Therapeutic properties

What metal is most abundant in the human body?

The role of metals in the human body is limitless. It is believed that all human life is interconnected with metals, from which most objects, transport, and technical devices are made. And even ourselves. Indeed, being in a free state, metals are included in the composition of salts. Salts form the composition of our cells. Thus, potassium ions are regulators of carbohydrate-protein metabolism and are required by muscles. Magnesium salts act as antiseptics and vasodilators, and calcium salts ensure normal growth for the skeleton. Sodium acts as an assistant in maintaining the acid-base balance. In general, all minerals are present in enzymes, hormones, and tissues. Entering our body from food and water in very small concentrations, microelements provide a person with normal life activity. Very important, in addition to bromine, iodine, chromium, include iron, copper, zinc, cobalt, molybdenum and nickel.

Hardware

The content of this metal in the body of a healthy adult male is about 4 g, female – about 2,8 g. Moreover, its largest amount, approximately 75%, is in the hemoglobin of red cells, 25% – in the liver, bone marrow, spleen . We get iron from plant and animal sources. The trace element is responsible for the delivery of oxygen to tissues, the transfer of carbon dioxide to the lungs, and also participates in metabolic, chemical and physical processes that help generate energy and synthesize DNA.

Copper

Our body contains from 70 to 120 mg. One third of the substance is distributed by the brain and liver, the other by muscles, the rest is found in other tissues. Copper can be obtained from green leafy vegetables, legumes, liver meat, and seafood. Copper together with iron form red blood cells. It is a key component of collagen fibers; its quantity determines how elastic the blood vessels and skin are. Copper has a beneficial infusion in the treatment of injuries, for wound healing. It provides structural integrity and normal functioning of the heart muscle and blood vessels. Copper has protective, antioxidant qualities, prolongs youth and protects against premature aging.

Zinc

An adult has at least 2–2,5 g of this substance: 70% is in bone tissue. Zinc is obtained from red and white meat, eggs, oysters, squid, legumes, and grains. Zinc is indispensable for the function or regulation of at least three hundred enzymes. He is a participant in the processes of biosynthesis of nucleic acids, proteins, amino acids, hormones such as testosterone, insulin, etc. In addition, zinc takes an active part in forming the body’s immune response, is needed for proper brain function, and ensures normal bone growth.

Cobalt

It is found to a greater extent in bone tissue, liver, kidneys and is used by the body as an element for vitamin B12. The substance can be obtained from buckwheat, seafood, beets, lettuce, cabbage, and spinach. For our body, cobalt, together with iron and copper, is a stimulator of the production of red blood cells and bone tissue, a regulator of central nervous system function. It also normalizes metabolism, takes part in the synthesis of RNA, DNA, vitamin B12, thyroid hormone, and helps increase the protective functions of the immune system.

Molybdenum

This element, which is present in all tissues and liquids, is approximately 9 g in our body. Molybdenum is found in dairy products, offal, legumes, and greens. The substance normalizes sexual functions in men, reduces the possibility of developing colon cancer, stimulates growth and development of the human body, helps the absorption of iron, improves the quality of blood cells, intestinal microflora, and prevents allergic reactions.

Nickel

One of the most important elements for our body. It takes part in the regulation of DNA. With its deficiency, metabolism is disrupted and immunity is reduced. The largest amount of nickel is in the pancreas. Despite the fact that the concentration of nickel in organs and tissues is very low (2-14 mg), it is required for normal growth and development processes. Nickel ensures the reproduction of viable offspring, because actively participates in mineral metabolism. The correctness of enzymatic processes depends on the nickel content in the body. Nickel affects the formation and decomposition of not only carbohydrates, fats and proteins, but also microelements, hormones and other important compounds. Nickel also has a direct effect on oxidative processes, and how well the body absorbs ascorbic acid. It allows calcium to be better absorbed, catalyzes the metabolism of iron and the formation of hemoglobin. This has the best effect on the formation of red blood cells, as well as the supply of oxygen to tissues. Among other things, with the help of nickel, vitamin B12 and copper, necessary for hematopoietic processes, are better absorbed. Therefore, when a person loses a significant amount of blood, intravenous administration of nickel is necessary, which increases the number of red blood cells. 81 chemical elements of D. I. Mendeleev’s periodic table were discovered in the human body. 15 of them are microelements. Their content does not exceed 1%, but without them the body cannot function properly.

