Zinc – Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms And Food Sources


Acid! Alkaline: Acid-forming

What is Zinc?

Zinc was was first recognized as an element in the early 1500’s; but it was not found to be an important one until 1869, when it proved to be necessary for the growth of molds. By 1877, zinc had been isolated from the human liver. In 1934, scientists determined that it was an essential element for rats and mice; but it was not until 1974 that zinc was given a RDA. To date, researchers have found more than 200 zinc-dependent enzymes in the human body, which is more than all the other mineral-dependent enzymes combined.

Zinc is an essential mineral that is found in every cell in our body. It stimulates the activity of about 100 enzymes, substances that promote biochemical reactions in your body. It fuels everything from manufacturing DNA, wound healing, maintaining a strong immune system, to fighting colds, flu’s, and other infections.

Uses and Benefits of Zinc

  • Enhances immune system and thymus.
  • Protects against birth defects.
  • Helps prevent and lessen duration of colds, flu’s, and infections.
  • Involved in many enzyme systems and in the synthesis of nucleic acid (DNA and RNA), so it is directly related to growth and repair of the body. Brain, genital organs, thyroid, liver and kidneys.
  • Effects transfer of carbon dioxide from tissue to lungs.
  • Constituent of digestive enzyme for hydrolysis of proteins.
  • Aids in healing wounds.
  • Studies have proven its importance in brain function and in the treatment of schizophrenia.
  • Zinc also supports normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence, and helps sperm develop and is needed for ovulation and fertilization.

Recommended Dosage of Zinc

The Recommended Dosage for Zinc are :-

  • Men – 15 mg.
  • Women – 15 mg.
  • Pregnant women – 30 mg.

Deficiency Symptoms of Zinc

Loss of appetite, poor skin color and appearance, white spots on fingernails, slow wound healing, infertility, diabetes, loss of taste, poor night vision, birth defects, stretch marks, behavioral disturbances, failure of the testes or ovaries to develop, and dwarfism. Chronic diarrhea, diabetes and kidney disease are prone to zinc deficiency.

Rich Food Sources of Zinc

Pumpkin seeds, seaweed (c.a. kelp and dulse, etc.), nuts, green leafy vegetables, mushrooms, onions, wheat germ pecans, poultry, pumpkin seeds, sardines, seafood, soy lecithin, soybeans, sunflower seeds.

Useful References

Vanadium – Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms And Food Sources


What is Vanadium ?

Vanadium is a trace mineral that is needed by the human body in small amounts. It appears to have a role in the regulation of sodium and in the metabolism of glucose and lipids.

Uses and Benefits of Vanadium

  • Required for glucose tolerance factor.
  • Vanadium may be necessary for cellular metabolism and in the formation of bones, teeth, growth, and reproduction.
  • Vanadium forms compounds with other biological substances.
  • The average human body contains 20 mg. of vanadium, which probably is involved in cholesterol metabolism and hormone production.
  • Preliminary reports show that vanadium might protect against the development of breast cancer and might slow down the growth of tumors.
  • When used in combination with Chromium , it is found to be beneficial in dealing with mineral deficiencies found in diabetics and those with hypoglycemia .

Recommended Dosage of Vanadium

There is no established RDA for vanadium. General recommendations are 20-30 mcg per day.

Deficiency Symptoms of Vanadium

  • Hypoglycemia, diabetes, increased dental cavities, elevated triglycerides, elevated cholesterol, chest pain, coughing, wheezing, runny nose and sore throat.
  • Obesity.
  • In animal studies, a deficiency caused growth retardation, bone deformities and infertility.

Toxicity: Extremely harmful to lungs, throat and eyes in high levels. Leads ultimately to death.

Rich Food Sources of Vanadium

Vanadium is found in dill, fish, olives, meat, radishes, snap beans, vegetable oils, and whole grains.

Toxic sources: Used in alloy steels, making rubber, plastics, ceramics and other chemicals. Can also be found in air, food and water supplies.

Useful References

Tin – Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms And Food Sources


What is Tin?

Tin is a trace element found in fresh and canned foods. Amounts found in fresh food is relative to the amount of tin found in the soil where the food is grown. There are still many unknowns about the mineral’s effect on the body, although future research may tell us more..

Uses and Benefits of Tin

  • Supports hair growth and can enhance reflexes.

