Advertisement

Mineral Nutrients: From Macro-Level to Ultra Trace

  • Karen M. Davison
Chapter
Part of the Nutrition and Health book series (NH)

Abstract

Minerals are nutrients are essential for human function, much like vitamins. The minerals represent about 5% of body weight, most of which comes from calcium and phosphorus. The minerals are subdivided into: (1) macrominerals that are present in the body in an amount >0.01% of weight and where >100 mg/day is needed from the diet and (2) microminerals or trace elements which are present in the body in an amount of ≤0.01% of weight and required dietary intake is <15 mg/day. Studies of total parenteral nutrition (TPN) have determined the essentiality of ultra-trace minerals, where daily dietary requirements are in micrograms. Exact requirements have not been established for all of the minerals.

All minerals, except heme iron, are absorbed in the ionic state. Therefore, minerals that remain bound to organic molecules (chelated) or remain as inorganic complexes after digestion usually are not biologically available. Some minerals may be absorbed better in a chelated form when they are bound to an amino acid (e.g., selenomethionine). Most minerals, especially cations, rely on active transport mechanisms to be absorbed. Unabsorbed minerals remain in the intestinal cells; when the intestinal cells die and slough off, the minerals they contained are excreted. This may be a protective mechanism to prevent toxicity from excessive absorption.

Bioavailability refers to the proportion of a mineral that can be absorbed after its digestion and before its use in tissues and cells. Factors that can reduce bioavailability include the formation of soaps (e.g., calcium and magnesium binding to free fatty acids in the intestinal lumen due to fat malabsorption) and from precipitation when one of a pair of ions (e.g., calcium, which combines with phosphates) is present in the lumen in high concentrations. Mineral–mineral interactions, such as excess zinc intake that reduces copper absorption, can also reduce bioavailability.

Many organic molecules in foods can either inhibit or enhance absorption. Examples of inhibitors include the binding of calcium and other divalent cations by phytates and oxalates. Enhancers include ascorbate for nonheme iron or the hemoglobin protein for iron. Vegetarians tend to consume foods with higher quantities of inhibiting factors, but they also typically ingest more ascorbic acid, which is an enhancer. Other factors that affect mineral bioavailability include gastric acidity, homeostatic adaptations, and stress, which can alter gastrointestinal function. Certain minerals have low bioavailability from foods (e.g., iron, chromium), whereas others have high bioavailability (e.g., sodium, potassium, chloride, iodide, fluoride). Table 26.1 provides an overview of the minerals according to their functions, food sources, recommended levels of intake to support health, deficiency and toxicity symptoms, as well as population groups that may be at risk of deficiency.

Keywords

Minerals Electrolytes Dietary supplements Bioavailability 

References

  1. 1.
    ter Borg S, Verlaan S, Hemsworth J, et al. Micronutrient intakes and potential inadequacies of community-dwelling older adults: a systematic review. Br J Nutr. 2015;113:1195–206.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Moore-Schiltz L, Albert JM, Singer ME, Swain J, Nock NL. Dietary intake of calcium and magnesium and the metabolic syndrome in the National Health and Nutrition Examination (NHANES) 2001-2010 data. Br J Nutr. 2015;114:924–35.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Jee SH, Miller 3rd ER, Guallar E, Singh VK, Appel LJ, Klag MJ. The effect of magnesium supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Am J Hypertens. 2002;15:691–6.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    He FJ, MacGregor GA. Effect of modest salt reduction on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized trials. Implications for public health. J Hum Hypertens. 2002;16:761–70.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    He FJ, MacGregor GA. A comprehensive review on salt and health and current experience of worldwide salt reduction programmes. J Hum Hypertens. 2009;23:363–84.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary reference intakes for water, potassium, sodium, chloride and sulfate. Washington: National Academy Press; 2003.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Beard JL. Iron biology in immune function, muscle metabolism and neuronal functioning. J Nutr. 2001;131:568S–79S.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Reddy MB, Hurrell RF, Cook JD. Meat consumption in a varied diet marginally influences nonheme iron absorption in normal individuals. J Nutr. 2006;136:576–81.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Fleming DJ, Jacques PF, Tucker KL, et al. Iron status of the free-living, elderly Framingham Heart Study cohort: an iron-replete population with a high prevalence of elevated iron stores. Am J Clin Nutr. 2001;73:638–46.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Science M, Johnstone J, Roth DE, Guyatt G, Loeb M. Zinc for the treatment of the common cold: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. CMAJ. 2012;184:E551–61.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Di Matola T, Zeppa P, Gasperi M, Vitale M. Thyroid dysfunction following a kelp-containing marketed diet. BMJ Case Rep. 2014;2014. doi:10.1136/bcr-2014-206330.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Brozmanová J, Mániková D, Vlčková V, Chovanec M. Selenium: a double-edged sword for defense and offence in cancer. Arch Toxicol. 2010;84:919–38.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Reid IR, Bristow SM, Bolland MJ. Calcium supplements: benefits and risks. J Intern Med. 2015;278:354–68.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Suggested Further Reading

  1. Berdanier CD, Berdanier LA. Advanced nutrition: macronutrients, micronutrients, and metabolism. 2nd ed. Paperback. Boca Raton: CRC Press; 2015.Google Scholar
  2. Harris ED. Minerals in food: nutrition, metabolism, bioactivity. Lancaster: DEStech Publications; 2014.Google Scholar
  3. Higdon J, Drake VJ. An evidence-based approach to vitamins and minerals: health benefits and intake recommendations. Stuttgart: Thieme; 2012.Google Scholar
  4. Open University. Nutrition: vitamins and minerals. Free from Amazon as a Kindle Edition. Milton Keynes: The Open University.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyKwantlen Polytechnic UniversitySurreyCanada

Personalised recommendations