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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Minerals: Inorganic Cofactors for Healthy Cells

Mar 31, 2022 09:00AM ● By Keri Barron
Minerals are vital to the health of cells, working as cofactors for reactions happening constantly in the body. Consuming adequate levels of minerals ensures healthy metabolism through proper functioning of thousands of cellular processes.

Magnesium: Magnesium is one of the most essential cofactors and is utilized in over 300 metabolic reactions including protein synthesis, cellular signaling, blood pressure regulation and muscle contraction. Magnesium is also important in blood glucose regulation and is required for DNA and RNA synthesis and energy production.

Minerals for bone health: Calcium and phosphorus are vital to bone health. Calcium is also involved in transmission of nerve impulses, muscle contraction, blood clotting, wound healing and cellular signaling. Phosphorus plays an important role in energy metabolism and intracellular signaling and is an integral component of membrane phospholipids, DNA and RNA.

Minerals for fluid balance: Potassium, sodium and chloride work together to maintain fluid balance within the body. High consumption of sodium may induce water retention and will eventually cause changes in arteries. High intake of potassium can counteract these effects at the cellular and tissue level.
These minerals also transmit cellular signals through sodium-potassium pumps which control the physiological excitability of cells. This mechanism coordinates many cellular processes, drives the transmission of nerve impulses and aids in muscle contraction. Chloride is also important in transmission of nerve impulses.

Minerals for antioxidant defense: Zinc, copper and manganese are components of superoxide dismutase enzymes, which neutralize free radicals. Zinc is also required by more than 300 enzymes and binds to over 2,500 proteins—approximately 10 percent of all human proteins. Functions of zinc include regulation of bone homeostasis, blood pressure regulation, DNA repair and supporting multiple facets of reproduction.

Other minerals: While required in very small amounts, trace minerals serve important functions. Iron is required for the oxygen-carriers hemoglobin and myoglobin and functions in cellular respiration, synthesis of neurotransmitters and nutritional immunity. Iodine supports the thyroid gland, and chronically low intake can lead to development of goiter. Selenium enhances the immune response, contributes to oxidative balance and the regulation of thyroid hormones. Finally, chromium may play a role in regulating carbohydrate and lipid metabolism.
Minerals are essential cofactors for many reactions and have diverse functions throughout cells in the body. Ensuring intake of all minerals at the recommended levels can help keep the body healthy.

Keri Barron, Ph.D. is the Scientific Nutrition Writer for Standard Process. For more information, visit See ad, page 5.

Standard Process - 1200 W Royal Lee Drive Palmyra WI

Standard Process - 1200 W Royal Lee Drive, Palmyra, WI

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