Mineral substances play an important role in the body’s vital functions, which is why they are a necessary component of food. Depending on their quantitative content in the body, mineral substances are divided into two main groups – macroelements and microelements.
In general, the importance of mineral substances in the body consists in the regulation of a number of life processes and participation in the construction of the bone system, teeth, various tissues and blood.
Role of minerals in the body
The regulatory role of mineral salts ensures the maintenance of
a certain concentration of hydrogen ions – acidity (pH) in tissues and physiological fluids.
With minor changes in the hydrogen exponent, the activity of the fermentation systems in individual organs undergoes sensitive changes affecting the direction and speed of the relevant processes.
Mineral substances determine the setting and maintenance of a certain osmotic pressure in the tissues of the whole organism, necessary to maintain the physico-chemical state of the colloid building blocks of the organism.
Individual ions exert a certain influence on certain organs and their functions. Any disruption of the ion balance leads to disruptions in the life processes performed by individual organs.
Mineral substances, especially microelements, are in close interaction with biologically active organic substances – hormones and vitamins. This interaction of microelements also determines their place in life processes.
For example, iodine is a structural component of thyroid hormone. Copper stimulates the activity of the pituitary gland in the production of the hormones that cause the development of the egg cell. All elements of the second periodic group, including zinc, beryllium and strontium, promote the action of insulin.
The relationship between trace elements and vitamins has also been established. For example, manganese is required for the formation of vitamin C in many plants. Some data show that when manganese is injected into an animal organism that is not capable of synthesizing ascorbic acid on its own, the formation of ascorbic acid is induced.
In all probability, manganese is also involved in the metabolism of vitamins B and D. The role of cobalt in relation to living organisms has also been established. In a number of localities, whose soils are poor in easily digestible cobalt, a-cobaltosis is observed – a severe disease in livestock, which disappears quickly when treated with cobalt salts given together with feed.
The beneficial role of cobalt is explained in the case of formation in the intestines of the animal of the organometallic compound cobalamin – vitamin B12. However, the role of cobalt in the body is not limited to its action through vitamin B12.
Essential Minerals For The Human Body
Essential minerals are those that the human body cannot synthesize on its own and must take in from external sources, primarily through food. Essential minerals are essential for the normal functioning of the body. This are the main essential minerals:
Calcium (Ca): Required for the formation and maintenance of bones and teeth, and also plays a role in muscle contraction, blood clotting and nerve conduction.
Phosphorus (P): Involved in the structure of DNA, RNA, and ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is important for cellular energy. Also, phosphorus is an important component of bones and teeth.
Potassium (K): Necessary for maintaining fluid balance in cells, regulating blood pressure, and involved in muscle and nerve function.
Sodium (Na): Plays a key role in maintaining fluid balance and osmotic balance in cells, as well as in nerve and muscle function.
Magnesium (Mg): Involved in hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body, including enzyme processes, DNA and RNA synthesis, and muscle function.
Iron (Fe): Essential for transporting oxygen from red blood cells to tissues. Iron is also involved in a number of enzymatic processes.
Zinc (Zn): Important for the immune system, growth and development, as well as for many enzymatic reactions in the body.
Selenium (Se): Has antioxidant properties and is involved in protecting cells from damage.
Chromium (Cr): Plays a role in carbohydrate metabolism and is involved in the regulation of insulin sensitivity.
Manganese (Mn): Involved in various fermentative processes and is important for bone development.
Copper (Cu): Plays a key role in collagen formation and is also involved in iron metabolism and antioxidant processes.
These minerals are essential for the maintenance of health and the normal functioning of the various systems in the human body. It is important to maintain a balanced diet that provides sufficient amounts of these essential minerals.