Minerals All You Need To Know

Mineral rich foods

Major Minerals:
Calcium | Phosphorus | Magnesium | Sodium | Chloride | Potassium | Sulfur |
Trace Minerals:Iodine | Iron | Zinc | Copper | Fluoride |
SeleniumChromium | MolybdenumManganese | Cobalt |

Minerals are inorganic
 (do not contain Carbon)Classifications
Major Minerals: essential mineral nutrients found in the human body in amounts larger than 5 grams
Trace Minerals: essential minerals found in the human body in less than 5 grams
Digestion and Absorption
Like vitamins, some minerals can be absorbed and transported easily in the blood, other need carriers 
Bioavailability
Minerals vary in bioavailability depending on the food sources, due in part to binders (like phytic acid) in foods which can inhibit absorption in the body 
Toxicities
The trace minerals can be toxic at levels not far above the estimated requirements
Interactions
For trace minerals, interactions are common and can lead to nutrient imbalances.  Excessive dosages of one trace mineral may lead to the deficiency of another.

Major Minerals:


Calcium 
Type
Major Mineral 
Functions
Principal skeletal mineral in bones and teeth, muscle contraction and relaxation, nerve function, intracellular regulation, extracellular enzyme cofactor, blood clotting, blood pressure
Deficiencies
Osteoporosis, stunted childhood growth, (possible hypertension, preeclampsia, and colon cancer)
Toxicity
Rare, due to excretion. Possible imbalance of other minerals.
Recommended Intakes
RDAs:
1000 mg/day for adult males
1500 mg for adult males over age 65
1000 mg for adult females over age 24
1200-1500 mg for adult females – pregnant
1500 mg for adult females post-menopausal, without estrogen
1200 mg for adolescents ages 11-24
800-1200 mg for children ages 6-10
800 mg for children ages 1-5
600 mg for infants ages 0.5-1.0
400 mg for infants ages 0-0.5
Food Sources
Dairy, fish (with bones), tofu, legumes, kale, broccoli, fortified foods

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Phosphorus 
Type
Major Mineral 
Functions
Acid-base balance, DNA/RNA structure, energy, enzyme cofactor, found in every cell
Deficiencies
Unknown. (abundant mineral in healthy populations) 
Toxicity
Relative deficiency of calcium (>2:1 ratio of phosphorus: calcium could lead to hypocalcaemia)
Recommended Intakes
RDAs:
800  mg/day for adults over age 25
1200 mg for adult females – pregnant
1200 mg for adolescents ages 11-24
800 mg for children ages 1-10
500 mg for infants ages 0.5-1.0
300 mg for infants ages 0-0.5
Food Sources
Dairy, yogurt, fish, beef, poultry, eggs, legumes, grains

Magnesium
Type
Major Mineral 
Functions
Bone mineralisation, protein synthesis, enzymatic reactions, muscular contraction, nerve transmission  
Deficiencies
(Rare in non-disease state; prevalent in chronic alcoholism, renal dysfunction, hyperparathyroidism)
Weakness, confusion, hypertension, arrhythmia, depressed pancreatic hormone secretion, growth failure, behavioral disturbances, muscle spasms
Toxicity
Unknown.
Recommended Intakes
RDAs:
350 mg/day for adult males over age 18
280 mg for females over age 18
320 mg for adult females – pregnant
355 mg for females lactating 0-6 months
340 mg for females lactating 6 months+
400 mg for males ages 15-18
300 mg for females ages 15-18
270 mg for males ages 11-14
280 mg for females ages 11-14
170 mg for children ages 7-10
120 mg for children ages 4-6
80 mg for children ages 1-3
60 mg for infants ages 0.5-1.0
40 mg for infants ages 0-0.5
Food Sources
Legumes, whole grain cereals, nuts, dark green vegetables, chocolate, mineral water

