Minerals and why we need them
There is a lot of speculation over whether we need to supplement minerals in our diet.
We can look at this from a logical point of view. Firstly, some minerals are not easily extracted and absorbed from food, and secondly, the mineral content present in a food is largely dependent on a number of factors. For instance the mineral content found in vegetables is related to the quality of the soil they are grown in. Another view is that an ageing body doesn't extract nutrients from food as well as it used to, this can lead to vitamin, mineral and other nutrient deficiencies. There are some who will disagree with this statement, regarding it as a myth. But we can look at this another way.
The myth theory might work if everything was equal, but it is not.
It relies on the theory that an older digestion is as efficient as a younger digestion.....how can it be?......nothing else in the body is as efficient.
The theory that all food is equal (in nutritional value).......how can this be?.....it is known that food quality degrades with age, and quality and nutrient value depends on soil / climatic conditions.
Then there's the theory that we all digest food with equal efficiency. This is not possible because the human organism is not duplicated, and allergies, food intolerances and genetic influences are not taken into account.
Also not taken into account is the fluctuating demands for minerals that can occur in some situations. For example low stomach acid, which reduces the ability of the digestion to extract minerals from food.
When we look at it this way it is clear that we cannot guarantee that we will get all the minerals we need from our diet alone. We have to look at our own needs. If we look and feel healthy with no emotional problems, then more than likely we don't need to supplement minerals at all. On the other hand if we do have emotional or physical issues, it could be very beneficial to supplement our diets with the minerals we need.
If you are suffering from emotional or physical problems, they may be relieved by supplementing vitamins, minerals and other supplements. However, you should never neglect finding the root cause of your problems. You will find a lot of help in rooting out various health and emotional issues throughout this site.
Minerals - what they do and their deficiency symptoms
Calcium RDA 800 mg.
Calcium is the most common mineral in the human body. About 99% of the calcium in the body is found in bones and teeth, while the other 1% is found in the blood and soft tissue.
Calcium levels in the blood and fluid surrounding the cells (extracellular fluid) must be maintained within a very narrow concentration range for normal physiological functioning.
The physiological functions of calcium are so vital to survival that the body will demineralise bone to maintain normal blood calcium levels when calcium intake is inadequate. Thus, adequate dietary calcium is a critical factor in maintaining a healthy skeleton.
Calcium plays a role in mediating the constriction and relaxation of blood vessels (vasoconstriction and vasodilation), nerve impulse transmission, muscle contraction, and the secretion of hormones, such as insulin. Excitable cells, such as skeletal muscle and nerve cells, contain voltage-dependent calcium channels in their cell membranes that allow for rapid changes in calcium concentrations. For example, when a muscle fibre receives a nerve impulse that stimulates it to contract, calcium channels in the cell membrane open to allow a few calcium ions into the muscle cell. These calcium ions bind to activator proteins within the cell that release a flood of calcium ions from storage vesicles inside the cell.
Eating too many acidic foods causes the body to use up calcium to buffer the acidic body chemistry.
In the synapse, calcium's main role is to trigger the release of chemicals (neurotransmitters) from the presynaptic neuron. Since calcium triggers the conversion of an electrical signal into a chemical one, calcium can be thought of as the trigger for electrochemical transduction. Calcium ions enter the presynaptic terminals through different types of calcium channels. The greater the inflow of calcium ions, the greater the electrical current in the postsynaptic cell.
Calcium acts to enhance the strength of transmission from one cell to another. As long as there's an elevation of calcium, there's a stronger connection. Presynaptic calcium plays a role in the processes of short-term memory, learning and muscle contraction. Calcium channels are also important at the presynaptic boutons of axons, the influx of calcium ions leads to the release of neurotransmitters into the synaptic cleft.
Deficiency is frequently due to overacidity, lack of vitamin D, lack of magnesium, underactive thyroid and overactive parathyroids, or oversupply of phosphorus.
The normal calcium-phosphorus ratio in blood is 10:4. If the calcium level is too high, calcifications result - stone formation, tartar, arthritic deposits, cataracts and muscle tension.
Note that calcium supplements, as with magnesium, can neutralise stomach acid and interfere with proper digestion.
Fragile or deformed bones - muscle cramps, twitching and weakness - irritability - headaches - depression - menstrual problems - excessive and painful menstruation - poor circulation - tender breasts - undue sensitivity to pain - insomnia - allergies - inflammations - low blood pressure - varicose veins - piles - distended veins and abdomen - swellings - slow wound healing - pyorrhoea - gingivitis - eye problems.Best food sources
Cheese - milk - nuts - beans - root vegetables.
Back to the top