Minerals and their Role in Human Body
By the middle of the 20th century, scientists put together a profile of proteins, carbohydrates and fats, as well as vitamins and minerals.
Research revealed that minerals are required to carry out vital body functions such as formation of bones and teeth, and nerve function. They are also part of the body’s fluid and enzyme systems.
Just like vitamins, recommended daily allowances (RDA’s) have been developed as a guide to the daily amount of minerals needed by a healthy person.
As the quality of western diets declined (due to the introduction of highly processed foods, and depletion of minerals in the soil), knowledge of the importance of minerals has increased rapidly.
Minerals can be categorised in accordance to their requirement in the body:
Macro minerals – required in large amounts by the body
Trace minerals – required in much smaller quantities, but still vitally important
Do we need extra minerals?
Mineral supplements are generally unnecessary if a varied balanced diet is consumed.
Certain people may have higher requirements for specific minerals, e.g. those taking certain medications, women with high menstrual losses, and the sick.
Mineral supplementations is normally only advised when a certain deficiency or need cannot be corrected through dietary intake. Further advice on supplementation should be sought from a doctor or qualified nutritionist.