Trace Minerals Complete List

Main two minerals group page and the two essential vitamins page.

IRON

Functions Facilitated in the Body:

  • bone homoeostasis
  • utilisation of energy
  • haemoglobin synthesis (part of protein haemoglobin that carries oxygen in the blood)
  • immune resistance
  • skin and nail formation
  • helps to convert phenylalanine to tyrosine
  • part of myoglobin in muscles (makes oxygen available for muscle contraction)

RDI:

  • Adolescents: 11mg/day (boys 14-18 yr) & 15mg/day (girls 14-18 yr)
  • Men: 8mg/day
  • Women: 18mg/day (19-50 yr) & 8mg/day (51+)
  • Pregnancy: 27mg/day
  • Lactation: 10mg/day (14-18 yr) & 9mg/day (19-50 yr)

UL:

  • Adults: 45mg/day

Deficiency Symptoms:

  • anaemia (headaches, fatigue, weakness, deficit in cognitive function)
  • blue sclera, pale skin and nail beds, spoon shaped distortion of nails
  • burning mouth syndrome
  • poor appetite, poor immunity
  • pica
  • stomatitis

Toxicity Symptoms:

  • GI distress, gut damage
  • increased oxidative stress, infections, joint pain, skin pigmentation

Food Sources:

  • red meat, fish, poultry, eggs
  • legumes, dried fruit, apricots, avocado
  • almonds, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds

ZINC

Functions Facilitated in the Body:

  • activates over 200 different enzymes
  • involved in making genetic material DNA and RNA synthesis
  • anti-vitral activity, immune response
  • taste and smell perception
  • wound healing
  • supports insulin synthesis and action

RDI:

  • Adolescents: 13mg/day (boys 14-18 yr) & 7mg/day (girls 14-18 yr)
  • Men: 14mg/day
  • Women: 8mg/day
  • Pregnancy: 10mg/day (14-18 yr) & 11mg/day (19-50 yr)
  • Lactation: 11mg/day (14-18 yr) & 12mg/day (19-50 yr)

UL:

  • Adults: 40mg/day

Deficiency Symptoms:

  • growth retardation
  • acne
  • deficit in immune function, increased susceptibility to infections
  • alopecia
  • delayed sexual maturation
  • loss of taste and smell
  • poor wound healing (eye and skin lesions), stretch marks
  • moodiness

Toxicity Symptoms:

  • loss of appetite, diarrhoea
  • dizziness, nausea, abdominal pain
  • low HDL
  • suppressed immune function
  • copper and iron deficiency

Food Sources:

  • protein containing foods (beef, herrings, oysters, liver, milk, egg yolk, sea food)
  • whole grains, sunflower and pumpkin seeds
  • bilberry, capsicum, ginger
  • yeast

IODINE

Functions Facilitated in the Body:

  • endocrine modulator
  • synthesis of thyroid hormones (regulate growth, development, metabolic rate)
  • mental development

RDI:

  • Adolescents: 150mcg/day
  • Adults: 150mcg/day
  • Pregnancy: 220mcg/day
  • Lactation: 270mcg/day

UL:

  • Adults: 1100mcg/day

Deficiency Symptoms:

  • birth defects
  • cognitive deficit
  • decreased BMR
  • hypothyroidism
  • low IQ
  • PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)

Deficiency disease are simple goitre and cretinism (due to severe iodine deficiency during pregnancy), it is irreversible mental and physical retardation.

Toxicity Symptom:

  • under active thyroid gland
  • elevated TSH
  • goitre
  • gut irritation

Food Sources:

  • seafood and seaweed (nori, wakame sea vegetable, kelp), oysters
  • asparagus, garlic, mushrooms, lima beans, sunflower
  • iodised salt
  • dairy products
  • plant food grown in iodine-rich soil

SELENIUM

Functions Facilitated in the Body:

  • antioxidant activity, protection against free radical damage
  • thyroid hormone metabolism
  • improves sperm motility and maturation
  • increases HDL:LDL ratio
  • spares vitamin E
  • inhibitory effects on chemical carcinogenesis
  • facilitates recycling of vitamin C and E

RDI:

  • Adolescents: 70mcg/day (boys 14-18 yr) & 60mcg/day (girls 14-18 yr)
  • Men: 70mcg/day
  • Women: 60mcg/day
  • Pregnancy: 65mcg/day
  • Lactation: 75mcg/day

UL:

  • Adults: 400mcg/day

Deficiency Symptoms:

  • predisposition to Keshan disease (cardiac tissue becoming fibrous)
  • hypothyroidism
  • depressed glutathione
  • muscle pain and tenderness
  • premature aging
  • cardiomyopathy
  • infections

Toxicity Symptoms:

  • brittle nails, loss nails and hair
  • dermatitis
  • fatigue, dizziness
  • irritability, nervous system disorders
  • garlic breath

Food Sources:

