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Microminerals Print


The body requires a number of minerals in order to maintain its proper functioning. Microminerals are those minerals needed in small quantities.

  • Aluminium – should not be ingested. It is associated with Alzheimer’s disease and may cause hip problems in the elderly.
  • Chromium – found in red meat, liver, yolk, seafood and cheese. Chromium helps regulate blood sugar levels and blood cholesterol levels. Deficiency leads to glucose intolerance and raised blood cholesterol levels. ADR is 25mg for both sexes.
  • Copper – found in offal, shellfish, nuts, seeds and cocoa. It is needed for bone growth and connective tissue formation and helps the body to absorb iron. Deficiency is rare. Excess is unlikely but would be damaging to the liver and kidney. ADR is 1.2mg for both sexes.
  • Fluoride – found in toothpaste, tap water and tea. It helps protect against tooth decay. Deficiency can facilitate tooth decay. Excess leads to weak teeth and brittle bones.
  • Iodine – found in seaweed, seafood and iodised table salt. It is a vital part of hormones which the thyroid gland secretes. Deficiency leads to course skin and hair, and apathy. Excess can cause hyperthyroidism. ADR is 140mg for both sexes.
  • Iron – found in offal, lean meat, sardines, egg yolk and dark green leafy vegetables. Iron is an essential part of haemoglobin and many enzymes involved in energy metabolism. Deficiency leads to shortness of breath, fatigue and reduced resistance to infection. Children mistaking iron supplements for sweets may suffer iron poisoning. ADR is 8.7mg for males and 14.5mg for females.
  • Manganese – found in nuts, cereals, brown rice, pulses and wholegrain bread. . Manganese helps form bone and connective tissue. ADR is 1.4mg for both sexes.
  • Molybdenum – found in offal, yeast, pulses and whole grains. It is an essential component of enzymes that help produce DNA and RNA. Deficiency is unknown to occur. Excess promotes copper deficiency. ADR is 50-400mg for both sexes.
  • Selenium – found in meat, fish, butter, Brazil nuts, avocados and lentils. Selenium protects cells against free radical damage. Excess causes hair loss and skin depigmentation. ADR is 75mg for males and 60mg for females.
  • Sulphur – found in protein from animal and vegetable sources. Sulphur helps form proteins in the body.
  • Zinc – found in red meat, peanuts and sunflower seeds. Zinc is essential for normal growth, reproduction and immunity. Deficiency leads to loss of appetite and poor immunity. Excess can reduce copper absorption. ADR is 9.5mg for males and 7mg for females.
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