Deficiency Symptoms of Tin

Tin absorption is poor and it’s not clear how much of the daily intake of 1.5 to 3.5 mg. actually crosses the intestinal lining and enters the blood. Deficiency can cause symmetrical baldness, reduced response to noise.

Toxicity: High intakes of tin might destroy red blood cells.

Rich Food Sources of Tin

Water, air, tin cans, tin foil and soil.

Useful References

Silicon – Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms And Food Sources


Acid/Alkaline :: Alkaline-forming

What is Silicon?

Silicon is an essential trace mineral. It is most commonly found in the form of silica, a compound of silicon and oxygen also known as silicon dioxide (Si02). Silicon is the second most abundant element on the planet (oxygen is the first). It is also found in bone areas that are undergoing mineralization.

Uses and Benefits of Silicon

  • Helps in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis.
  • It is also essential for the muscles, skin, nerves, nails, hair, connective tissue, pancreas, tooth enamel, and thymus.
  • Silicon is essential for the proper functioning of nerve cells and tissues , and the synthesis of vitamin B1 in the human body.
  • Other possible uses of silica or silicon that are under investigation are to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease, to treat arthritis and other joint or cartilage problems, gastric ulcers, and other conditions where tissue repair and healing are needed.
  • Silicon is important to bone formation, as it is found in active areas of calcification.

Recommended Dosage of Silicon

The Recommended Dosage for Silicon are 1 to 2 mg daily.

Deficiency Symptoms of Silicon

  • Silicon’s primary function is in the development and maintenance of bone. A silicon deficiency causes weak and malformed bones of the arms, legs and head.
  • Osteoporosis.
  • Rapid aging, tendonitis, bone decalcification, cardiovascular disease, abnormal skeletal formation, artherosclerosis.
  • Brittle nails.

Rich Food Sources of Silicon

Alfalfa, kelp, dark green leafy vegetables, horsetail, nettle, flaxseed, many fruits including apples, grapes, etc. Nuts, seeds, onions, berries (including strawberries), lettuce, figs, dandelion, cucumbers, cooked, dried beans and peas, sunflower seeds, tomatoes.

Useful References

Selenium – Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms And Food Sources


Acid/Alkaline :: Acid -forming

What is Selenium?

In the 1990s there was a great deal of heightened interest generated in a comparatively little known trace mineral named Selenium. Nearly all of the selenium in animal tissue is found in the proteins. Some of these proteins contain stoichiometric quantities of selenium and are known as selenoproteins. Other proteins contain variable amounts of selenium (which substitutes sulfur randomly in the original protein) and are known as selenium-binding proteins. Selenium plays a vital role in regulating the effects of thyroid hormone on fat metabolism . It has also been found to function as a preventive against the formation of certain types of tumors. One study found that men who took 200 micrograms of selenium daily over a ten-year period had roughly half the risk of developing lung, prostate, and colorectal cancer as compared with men who did not.

Uses and Benefits of Selenium

  • The most important known function of selenium is as a component of the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase.
  • Selenium is a co-factor in an enzyme that protects body tissues (especially cell membranes) from oxidation by unstable free radicals.
  • Selenium also works closely with the antioxidant vitamin E.
  • Protects all membranes, reduces risk of cancer, enhances immune system, antioxidant.
  • Guard against cataracts and macular degeneration.
  • In recent years, laboratory experiments, clinical trials and epidemiological data have established the role of selenium in the prevention of a number of degenerative conditions including cancer, inflammatory diseases, cardiovascular disease, neurological diseases, aging, and infections.

Recommended Dosage of Selenium

The Recommended Dosage for Selenium are :-

  • Men – 70 mcg.
  • Women – 55 mcg.

Deficiency Symptoms of Selenium

  • Muscle weakness, linked to cancer and heart disease, fatigue, dandruff, loose skin, growth retardation, elevated cholesterol levels, susceptibility to infection, sterility, and liver damage.
  • Down’s Syndrome, fibrocystic breast disease, Cystic Fibrosis, Muscular Dystrophy.
  • Gastrointestinal disorders.

Toxicity: May include “garlic” breath, loss of hair, fingernails and toenails, irritability, liver and kidney impairment, metallic taste in mouth, dermatitis and jaundice. Large overdoses can cause death.

Rich Food Sources of Selenium

Kelp/dulse, garlic, mushrooms, organic vegetables, grains, broccoli, onions, brazil nuts. Herbs that contain selenium include alfalfa, burdock root, catnip, cayenne, chamomile, chickweed, fennel seed, fenugreek.