  • seafood (oysters,crab), meat
  • vegetables and fruits depending on soil content (broccoli,alfalfa, celery, garlic)
  • Brazil nuts, cashews, barley

COPPER

Functions Facilitated in the Body:

  • absorption and use of iron
  • part of several enzymes
  • myelin and melanin synthesis
  • collagen and elastin production
  • electron transfer in mitochondria to produce energy
  • blood clothing factors

AI:

  • Adolescents: 1.5mg/day (boys 14-18 yr) & 1.1mg/day (girls 14-18 yr)
  • Men: 1.7mg/day
  • Women: 1.2mg/day
  • Pregnancy: 1.3mg/day
  • Lactation: 1.5mg/day

UL:

  • Adults: 10mg/day

Deficiency Symptoms:

  • anaemia
  • alopecia
  • bone disease
  • cardiovascular lesions, coronary thrombosis
  • depression
  • digestive disorders
  • iron accumulation in tissues
  • weak blood vessels

Toxicity Symptoms:

  • fatigue, lethargy
  • liver damage
  • diarrhoea
  • joint and muscle pain

Food Source:

  • seafood (oysters, crab, lobster, prawns), tempeh
  • nuts and seeds (sunflower seeds,almonds, pecans)
  • chocolate
  • avocados, broccoli, beans, mushrooms, prunes
  • whole grains, buckwheat

MANGANESE

Functions Facilitated in the Body:

  • bone and ligament formation
  • co-factor in several enzymes
  • co-factor in synthesis of thyroxine, prothrombin and neurotransmitters
  • carbohydrate, lipid and protein metabolism

AI:

  • Adolescents: 3.5mg/day (boys 14-18 yr) & 3mg/day (girls 14-18 yr)
  • Men: 5.5mg/day
  • Women: 5mg/day
  • Pregnancy & Lactation: 5mg/day

UL: has not been established as there are insufficient date at present.

Deficiency Symptoms: (rare)

  • brittle bones
  • disc degeneration
  • dermatitis
  • osteoporosis

Toxicity Symptoms:

  • muscle fatigue and pain
  • nervous system disorders

Food Sources:

  • wheat and oat bran
  • rice
  • wheat germ
  • barley, buckwheat
  • nuts (hazelnuts, almonds, pine nuts, pecans, walnuts)
  • leafy vegetables, avocado, beans, carrots, broccoli

CHROMIUM

Functions Facilitated in the Body:

  • glucose balance and enhancing activity of insulin
  • improves glucose tolerance (component of glucose tolerance factor-GTF)
  • reduces total cholesterol serum
  • increases HDL cholesterol

AI:

  • Adolescents: 35mcg/day (boys 14-18 yr) & 25mcg/day (girls 14-18 yr)
  • Men: 35mcg/day
  • Women: 25mcg/day
  • Pregnancy: 30mcg/day
  • Lactation: 45mcg/day

UL: has not been established as there are insufficient data at present.

Deficiency Symptoms:

  • adult onset diabetes like conditions
  • anxiety
  • elevated serum cholesterol and triglyceride
  • peripheral neuropathy
  • sweet craving

Toxicity Symptoms: none reported, but may cause;

  • diarrhoea
  • vomiting
  • hepatic and renal damages

Food Sources:

  • meats (liver), oysters
  • whole grains
  • asparagus, apples, pepper, potato, mushroom
  • brewer’s yeast
  • egg yolk, cheese
  • nuts

MOLYBDENUM

Functions Facilitated in the Body:

  • co-factor to number of enzymes
  • lipid, iron and copper metabolism
  • converts sulphites or sulfites to sulphates
  • purine metabolism

RDI:

  • Adolescents: 43mcg/day
  • Adults: 45mcg/day
  • Pregnancy & Lactation: 50mcg/day

UL:

  • Adults: 2mg/day

Deficiency Symptoms: not known, but may be associated with;

  • defect in sulphur amino acid metabolism
  • dental caries
  • tachycardia

Toxicity Symptoms: none reported, but may cause;

  • kidney and reproductive problems

Food Sources:

  • legumes
  • nuts and seeds (sunflower)
  • cereals, buckwheat, wheat germ
  • kidney, lamb, pork

FLUORIDE

Functions Facilitated in the Body:

  • strengthens teeth
  • makes teeth resistant to decay

AI:

  • Adolescents: 3mg/day
  • Men: 4mg/day
  • Women: 3mg/day
  • Pregnancy & Lactation: 3mg/day

UL:

  • Adults: 10mg/day

Deficiency Symptoms:

  • susceptibility to tooth decay

Toxicity Symptoms:

  • pitting and discolorations of teeth (fluorosis)

Food Sources:

  • seafood (sardines)
  • drinking water if fluoride is added
  • tea

Recent evidence suggests the therapeutic use of this mineral for dental caries works via topical application and acts as an antibiotic.

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