Below you can find general information about Minerals, please note that doctor’s supervision is considered crucial to ensure proper dosages of minerals and vitamins. Don’t take supplements unless your doctor recommends them.
Calcium is important for strong teeth and bones. It’s also needed for your heart, muscles and nerves to function properly. Many Americans don’t get enough calcium in their diets. However, calcium supplements can help prevent deficiencies that can lead to bone loss and the brittle bone disease osteoporosis — especially when taken regularly and combined with vitamin D. Calcium and vitamin D, taken in combination with prescribed medications, can also be used to help treat osteoporosis or low bone mineral density (osteopenia).
Iron plays an essential role in delivering oxygen to the body via the bloodstream. It also has many muscular and metabolic functions. A lack of iron can lead to anemia and reduce your resistance to infection. Studies show that iron supplements can prevent or treat iron deficiency anemia. Research also has demonstrated that iron supplements may benefit women during menstruation or pregnancy. Iron deficiency is uncommon in postmenopausal women. Postmenopausal women and healthy men rarely need supplemental iron. If you’re taking a multivitamin and are no longer menstruating, choose a pill with little or no iron (8 mg/day or less) unless your doctor advises otherwise.
Magnesium is involved in many biochemical reactions in the body, helping maintain normal heart rhythm, immune system and muscle function. Low magnesium levels are linked with a variety of conditions, including hypertension, heart disease, osteoporosis and poorly controlled diabetes. Use of certain medications, such as diuretics and some antibiotics, also may affect magnesium levels. In large doses, magnesium supplements can cause abdominal cramps, nausea and diarrhea.
Potassium is an electrolyte that is critical to the function of nerve and muscle cells, including those in your heart. Some studies indicate that low potassium may contribute to hypertension, and that increasing potassium intake through diet may help prevent or help treat this problem. Other studies indicate that increased potassium intake is linked with a lower risk of stroke, but more research is needed.
Selenium has antioxidant properties, which may help your body fight off illnesses. It also helps maintain the immune system and regulate thyroid function. Some studies suggest that selenium may help prevent certain types of cancer. However, research on supplementation hasn’t demonstrated that selenium, in pill form, can aid in cancer prevention. Preliminary studies have also looked at the relationship between selenium and arthritis.
Zinc is needed for normal growth, development and sexual maturation, and helps regulate appetite, stress level, and sense of taste and smell. It also has antioxidant properties and plays an essential role in the immune system. Studies have produced conflicting evidence on whether zinc lozenges reduce the duration and severity of cold symptoms. Some studies indicate that taking a daily multivitamin-mineral supplement may increase the immune response in older adults, while other studies suggest supplementation may weaken the immune response. Supplementation with zinc and certain antioxidants may slow the progression of age-related ocular degeneration.
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