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Minerals: The Lesser Known Nutrients


By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Medicine

If you take a calcium supplement for your bones and eat a healthy diet, you may think youíre getting all the minerals you need. But youíd be wrong!

Now itís trueócalcium is necessary for healthy bones and teeth, blood clotting, and normal muscle and nerve activity. But itís only one of many essential minerals your body needs every day.

Magnesium is another important mineral.† Itís involved with more than 325 enzyme reactions in the body. Not only is it necessary for the normal function of our muscles and nerves, it also works with calcium to build strong bones.

Research shows that taking a magnesium supplement reduces bone loss. One recent study found that a high daily dose of magnesium even increased bone mass in a small group of women with osteoporosis.1

But thatís not all. Magnesium also helps:

  • reduce arrhythmias and angina
  • slow or prevent atherosclerosis
  • lower blood pressure
  • reduce asthma symptoms
  • reduce calcium deposits associated with bursitis
  • reduce the risk of kidney stones

If youíre generally healthy, I recommend taking 400 to 800 mg of magnesium each day.

Another nutrient you donít want to forget is zinc.

While you donít need muchójust 15 mg a dayózinc is important for the hormone insulin2. And, itís involved in making genetic material and proteins. Immune function, taste, wound healing and sperm production all rely on zinc. Studies show this trace mineral also helps reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis3 and might be beneficial for:

  • reducing the risk of prostate cancer or prostate enlargement
  • shortening duration of the common cold
  • treating eczema
  • correcting abnormal immune activity in lupus
  • preventing vision loss in people with ďdryĒ macular degeneration
  • protecting against the loss of bone density
  • improving tinnitus (ringing in the ear)

While calcium, magnesium and zinc are critical for good health, they arenít the only minerals we need. Itís also important to make sure youíre getting enough of these lesser known minerals:


Health Benefit

Recommended Dose


Needed for the formation of glucose tolerance factor, a complex that works with the hormone insulin.

200 mcg per day


Paired with iron to help form red blood cells and nerve fibers. Itís also necessary in the formation of hair and skin pigment.

1-2 mg per day


Essential component of thyroid hormone which regulates your metabolism.

150 mcg per day if you donít use iodized salt


Activates certain enzymes and is involved in fatty-acid metabolism and protein synthesis. Itís also needed for bone formation.

5 mg per day


Maintains normal pressure of body fluids and the acid balance of the body. It also functions in the transmission of nerve impulses and muscle contractions.

Best obtained from foods like bananas, potatoes, spinach and tomatoes


A constituent of the antioxidant enzyme glutathione. This mineral is found in red blood cells.

100-200 mcg per day

Additional Articles of Interest:
Essential Supplements Everyone Needs
Child's Play
Supplements in the News


  1. Aydin H. Short-term oral magnesium supplementation suppresses bone turnover in postmenopausal osteoporotic women. Biological Trace Element Research. 2010;133:136-143.
  2. Marreiro DN. Effect of zinc supplementation on serum leptin levels and insulin resistance of obese women. Biological Trace Element Research. 2006;112:109-118.
  3. Peretz A. Effects of zinc supplementation on the phagocytic functions of polymorphonuclears in patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases. Journal of Trace Elements and Electrolytes in Health and Disease. 1994;8:189-194.

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