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Minerals: The Trace Elements

Updated on March 29, 2010


Minerals are trace elements needed in small amounts by plants, animals and human beings. The major elements that form a part of the make up of all living things are: iron, sulfur, calcium, phosphorus, copper, cobalt, manganese, magnesium, zinc, iodin6, chlorine and flourine.

The body needs iron to carry away carbon dioxide from the lungs to the cell. It is also necessary for hemoglobin formation. Wheat germ, soybean, flour, beef, kidney, liver, clams, peaches and molasses are good sources of iron. Copper is needed by the body so it can use iron to build hemoglobin.

Cobalt is needed for the normal function of all cells especially cells of the bone narrow, nervous system and gastrointestinal system. The good sources of cobalt are liver, kidney, oyster, clam, lean meat, poultry, salt, water, fish and milk.

Magnesium helps regulate muscle reaction and keeps the muscle in good working condition. Plant needs magnesium to build chlorophyll.17 Manganese and zinc are required for the normal action of certain enzymes. Without these two minerals, certain reactions in the body cells would stop. Manganese plays a role in the formation of urea. Nuts, whole grains, tea and dried legumes are good sources of manganese. Zinc is an important factor in host immune defenses and in the acceleration of wound healing and normal sense of taste. Good sources of zinc include milk, meat, liver, oyster, eggs, nuts, legumes, and cereals.

Iodine is essential for the synthesis of thyroxine (hormone in the thyroid gland) and stimulates cell oxidation. Seafoods, kelp, dairy products, and seaweeds are good sources of iodine.18 Chlorine are found in sodium chloride (table salt) while flourine are found in water, tea, soybean and seafishes.


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