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TRACE ELEMENTS AND THEIR ROLE IN OUR LIFE

Each person’s need for minerals depends on gender, nutrition, age, disease, ecology and many other factors. The balance of micronutrients is especially important for a growing child’s body, women during pregnancy and breastfeeding, the elderly, athletes with daily intensive activity, people with diseases and those under chronic stress.

Minerals, depending on the degree of their content, are usually divided into microelements (in living organisms it is less than 0.001%) and macro-elements, those whose content in the body of an adult is more than 0.01 %.

In total, there are 93 trace elements in the human body. 12 elements are called structural, because they make up 99% of the elemental composition of the human body. Not only living proteins are built of these 12 elements, but the whole nature around. These include: carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chlorine, phospohorus, sulfur, and iron. The main ones are the so-called “elements of life”: nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon. The rest of the elements being in the body in small amounts, also play an important role, affecting the health and condition of our body.

Most of the elements are found in bones, muscles, ligaments and blood. Their no less important function is to maintain the acid-base balance, they are also the most important  catalysts for various biochemical processes, metabolism, gastrointestinal activity, perform the function of nerve conduction, intracellular respiration and much more. Growth, development and health of the body depend on the amount of minerals.

All elements can be divided into three groups:

  • Essential for life, the so-called essential trace elements.
  • Neutral elements, without which all metabolic exchanges can proceed normally.
  • Toxic elements, in large quantities having a harmful effect on the body.

Of the many trace elements in the body, only 9 are essential, i.e. vital, their imbalance leads to clinical symptoms and the development of many diseases.

Here is a list of essential trace elements : zinc (Zn), iodine (I), chromium (Cr), cobalt (Co) (as part of vitamin B12), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), magnesium (Mg), copper (Cu), selenium (Se), and iron (Fe).

All other elements are considered to be non-essential or neutral. They also perform certain biological functions, but their deficiency does not so much affect all processes in the body.

Minerals are as important as vitamins. Moreover, the mineral elements contribute to the better absorption of vitamins and participate in metabolism.

The imbalance of trace elements in the human body can be caused by various factors:

  • unbalanced nutrition (the total amount of macronutrients entering the body per day should be no less than 200 mg)
  • poor quality of food and drinking water
  • drug abuse
  • industrial pollution of the environment (residents of megalopolises suffer more often due to an excess of heavy metals in the body)

Although the human body is in constant need of very small amounts of trace elements, it does not retain enough minerals and a long-term deficiency of any elements can cause serious health problems. Most diseases are caused by micronutrient deficiencies, and the main factors provoking a deficiency are insufficient absorption, increased intake of supplements, increased microelement losses.

An excess of any useful element can also cause various diseases. An excess of any mineral can cause disturbances in the absorption of other minerals and vitamins or lead to the deficiencies of other trace elements. Therefore, excessive uncontrolled use of minerals often results in impaired functioning of the organism.

Trace elements have a wide range of interactions. It has been established that there are 105 bilateral and 455 trilateral interactions between the 15 most vital elements. This means that a deficiency of at least one significant trace element or an excess of toxic one can cause micronutrient imbalance in the body.

Since macro- and microelements are not synthesized in the body, their balance is maintained solely by the food consumed.

In ideal conditions, the daily diet must cover the daily body’s needs. But based on the results of studies, the amount of elements in the food is decreasing every year. Then, to quickly obtain any missing trace element, it is reasonable to use supplements. The body can easily and quickly obtain the compounds it needs from them. But before adding supplements to your diet, you need to do some research.

Modern equipment allows an accurate analysis of the concentration of trace elements in a short time and with a small amount of material. The content of trace elements in hair determines the micronutrient state in the body as a whole, as they reflect the processes that have been going on in it for many years.

Hair mineral content provides information on macro- and microelements and heavy metal elements in human tissues over the past three months. It is the hair that helps diagnose chronic diseases, before they occur.

Given the vast number of interactions between the elements, the state of intoxication or disease can be very difficult to detect. In this case it is very important to correctly determine the exact concentration of trace elements and to consult with a bio-element scientist in order to maintain or restore the mineral balance in the body.

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