are not produced by the human body. Both the absence of these elements and their excess can be very harmful to our body. Each of these elements is an ultra trace mineral and has its function, and the most important are: fluoride, iodine, selenium, silicon, chromium, cobalt, iron, lithium, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, copper, tin, vanadium, and zinc.
What Ultra Trace Minerals Do We Need?
The following is a list of ultra trace minerals and what each one does for our body:
- Fluoride: bones and teeth: it helps to fix calcium in the bones, so it is essential during periods of growth and bone formation, but it also helps to prevent or delay the onset of osteoporosis. It maintains the good condition of tooth enamel and therefore helps to prevent the appearance of caries.
- Iodine: thyroid and energy: iodine is essential for the proper functioning of the thyroid glands as it is essential for the formation of thyroid hormones (T3 and T4). These hormones regulate basal metabolism and thus the growth and functions of other body systems. They are essential for energy production in the body and are necessary for the synthesis of many proteins. They also influence carbohydrate and lipid metabolism.
- Selenium: antioxidant and chemopreventive: although its mechanism of action is not fully understood, it is known to be a very powerful antioxidant and is necessary for the proper functioning of muscles, protects the cardiovascular system, and, although there are contradictory opinions, it appears that it may delay the onset of cataracts and help prevent certain types of cancer.
- Silicon: bones, skin, hair, and nails: it is essential for the formation of the skeleton and for growth as it is involved in the bone calcification process. It is involved in the healing process. Lack of silicon leads to loss of elasticity of the skin and other tissues, brittle hair, and nails.
- Chromium: sugar metabolism; involved in the metabolism of sugars, it enhances the action of insulin and promotes glucose entry into the cells. It should be noted that its content in the body decreases with age.
- Cobalt: circulatory system: it is an essential component of vitamin B12. It regulates the neuronal system, helps regulate blood pressure and dilates blood vessels, and promotes the fixation of glucose in tissues.
- Iron: blood, tissues, and vitality. It is involved in the synthesis and function of hemoglobin, acts on enzymes in the production of energy, collagen, elastin, and neurotransmitters.
- Lithium: the nervous system. It acts on the bodys nervous system and is useful in some types of heart disease. In principle, lithium deficiency is unlikely to occur. Still, it seems that treatment with lithium may be useful in certain cases of bipolar disorder (in this case, always with dosed medication and under medical prescription).
- Manganese: allergies. Its mechanism is not clearly determined, but supplementation improves allergic symptoms in many cases. It is also necessary for bone and reproductive functions.
- Molybdenum: detoxification and other functions. Involved in the metabolism and intestinal absorption of iron. It is involved in the excellent state of male functions and also in the detoxification process of nitrous compounds.
- Nickel: growth and defense. It is involved in the processes of growth, blood cell formation, and the body’s defense processes.
- Copper: multifunction and defense. It is involved in the synthesis and function of hemoglobin, in the production of collagen, elastin, and neurotransmitters, and the formation of melanin stimulates the immune system.
- Tin: caution. Important for many bioelectrical functions of the body and hair growth. Improving the function of the reflexes and immune system. Deficiency is difficult to occur, but an excess of tin is possible through exposure to tin canned food and can be toxic.
- Vanadium: trace element present in the human body in minute quantities. Its mechanism of action is unclear, but it increases and enhances insulin-controlled mechanisms, increasing muscle glycogen levels.
- Zinc: immunity and many other functions. It is involved in the functioning of certain hormones and growth processes. It is also involved in insulin production, sperm formation, and immune system defense.
Getting the Balance Right
The foods with the highest number of ultra trace minerals are nuts, seafood, whole grains, and pulses. However, there are also specific ingredients that enjoy their presence, such as seaweed, in the case of iodine; seeds, rich in calcium; or tomatoes and bananas as an indispensable potassium source. To meet your daily dose of trace minerals adequately and healthily, always try to maintain a varied and balanced diet; you can seek the help of a professional who will indicate the most appropriate guidelines according to your body.