Microelements: general information

Trace elements are chemical elements that are determined in the blood in trace amounts. Trace amounts. Trace elements are characterized by low content in the blood – from a few milligrams to a couple of grams. and enter the body only with food. Even though they are so scarce, they are vital to maintaining health. Thus, microelements ensure normal blood clotting, the functioning of the central nervous system, the functioning of the immune system and bone strength. Essential, or vital, microelements include iron, copper, zinc, manganese, iodine, molybdenum, chromium, cobalt, and selenium. There are also conditionally essential ones – fluorine, bromine, lithium and others. List of vital microelements Microelement
Where is contained
Trace element Iron
Where it is found Beef, pork, turkey, fish, spinach, tofu, lentils, beans, dark chocolate
Trace element Copper Where it is found: Shellfish, seeds and nuts, organ meats, whole grains, chocolate, potatoes, mushrooms Microelement Zinc
Where is it found: Beef, seafood, pumpkin seeds, turkey, cheese
Microelement Manganese Where it’s found: Whole grains, shellfish, nuts, legumes, rice, coffee, tea, green leafy vegetables Microelement Iodine
Where is iodized salt, seaweed, fish, eggs, cheese found?
Microelement Molybdenum
Where it is found: Legumes, whole grains, nuts, beef liver, milk, yogurt
Microelement Chromium
Where it is found: Beef, pork, turkey, brewer’s yeast, grapes, orange, grain products
Trace element Cobalt Where it is contained: Meat, fish, dairy products, chicken eggs, cereals and legumes, potatoes, fruits, berries Microelement Selenium Where Brazil nuts are found, fish, shrimp, offal, beef, turkey, chicken, dairy products The need for each microelement is individual, it depends on age and gender. If the diet is balanced, a person regularly consumes fresh vegetables, fruits, dairy products, fish, nuts and meat, then he receives all the necessary microelements from food. If a person adheres to a mono-diet, for example, eats mainly red meat or buckwheat, he has a disease of the digestive system or the need for nutrients is increased, then the body may lack certain microelements, which is why health problems develop. Our subscribers save
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Hardware

The body needs iron to produce hemoglobin protein, which is part of the red blood cells of erythrocytes and carries oxygen from the lungs to all tissues, organs and systems of the body. Iron is absorbed in the small intestine, enters the bloodstream, binds to the protein ferritin, is distributed to organs and tissues and is stored in the liver, spleen, muscles and bone marrow. With a lack of iron, the level of hemoglobin in the blood decreases, tissues do not receive the required amount of oxygen, metabolic processes and the general well-being of a person worsen. Moreover, the body cannot produce iron on its own; it comes only from food. In case of prolonged iron deficiency and depletion of its reserves, iron deficiency anemia develops – a disease in which the formation of hemoglobin and red blood cells is disrupted due to iron deficiency in the blood serum, and trophic disorders also develop Trophic disorders Failure of metabolic processes in the body. in organs and tissues. The consequences of such anemia affect the entire body.

Daily rate

The recommended daily intake of iron is from 7 to 18 mg per day, depending on gender and age. For pregnant women and those who regularly donate blood, the norm increases to 30 mg per day.

Sources of

The main food sources of iron are red meat and organ meats, fish, seafood, green leafy vegetables, dried fruits, fresh rose hips, and strawberries. Thus, 100 g of sea shellfish can contain up to 28 mg of iron, which completely and even with a margin covers the daily need for this microelement; 100 g of beef or chicken liver – approximately 6,5 mg. Spinach is traditionally considered the champion in iron content among plants – 3,6 mg per 100 g Boiled beans, chickpeas, peas, and lentils contain on average about 3,3 mg, 100 g of beef steak, cutlets or meatballs – 2,7 mg, a serving of turkey – 2,3 mg. However, it is important to remember: if iron is non-heme (that is, from plant foods), it is less absorbed. To improve its bioavailability, you should add foods containing vitamin C – citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwi, cranberries.

