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What Are Trace Minerals?


Vitamins and minerals are part of essential nutrients the body needs to function optimally. However, there are different types of minerals that your bodily systems need in different amounts. These essential minerals are divided into what are considered major minerals (macrominerals) and trace minerals (microminerals).

It’s crucial to intake a diverse spectrum of minerals to support a healthy body. Minerals provide cofactors for healthy cells, organs, metabolism, red blood cells, ligaments, cartilage, bone structure, immune system function, thyroid glands, and calcium utilization, among other functions, according to the University of Michigan Health System. Keep reading to learn more about the role of trace minerals in your health!

Essential Macrominerals

While we won’t touch upon macronutrients much here, the essential minerals in this category include sodium, chloride, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and sulfur. These macros help support almost every major bodily system, ranging from bone and muscle growth to blood circulation to immune system function to proper fluid balance, muscle contraction and movement, nerve transmission, and much more. Various macros can be found naturally in foods such as meats, vegetables, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, legumes, nuts and seeds. Multivitamin supplements also contain these necessary minerals.

Common Trace Minerals (Microminerals)

Although equally as important as macrominerals, the body only needs trace minerals in small amounts, with the exception of iron. Here are the main microminerals you should be getting in your daily dietary regimen.

Iron: The most important trace mineral, iron, helps carry oxygen throughout the body and supports energy metabolism. It can be found in fish, poultry, egg yolks, red meat, dark, leafy greens, and iron-enriched foods.

Zinc: Your immune system health, wound healing ability, and enzymatic functions all rely on zinc, which is prevalent in most meats and vegetables.

Iodine: Helping to regulate healthy thyroid function, metabolism, growth and development, iodine is one of the trace minerals found in seafood and dairy products. It can also be found in iodized salt.

Selenium: An antioxidant, selenium is found in meats, seafood, and grains.

Copper: A part of enzymatic functions and iron metabolism, copper can be found in legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and organ meats.

Manganese: The trace mineral manganese is also important in enzymatic functions and is found in many edible plants.

Chromium: The trace mineral chromium is found in whole grains, nuts, cheese, liver, and brewer’s yeast. It works alongside insulin to help regulate the body’s blood sugar (glucose) levels.

Molybdenum: Not as well known, the trace mineral molybdenum is a part of some enzymatic functions and can be found in legumes, leafy greens, milk, and liver.

Fluoride: While a topic of some controversy, fluoride is a trace mineral that is considered to help prevent tooth decay and help form bones and teeth. It can be found in tap water, fish, and tea.

Supplementing with Trace Minerals

A balanced diet usually delivers the vitamins and minerals you need to maintain optimal health, but sometimes you may need to fill gaps in your nutrition with dietary supplements. If you need to supplement your diet, be sure to opt for a trusted natural health brand, such as Standard Process, which offers a wide variety of professional-grade vitamins and minerals – including trace minerals – to support your health.

To start, try Trace Minerals-B12 by Standard Process, a nutritional supplement that combines important trace minerals such as iron, iodine, zinc, manganese, copper, as well as vitamin B12, to promote various enzymatic reactions in the body.

Also try Organically Bound Minerals by Standard Process, a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) certified organic, gluten-free supplement of iodine tablets derived from organic alfalfa and kelp, as well as chromium, to support healthy enzyme functions, connective tissues, and cellular energy production.

Standard Process also offers trace minerals and related supplements in single ingredient formulas for targeted health support. Note: Supplements by Standard Process are processed in a facility that manufactures other products containing soy, milk, egg, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish. Use caution if you are allergic to these substances.

A phone or in-person consultation with one of our certified nutritionists and healthcare practitioners is required to order products by professional supplement brands such as Standard Process. Please call Natural Healthy Concepts for more information: 866-505-7501 or 920-968-2350.

Dosing Guidelines

For exact dosing suggestions of macrominerals and trace minerals, check out Health.gov for a detailed list of Dietary Guidelines for Americans, compiled every five years by the USDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). These guidelines factor in gender and age for daily recommended intake values of vitamins, macrominerals, and microminerals, helping Americans to make healthier food choices based on science and nutrition policies and programs across the country.