– Minerals are naturally occurring elements that are abundant in nature but are not manufactured by the human body. These nutrients play a vital role in many different chemical reactions that are important to the functioning of the body. Because we cannot produce minerals to power these reactions, we must consume enough minerals on a daily basis to ensure good health.
Mineral deficiencies are common today, as many people struggle to eat balanced diets. For such individuals, taking a mineral supplement can help supply the body with what it needs to function at its best. drugstore.com has many different mineral supplements that can be a beneficial part of a healthy lifestyle. READ MORE ABOUT CALCIUM AND MINERALS »
Calcium is one of the most essential nutrients to good health. This mineral makes up a large portion of the bones and teeth and plays a structural role, giving them strength. As we age, our bones and teeth naturally become less dense, increasing the chances of breakage. Many doctors recommend calcium supplements for those who have osteoporosis and conditions related to weakened teeth.
Chromium is another nutrient that is found in many supplements. In the body, chromium assists with the activities of insulin, the natural chemical that regulates blood sugar levels in the body. Researchers are also investigating the role that chromium plays in healthy digestion, as many believe it is essential for breaking down carbohydrates, fats and protein.
In the body, the mineral iron performs many important roles, particularly in the transport of oxygen through the blood stream. Iron deficiency or anemia is a common medical problem that can cause feelings of fatigue, easy bruising and other symptoms. Children who are in rapid growth stages, pregnant women and women who have very heavy menstrual periods may all become temporarily deficient in iron, while others develop long-term anemia due to diet or poor absorption of the nutrient.
The mineral potassium is important for helping with the conduction of electrical energy through the body. This energy is required for many life processes, including supplying the power necessary for the heart to beat. Certain medical conditions and diseases can reduce the amount of potassium in the body, leading to a life-threatening deficiency known as hypokalemia. Often, doctors will recommend that individuals who are at risk for hypokalemia take a potassium supplement on a daily basis.
Magnesium is known to play a role in more than 300 chemical reactions in the body, making having an adequate supply of the nutrient essential to good health. Research indicates that many Americans don't get enough magnesium in their diets, and certain gastrointestinal disorders can leave people severely deficient of the nutrient. When magnesium levels become very low, they can cause levels of other important minerals like calcium and potassium to drop as well.
If you're unsure whether or not you are suffering from a mineral deficiency, talk to your doctor. He or she can order blood work to determine if you are deficient in any particular nutrient. BACK TO TOP »