Toxic sources: Soil. Also, the refining of flour re­moves much of the selenium that is concentrated in the germ and bran. It is important to eat whole-grain products, since the selenium is not added back into “enriched” flour.

Useful References

Nickel – Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms And Food Sources


Uses and Benefits of Nickel

No established role for nickel has been identified, although the mineral is found in association with the genetic code within each cell and might help activate certain enzymes. Some say pancreas and insulin. It is probably involved in the activity of hormones, cell membranes and enzymes. Low blood levels of Nickel are observed in people with vitamin B6 deficiency, cirrhosis of the liver, and kidney failure. The significance of these blood levels is not known. In contrast, elevated blood levels of nickel are associated with the development of cancer, heart attack, thyroid disorders, psoriasis and eczema.

Deficiency Symptoms of Nickel

Nickel settles in sinus, joints, and spinal column. Can be a nephro-toxin, effecting the urinary tract, especially the kidneys. It is found to bind with blood fungus causing tumors. Can paralyze the spinal column and bring on epilepsy. Can cause dermatitis and other skin conditions, allergic reactions and chronic rhinitis. Inflammation of lungs and liver, leading to necrosis and carcinoma.

Toxicity: Leads to paralysis, overflow of blood to brain, and epilepsy. In excess, can be a carcinogenic. Can rob the body of oxygen. Every tumor needs nickel to hold it together

Rich Food Sources of Nickel

Found in trace amounts in all foods.

Toxic sources: Is used in industry as a catalyst in the hydrogenation of oils and fats (hardened fats). Commonly found in all brands of margarine, as well as oils and fats labeled “hydrogenated,” meaning hardened vegetable oil (also in breads, chips, cookies, candies, etc.). Found in steel and other metal manufacturing industries, cigarettes, and in dyes and hair treatments.

Note: Poppy Seeds remove nickel deposits.

Foods that help to detoxify nickel: The best dietary sources that assist the body to remove excess or toxic amounts of nickel and other metals are fruits and green leafy vegetables.

Useful References

Molybdenum – Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms And Food Sources


What is Molybdenum ?

Molybdenum is an essential trace mineral in animal and human nutrition. It is found in several tissues of the human body and is required for the activity of some enzymes that are involved in catabolism, including the catabolism of purines and the sulfur amino acids. Most people are not deficient in this mineral if the food they eat comes from nutrient-rich soil. Molybdenum is needed by humans in very small amounts.

Uses and Benefits of Molybdenum

  • Regulates calcium, magnesium, copper metabolism.
  • Molybdenum helps with metabolism of fats and carbohydrates.
  • Molybdenum aids in the final stages of the conversion of purines to uric acid.
  • It supports bone growth and strengthening of the teeth.
  • It’s a component of the enzyme xanthine oxidase that aids in the formation of uric acid (a normal breakdown product of metabolism).
  • It is important in the mobilization of iron from storage, and is necessary for normal growth and development.
  • May protect against stomach and esophagus cancers.

Recommended Dosage of Molybdenum

The Recommended Daily Allowance for Molybdenum are 75 to 250 mcg.

Deficiency Symptoms of Molybdenum

Increased heart rate, mouth and gum disorders, anemia, loss of appetite, acne, weight loss, impotence in older males, increased respiratory tate, night blindness, stunted growth.

Toxicity: Generally considered non-toxic. However, prolonged intake of more than 10 mg. is associated with gout-like symptoms, such as pain and swelling of the joints.

Rich Food Sources of Molybdenum

Brown rice, millet, dark green leafy vegetables, peas, sunflower seed, legumes, beans, whole grains.

Toxic sources: Tap water

Useful References

Mercury – Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms And Food Sources


Uses and Benefits of Mercury

  • Mercury salts are used in medicine, agriculture, and industry and accumulation of toxic levels is possible.
  • Mercury alters the shape and function of enzymes.
  • The body accumulates mercury in the kidneys, nerves, blood, liver, bone marrow, spleen, brain, heart, skin and muscles.
  • The developing infant is very susceptible to mercury toxicity during pregnancy. While pregnant and/or breast-feeding, eat in moderation any fish that tends to be high in mercury.

Deficiency Symptoms of Mercury

  • Mercury settles in liver, spleen, kidneys, intestinal wall, heart, skeletal muscles, lungs and bones.
  • Immediate gastro­intestinal disturbances, loss of appetite and weight, inflammation of gums, difficulty chewing and swallowing, metallic taste in mouth, thirst, nausea, vomiting, pain in the abdomen, bloody diarrhea.

