Chloride, along with sodium, regulates the acid/alkali balance in the body. It is also necessary for the production of gastric acid which is a component of hydrochloric acid (HCl).
Only trace amounts of iron are essential for living cells of plants and animals. Iron has the ability to interact reversibly with oxygen and to function in electron transfer reactions that makes it biologically indispensable. Iron is necessary for cell function and blood utilization. Blood loss is the most common cause of iron deficiency. Pallor and extreme fatigue are the symptoms of iron deficiency anemia.
Sodium regulates the pH of intracellular fluids and with potassium, regulates the acid/ alkali balance in the body. Sodium and chloride are necessary for maintaining osmosis and electrolyte balance.
Aluminum is a natural component of many foods. Although it is found in small quantities in plant and animal tissues and in blood and urine, there is no evidence that this element is essential for any metabolic function in humans or animals. In fact, there is evidence that elevated aluminum can result in neurological disorders, bone disease, gastrointestinal irritation, loss of appetite and loss of energy.
Because aluminum is a natural constituent of some foods and is in a growing number of modern foods and pharmaceutical preparations, an understanding of aluminum and aluminum containing foods and cooking utensils can benefit all people. In healthy people, more than 98% of the ingested aluminum is passed through the gastrointestinal tract. Silicon, a constituent of Celtic Sea Salt (see above), prevents the absorption of aluminum and actually helps the body eliminate aluminum that is bound in the tissues.
Sulfur is found in all cells, especially in skin, connective tissues, and hair. Inadequate dietary sulfur has been associated with skin and nail diseases. Increased intake of dietary sulfur sometimes helps psoriasis and rheumatic conditions.
Strontium (not Strontium 90, the radioactive form of the element) may help harden the calcium-magnesium- phosphorus structures of the body. Strontium may influence the intake or structural use of calcium, according to Bernard Jensen, Ph.D.
Magnesium is a mineral of primary importance in the body because it aids in the activation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the main energy source for cell functioning. Magnesium also activates several enzyme systems and is important for the synthesis of RNA and DNA. Magnesium is necessary for normal muscle contraction and important for the synthesis of several amino acids.
Although adults only require an average of 15 mg of zinc per day, zinc is a very important trace element that is essential to many biological factors. Zinc is required for growth, for immune system function, and for sexual development. Zinc is a cofactor in over 90 enzymes. Zinc is required for the synthesis of insulin. Proper zinc metabolism is needed for wound healing, and carbohydrate and protein metabolism. Zinc is considered an antibacterial factor in the prostatic fluid, and may contribute to the prevention of chronic bacterial prostatitis and urinary tract infections.
Potassium exists primarily in intracellular fluids (the fluid inside cells). Potassium stimulates nerve impulses and muscle contractions and is important for the maintenance of osmotic pressure. Potassium regulates the body¢s acid-alkali balance, stimulates kidney and adrenal functioning, and assists in converting glucose to glycogen. Also, potassium is important for biosynthesis of protein.
Gallium has no known biological role, although it may stimulate metabolism. Small concentrations of gallium are normally found in human tissue.
Calcium is necessary to build healthy bones and teeth. Calcium influences blood coagulation, stimulates muscles and nerves, and acts a s a cofactor for vitamin D and the function of the parathyroid gland. Muscles cannot contract without calcium. Calcium is essential for the regulation of heartbeat. Calcium depletion can result in a number of symptoms, the most notable is osteoporosis which results in decreased bone mass and increased chances of bone breakage.
Titanium is an abundant mineral, yet it appears to have no function to plant and animal life. In general, humans may eat and excrete titanium with no side effects as it is considered essentially nontoxic. Titanium may be carcinogenic, but not at the levels humans are generally exposed to.
Silicon is necessary for normal growth and bone formation. With calcium, silicon is a contributing factor in good skeletal integrity. Silicon is a main component of osteoblasts, the bone forming cells. Silicon may help to maintain youthful skin, hair and nails.
Fluoride has a direct effect on the calcium and phosphate metabolism and in small amounts may reduce osteoporosis. Trace amounts of fluoride produce stronger tooth enamel that is more resistant to bacterial degradation. However, an increased intake through fluoridated drinking water can potentially overload the human system.
Copper facilitates in the absorption of iron and supports vitamin C absorption. Copper is also involved in protein synthesis and an important factor in the production of RNA.
Rubidium has a close physiochemical relationship to potassium. In fact, it may have the ability to act as a nutritional substitute for potassium. Although rubidium is not considered “essential,” some evidence suggests that rubidium may have a role in free radical pathology and serve as a mineral transporter across defective cell membranes, especially in cells associated with aging. Clinical studies have suggested that rubidium increases memory and mental acuity in the elderly.
Small amounts of tin appear to be necessary for normal growth. Because tin is common in soil, foods, and water, deficiencies are rare. Because of poor absorption, low tissue accumulation and rapid tissue turnover, tin has a low level of toxicity.
Manganese is essential for glucose utilization, for lipid synthesis and forlipid metabolism. Manganese plays a role in cholesterol metabolism and pancreatic function and development. Manganese in involved in normal skeletal growth and it activates enzyme functions.
Blaurock-Busch, E. pH.D. Mineral and Trace Element Analysis. Boulder, CO. TMI/MTM Books. 1996.
Jensen, B. DC, pH.D. Come Alive! Total Health through an Understanding of Minerals, Trace Elements & Electrolytes. Escondido, CA. Jensen. 1997.
Bergner, P. The Healing Power of Minerals, Special Nutrients, and Trace Elements. Rocklin, CA. Pima Publishing. 1997.
Fallon, S. Nourishing Traditions. Washington D.C. New Trends Publishing. 1999.