Mineral nutrients are the chemical elements that organisms require to live, except for carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. These elements are excluded as mineral nutrients since they are commonly present in organic molecules. The most abundant minerals in the human body in descending order are calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, sodium, chlorine and magnesium. They are considered major minerals, since they’re required in relatively large amounts by all organisms.
The minor minerals for mammals include iron, cobalt, copper, zinc, manganese, molybdenum, iodine, bromine and selenium. These minerals are also essential, although they’re required in small, or trace, amounts. The minor minerals for non-mammals may vary slightly.
Additional minerals are also required in very small, or ultratrace, amounts. This category includes minerals such as boron and chromium that are clearly essential nutrients, although their precise biochemical functions aren’t well understood. Other elements such as arsenic and silicon may also be essential, although this hasn’t yet been proven.
Plants generally absorb minerals from the soil and incorporate them into chemical compounds. Herbivores then eat the plants, and the minerals move up the food chain as these animals are eaten by other animals. Some animals also obtain minerals directly from the soil, typically from salt licks. Mineral-containing compounds must be broken down after they are consumed, so that the mineral may be absorbed. Minerals are often present in the body in a form that isn’t bioavailable, meaning that the mineral can’t be easily used for some biological purpose.
ConcenTrace® AC is a highly potent, standardized complex of trace minerals produced by Trace Minerals Research (TMR). These minerals are extracted from the Great Salt Lake in Utah, which is the largest source of concentrated salt water in the world. ConcenTrace® AC is especially high in magnesium, selenium, lithium and boron, all of which are essential for human nutrition.
The evaporative and geothermal processes that formed the Great Salt Lake have concentrated the minerals that are found in sea water. These processes have made the Great Salt Lake a rich source of the same minerals that are essential nutrients. Furthermore, the water in the Great Salt Lake is extremely low in heavy metals. These metals precipitate to the bottom of the lake where anaerobic bacteria immobilize them in sulfate compounds. The Great Salt Lake is therefore self-cleansing of heavy metals.
TMR uses the naturally-occurring minerals in the Great Salt Lake as the basis for all of its products. These products provide the body with a natural balance of many minerals that are essential nutrients.
The primary use of trace minerals is the active site in enzymes that catalyze chemical reactions. These minerals are needed in small amounts because enzymes aren’t consumed during these reactions.
Selenium’s best-known biological role is a component of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase, which is involved in the metabolism of free radicals that are produced when polyunsaturated fatty acids oxidize. It is also a component of the enzymes involved with thyroid hormones.
Boron is believed to play a role in maintaining bone density. Animal studies show that it is also essential for healthy hair growth.
Lithium is best-known for the management of mood disorders. Its suspected biochemical roles deal with chemical signals in the brain.
Magnesium is the active site for more than 300 enzymes. These enzymes are commonly used for catalyzing reactions involving adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the primary source of chemical energy for humans.
The signs of a mineral deficiency are typically difficult to recognize. They are usually the result of inhibited chemical reactions, rather than the complete cessations of those reactions. Furthermore, mineral deficiencies are often non-definitive, instead of being specifically associated with that deficiency. For example, a magnesium deficiency typically causes high blood pressure and irregular heart rhythm. Muscle spasms and insomnia are also common signs of low magnesium levels. All of these signs have many other possible causes.
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