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Sodium 
Type
Major Mineral 
Functions
Acid-base balance, fluid retention, involved in nerve impulse transmission 
Deficiencies
Cramping, apathy, depressed appetite 
Toxicity
Possible hypertension
Recommended Intakes
Daily Value recommendation – no more than 2,400 to 3,000 mg/day
Minimums:  (abundant in food, easily obtained)
500 mg/day for adults
120 mg for infants
Food Sources
Table salt, soy sauce, pickled foods, canned foods, many processed foods

Chloride 
Type
Major Mineral 
Functions
Fluid balance, aides digestion in stomach 
Deficiencies
Growth failure, muscle cramps, apathy, depressed appetite 
Toxicity
Rare. Possible vomiting, disturbed acid-base
Recommended Intakes
Estimated Minimum Requirements
750 mg/day for adults
750 mg for adolescents over age 9
600 mg for children ages 6-9
500 mg for children ages 2-5
350 mg for children ages 1
300 mg for infants ages 0.5-1.0
180 mg for infants ages 0-0.5
Food Sources
Table salt, soy sauce (usually consumed as sodium chloride)

Potassium 
Type
Major Mineral 
Functions
Protein synthesis, fluid balance, muscle contraction, nerve transmission
Deficiencies
Weakness, paralysis, mental confusion, possible death
Toxicity
Muscular weakness, possible vomiting
Recommended Intakes
Estimated Minimum Requirements
2000 mg/day for adults and adolescents
Food Sources
Fruit, vegetables, dairy, grains, legumes, beef.

Sulfur 
Type
Major Mineral 
Functions
Component of: biotin, thiamin, insulin, some amino acids 
Deficiencies
Unknown.  (Protein deficiency would occur before sulfur deficiency could occur)
Toxicity
Unknown. Only occurs with excess of certain amino acids
Recommended Intakes
Estimated Minimum Requirements
None  (Abundant supply)
Food Sources
All protein-containing foods

Track Minerals:

Iodine 
Type
Trace Mineral 
Functions
Component of the hormone thyroxin which aids in metabolism regulation and fetal development 
Deficiencies
Goiter, cretinism 
Toxicity
Depressed thyroid activity
Recommended Intakes
RDAs:
150
g/day for adults
175
g for adult females – pregnant
200
g for adult females – lactation
150
g for children ages 11+
190
g for children ages 7-10
90
g for children ages 4-6
70
g for children ages 1-3
40-50
g for infantsFood Sources
Iodised salt, bread, seafood

Iron 
Type
Trace Mineral 
Functions
Hemoglobin formation in red blood cells, myoglobin formation in muscle, oxygen carrier, energy utilization 
Deficiencies
Anemia, weakness, headaches, depressed immunity, behavioral abnormalities, reduced cognitive function 
Toxicity
Infections, liver damage, possible increased cancer and heart disease risk
Recommended Intakes
RDAs:
10 mg/day for adult males
10 mg for females ages 50+
30 mg for adult females – pregnant *requires supplementation
15 mg for adult females – lactation
15 mg for females ages 11-50
12 mg for males ages 11-18
10 mg for children 6 mo – 10 yrs
6 mg for infants 0-6 months
Food Sources
Beef, fish, poultry, shellfish, eggs, legumes, dried fruits, fortified cereals

Zinc 
Type
Trace Mineral 
Functions
Transport of vitamin A, taste, wound healing, sperm production, fetal development. Plays a part in many enzymes, hormones (insulin), genetic material, and proteins.
Deficiencies
Decreased appetite, growth failure in children, delayed development of sex organs, reduced immune function, poor wound healing 
Toxicity
Fever, vomiting, diarrhea, gastric distress, dizziness
Recommended Intakes
RDAs:
15 mg/day for adult males
12 mg for adult females
15 mg for adult females – pregnant
19 mg for adult females – lactation 0-6 months
16 mg for adult females – lactation 7-12 months
15 mg for males ages 10+
12 mg for females ages 10+
10 mg for children ages under 10
5 mg for infants
Food Sources
Beef, fish, poultry, grains, vegetables

