Some Key Concepts about Minerals as trace elements:-

  • Minerals are known as inorganic regulators and perform two basic functions of food including the formation of several body tissues and regulation of several physiological functions.
  • They are distributed widely in foods but body absorption may be inhibited by the presence of chelating compounds, alkaline conditions, and imbalance of different minerals in the diet.
  • Acidic conditions generally favor the absorption of the minerals. For most minerals absorption from the intestines is controlled according to the body’s requirements.
  • Principal electrolytes in the body fluids are sodium, chloride and potassium. Concentration of each is maintained by means of renal excretion.

Some Basic Facts about Minerals as trace elements:-

  • Sodium. Potassium and chlorine are present as salts in body fluids and play a role in maintaining osmotic pressure.
  • Minerals are present in body structure of many tissues. For Example: Calcium and phosphorus in bones combine to give rigidity to the whole body.
  • Minerals are present in body acids and alkalis, For Example: Chorine occurs in hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
  • Some minerals such as copper and selenium function as co-enzymes.
  • Iodine is an essential constituent of thyroid hormones.
  • Sodium, Potassium, and calcium assist in the transfer of nerve impulse through-out the body.
  • Iron is part of hemoglobin.
  • Body growth and development depends on certain minerals such as calcium and phosphorous.

Absorption of Minerals as Trace Elements:-

  • Absorption of minerals is affected by other dietary components. High fiber diets decrease the absorption of minerals and so does the presence of phytic and oxalic acid.
  • Many minerals complete with each other for absorption and thus interfere with each other’s absorption.
  • Presence of certain dietary factors may increase the absorption of some minerals. For Example: Vitamin C increases the absorption of calcium and iron by converting them into forms which are better absorbed.
  • Acidic conditions in the GIT also favor absorption.
  • For many minerals body adjust absorption according to the needs. Absorption from the diet increase when body requirement are high and decrease when requirements are low.
  • Similarly, body tends to absorb less amount of a mineral if it is present in higher amounts in the diet. It absorbs a higher amount when the diet contains less amount of minerals.

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