Written by Antonio Reyes RDN
Zinc is present in most tissues, and the largest amounts are in liver, muscle, and bone. Zinc is a constituent of many enzymes and hormones but primarily nucleic acids, insulin and also helps with the proliferation of immune cells.
Best Sources: Oysters and milk.
RDI: 9 - 11 mg
Key Note: Anecdotal statements have been made about Zinc supplementation in men, they taunt this mineral to increase/boost testosterone, even bodybuilding supplements taunt this mineral as a “testosterone booster” all of this claims are false, Zinc does not increase testosterone in healthy young men. Supplementation may only aid in medical diagnose of Hypogonadism (the diminished functional activity of the gonads that leads to diminished production of sex hormones) and even so, hormone therapy is the first line of action.
Skin lesions, as well as delayed wound healing. A chronic deficit can cause growth defects, Hypogonadism and hair loss. It can also lead to high blood sugar stages due to lower insulin synthesis.
Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, cramps, diarrhea, and headaches. If excessive doses of zinc are ingested for a long time, disorders such as low cholesterol and/or HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) levels may occur.
The biological role in the nutrition of this mineral was a debate for a long time, some Pharmaceutical believed in no nutritional response while others suggested that it was merely a toxic metal.
New advances in clinical nutrition and molecular biology revealed that it contributed to a greater insulin signaling for glucose transport, especially if there is abnormal cell communication like in chronic inflammation. Chromium supplementation in overweight patients can aid to lower high blood sugar.
Best Sources: clams, whole grain cereals, and red meat.
RDI: 25 - 35 mg
It can cause hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). Deficiency also occurs in people with severe malnutrition and/or senior citizens.
Studies that lasted several months established that high oral doses (above 200mg per day) would be necessary to reach toxicity levels. The toxic effects of industrial exposure have been attributed mainly to chromium compounds like Chromium Oxide, the symptoms of toxicity are allergic dermatitis, skin lesions and increased incidence of lung cancer.
Copper is an important co-transporter protein in the blood, it participates in iron metabolism along with and the enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD) in blood, which catalyzes free radicals. Because of this, Copper is an important antioxidant defense in most cells exposed to oxygen. It can also aid in DNA preservation.
Best Sources: liver, oysters, cherries, chocolate, and nuts.
RDI: 900 mcg
Menkes disease is a rare genetic disorder that produces copper deficiency, its lack can cause anemia, kinky (thin) hair, growth failure, and nervous system deterioration. Treatment with daily copper injections may improve the outcome in Menkes disease if it begins within days after birth.
A very rare inherited disorder, Wilson's disease, causes copper deposits in the liver, brain and other organs. The increase in copper in these tissues leads to kidney problems and brain disorders, one peculiar sign of the disease is the “Kayser-Fleisher ring” a dark golden-greenish strip on the periphery of the eye.
Fluoride is present in bones and teeth, as such, it reduces tooth decay and can minimize bone loss.
Best Sources: spinach, onions, lettuce and some other food with water high in fluoride.
RDI: Have not been determined, but a range of 4 mg for men and 3 mg for women is estimated. Children should ingest between 0.5 and 1.5 mg per day, without exceeding 2.5 mg per day.
The relationship between fluoride intake and tooth decay has been widely studied, very poor intake of this micromineral leads to a higher incidence of tooth decay.
Excessive administration of fluoride can cause Fluorosis, which decays the bones and teeth, where the enamel has bites and brown spots.
Molybdenum is a co-factor of an essential enzyme (Xanthine Oxidase) which is the enzyme responsible for the subsequent conversion to uric acid (final product of protein metabolism). It is also important to the bio-activity of important transporter-like FMN and FAD which are found in a plethora of metabolic routes.
Best Sources: milk, cereals and dark green leafy vegetables.
RDI: 45 mg
Deficiency is extremely rare, nevertheless, there have been reports of low intake levels in the blood after chronic “Parenteral Nutrition” (intravenous administration of nutrition, which may include protein, carbohydrate, and fats).
When large amounts of Molybdenum are consumed, “Gout” like signs may occur (high concentration of uric acid in the blood) leading to symptoms like joint pain due to the accumulation of uric acid in tissues.