Toxicity: Excess mercury suppresses selenium, causes severe emotional disturbances, cell destruction, blocked transport of sugars (energy at cellular level), increased permeability of potassium, loss of appetite, depression, tremors, decreases senses, peripheral numbness, poor memory and especially neuro-muscular conductors. Has been linked to MS and Parkinson’s. Has been associated with heart attacks (MIs).

Rich Food Sources of Mercury

Food sources: Many types of fish, especially tuna.

Toxic sources: Contaminated fish, dental amalgams, water supplies, thermometers, some batteries, manufacture and delivery of petroleum products, fungicides (for grains and cereals), florescent lamps, hair dyes, cosmetics, combustion of fossil fuels, fertilizers, pharmaceutical preparations (diuretics and hemorrhoidal, etc.). This source of mercury might suppress the immune system and the body’s natural defense against infection and disease.

Useful References

Manganese – Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms And Food Sources


Acid/Alkaline :: Alkaline-binding

What is Manganese?

Manganese, also called the “brain mineral,” is important in the utilization of all mental facilities/functions. It is found in the body as a trace element and is essential for life. The human body contains 10 to 20 mg of this element which is widely distributed throughout the tissues. Manganese is an antioxidant nutrient that is important in the breakdown of amino acids and the production of energy.

Some experts estimate that as many as 37% of Americans do not get the recommended daily amounts of manganese in their diet. This may be due to the fact that whole grains are a major source of dietary manganese, and many Americans consume refined grains more often than whole grains. Refined grains provide half the amount of manganese as whole grains.

Uses and Benefits of Manganese

  • Manganese is necessary for the metabolism of Vitamin B-1 and Vitamin E and it activates various enzymes which are important for proper digestion & utilization of foods.
  • Metabolism of carbohydrates, strengthens tissues and bones, kidneys, liver, pancreas, spleen, brain, heart and lymph.
  • Works with neuro­transmitters and energy metabolism.
  • Component of bone and cartilage formation.
  • Activates many enzymes including pyruvate, carboxylase, mitochondrial super­oxide, arginase and dismutase. Essential to catecholamine synthesis.
  • Helps fertility and reproduction, helps growth and sex hormone production, helps regulate blood sugar and helps the body use proteins and carbohydrates.
  • A number of manganese-activated enzymes play important roles in the metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids, and cholesterol.
  • It is also used, along with vitamin K , to promote blood clotting.

Recommended Dosage of Manganese

The Recommended Daily Allowance for Manganese are :-

  • Adults – 3 mg.
  • Children – 2 mg.

Deficiency Symptoms of Manganese

  • A deficiency of manganese (which is extremely rare) may lead to atherosclerosis, confusion, tremors, impaired vision and hearing, skin rash, elevated cholesterol, increased blood pressure, irritability, pancreatic damage, sweating, increased heart rate, mental impairment, grinding of teeth, fatigue and low endurance.
  • Weak bone, hair and finger­nails.
  • Conception issues and weight loss.
  • Glandular disorders, weak tissue respiration, defective reproduction functions, seizures and convulsions, possible cramping, paralysis. However, calcium deficiency is the reason for cramping.

Toxicity: is known to be highly toxic when inhaled or taken intravenously. Excess symptoms are cm or the human equivalent of Mad Cow Disease.

Rich Food Sources of Manganese

All dark leafy green vegetables, spinach, bananas, beets, blueberries, oranges, grapefruit, apricots, peas, kelp and other seaweed, celery, legumes, nuts, grains, asparagus, pineapples.

Toxic sources: Industrially inhaled manganese has been linked to psychiatric and nervous disorders.

Useful References

Lithium – Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms And Food Sources


Acid/Alkaline :: Alkaline -forming

Very little is known regarding this mineral and therefore our information is very sketchy.

Uses and Benefits of Lithium

  • Reduces aggressiveness, violence and self-destruction.

Deficiency Symptoms of Lithium

Depression, manic depressive disorders, mania, suicide, spousal and child abuse.

Toxicity: Tremors, drowsiness, headaches, confusion, restlessness, dizziness, psychomotor retardation, lethargy, coma.

Rich Food Sources of Lithium

Kelp/dulse, whole grain foods, seeds.

Useful References