Sunday, 20 October 2019

Vol. 18, No. 2 (April 2009)

Not So Secondary Functions 

Minerals and trace minerals are all important for the health of all living things. The body can not make its own minerals. They must be ingested one way or another. Each mineral has a variety of functions in the human body. Some like magnesium have several hundred functions via its roles in so many different enzyme systems. Others, like molybdenum are more limited in their number of functions. Often when the various minerals are discussed, however, only the most obvious functions for the mineral being discussed are talked about. Zinc and the immune system, or selenium and its antioxidant impact are examples of this point. However, as mentioned most minerals have multiple functions, and often a mineral has functional effects that although not commonly talked about, are very important to maintenance of a healthy body.

In this issue of Albion’s® Research Notes, the “secondary functions” of the following minerals are going to be reviewed: selenium, manganese, zinc, and copper. Most commonly, selenium is known for antioxidant activities in its role with glutathione, and manganese is referred to for its role as a free radical fighter, Manganese SOD, or as a catalyst in the formation of cartilage tissue. Zinc is an important immune system contributor, while copper is looked at for its role in antioxidant activities, often associated with aiding in inflammatory problems, like arthritis. However, as mentioned earlier, minerals have multiple functions that help maintain a healthy body.

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