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Copper 
Type
Trace Mineral 
Functions
Absorption of iron, part of many enzymes 
Deficiencies
Anemia, bone changes (rare) 
Toxicity
Unknown, except in rare hereditary condition: Wilson’s disease
Recommended Intakes
Estimated Safe and Adequate Dietary Intake:
1.5 – 3.0 mg/day for adults
0.4 – 0.6 mg for infants
Food Sources
Meat, drinking water

Fluoride 
Type
Trace Mineral 
Functions
Bone and teeth formation, decreases dental caries 
Deficiencies
Tooth decay, bone loss 
Toxicity
Fluorosis (discolored teeth)
Adequate Intakes (AI)
Estimated Safe and Adequate Daily Dietary Intakes:
3.1 (females) – 3.8 (males) mg/day for adult ages 19+
3.0 for children ages 14 – 18
2.0 for children ages 9 -13
1.0 for children ages 4 – 8
0.7 mg for children ages 1 – 3
0.5 mg for children 6 mo – 1 yr
0.01 mg for infants 0-6 months
Food Sources
Drinking water (if fluoridated), tea, seafood

Selenium 
Type
Trace Mineral 
Functions
Protects against oxidation 
Deficiencies
Anemia (rare) 
Toxicity
Digestive disorders, dermatological lesions
Recommended Intakes
RDAs:
70
g/day for adult males
55
g for adult females
65
g for adult females – pregnant
75
g for adult females – lactation
40
g for males ages 11 – 14
50
g for children ages 15 – 18
45
g for females ages 11 – 14
40
g for males ages 11 – 14
30
g for children ages 7 – 10
20
g for children ages 1- 6
15
g for infants 6 mo – 1 yr
10
g for infants 0-6 monthsFood Sources
Seafood, meats, grains, Brazil nuts

Chromium 
Type
Trace Mineral 
Functions
Energy release, sugar and fat metabolism, potentiates the action of insulin 
Deficiencies
Impaired glucose tolerance, elevated circulating insulin 
Toxicity
Limited primarily to occupational exposure (non-dietary) in hexavalent chromium
Recommended Intakes
Estimated Safe and Adequate Daily Dietary Intake:
50 – 200
g/day for adultsFood Sources
Fruits, vegetables, vegetable oils, whole grains, seeds, brewer’s yeast

Molybdenum 
Type
Trace Mineral 
Functions
Component of a several of enzymes 
Deficiencies
Unknown 
Toxicity
Enzyme inhibition, gout
Recommended Intakes
Estimated Safe and Adequate Dietary Intakes:
75-250
g/day for adults
75-250
g for children ages 11+
50-150
g for children ages 7 – 10
30-75
g for children ages 4 – 6
25-50
g for children ages 1 – 3
20-40
g for infants 6 mo – 1 yr
15-30
g for infants 0-6 monthsFood Sources
Legumes, cereals, organ meat, leafy vegetables

Manganese 
Type
Trace Mineral 
Functions
Component of a several of enzymes 
Deficiencies
Rare in humans. In animals: poor growth, impaired glucose tolerance, nervous system disorders, abnormal reproduction 
Toxicity
Rare.  In occupational exposures: Nervous system disorders, schizophrenia
Recommended Intakes
Estimated Safe and Adequate Dietary Intakes:
2.0-5.0 mg/day for adults
2.0-5.0 mg for children ages 11 – 14
2.0-3.0 mg for children ages 7 – 10
1.5-2.0 mg for children ages 4 – 6
1.0-1.5 mg for children ages 1 – 3
0.6-1.0 mg for children 6 mo – 1 yr
0.3-0.6 mg for infants 0-6 months
Food Sources
Non-animal sources only.  Fruits, vegetables, pecans, peanuts, fruit juice, oatmeal, rice

Cobalt 
Type
Trace Mineral 
Functions
As a component of vitamin B12, aids in nerve function and blood formation 
Deficiencies
Unknown 
Toxicity
Unknown
Recommended Intakes
No RDA
Food Sources
Meat, dairy, green leafy vegetables