Copper

Copper is a vital element that affects the biological activity of vitamins, hormones, enzymes, respiratory pigments, participates in metabolic processes, tissue respiration, and is of great importance for maintaining the normal structure of bones, cartilage, tendons, and the elasticity of the walls of blood vessels. Copper has a pronounced anti-inflammatory property, mitigates the manifestations of autoimmune diseases (for example, rheumatoid arthritis), and promotes the absorption of iron. In addition, copper is involved in protecting cells from free radicals – harmful “fragments” of molecules that can destroy cells. Copper comes with food, is absorbed in the small intestine and enters the liver through the bloodstream, and is then included in various enzymes. Copper reserves are stored in the liver and distributed throughout the muscles and bones. A lack of copper can lead to anemia, osteoporosis, and problems with the nervous and immune systems.

Daily rate

Adults aged 19–64 years should consume at least 1–2 mg of copper per day. You can get so much microelement if you follow a varied and balanced diet. Under certain conditions, the body requires more copper, these include burns, diarrhea, intestinal and pancreatic diseases, and chronic stress.

Sources of

Good food sources of copper include seafood, seeds and nuts, organ meats such as beef liver, whole grains, chocolate, dried fruits, legumes, cabbage, potatoes, corn, carrots, spinach, apples. Among seafood, the oyster is the richest source of copper, with one medium oyster containing 7,2 mg of the trace element

Zinc

Zinc is a trace element that is found in almost every cell of the body. It comes with food and is absorbed in the intestines. Zinc is necessary for the body to create new cells, synthesize RNA and DNA – molecules that contain and transmit genetic information, as well as the production of proteins, amino acids, hormones and enzymes responsible for the vital functions of the body. The microelement also supports the functions of the immune system, is considered a strong antioxidant and has an anti-inflammatory effect, regulates metabolism, strengthens bones, promotes tissue growth and wound healing, and is responsible for the health and quality of hair and skin. Most often, zinc deficiency occurs due to its insufficient intake from food, impaired absorption of nutrients in the intestines (malabsorption syndrome), as well as against the background of chronic diseases of the kidneys, liver and thyroid gland.

Daily rate

An adult man needs to receive 11 mg of zinc per day, a woman – 8 mg, an average child – from 3 mg, depending on age. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, the need for this microelement increases. So, a pregnant woman needs about 11 mg of zinc per day.

Sources of

The foods that contain the most zinc are pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, red meat, chicken, pork, fish, seafood, beans, whole grain cereals, cheese, yogurt and nuts. 100 g of pumpkin seeds contain a lot of zinc, about 10 mg – this is almost 100% of the daily requirement To increase your intake of zinc from your diet, you should choose sourdough bread over yeast-raised baked goods. The fact is that sourdough destroys special substances, phytates, which interfere with the absorption of zinc. Whole grains, soy and legumes are rich in zinc. However, the phytic acid they contain interferes with the absorption of the microelement. To neutralize it, it is recommended to soak beans, grains and seeds in water for several hours.

Manganese

Manganese is a trace element that is involved in metabolism. In small quantities, it is part of enzymes responsible for the metabolism of amino acids, cholesterol, glucose and carbohydrates. Manganese is also needed for normal oxygen metabolism in tissues, the functioning of the immune and reproductive systems, the normal functioning of muscle tissue, the development of connective tissue, cartilage and bones – they contain up to 40% of the total supply of the microelement. Conditions associated with manganese deficiency are very rare: there is enough of it in regular food. However, if a person has intestinal problems or a poor diet, a deficiency of manganese and other micronutrients will negatively affect health. Low concentrations of manganese in the blood can lead to deterioration of skin and hair, increased bone fragility, or developmental delays in children. In some cases, the pigmentation of the skin and hair is disrupted, a small rash appears, and vitiligo—light areas on the skin. The metabolism of cholesterol, fats and glucose is also disrupted, which can lead to type 2 diabetes.

Daily rate

The daily requirement of an adult for manganese is 2,5–5 mg. Manganese is absorbed into the bloodstream from the small intestine. Then the microelement quickly leaves the bloodstream, and in tissues it is present mainly in the mitochondria of cells. It is detected in increased quantities in the liver, tubular bones, pancreas, and kidneys. Manganese is excreted mainly in feces, sweat, and urine.

Sources of

There is much more manganese in plant foods than in animal foods. It is found in: buckwheat, oatmeal, wheat, rye and rice cereals, beans and peas, greens, and nuts. To make up for the deficiency, it is useful to eat more salads from fresh vegetables and fruits. A lot of manganese is found in whole young grains, such as wheat sprouts. The content of this microelement is also high in pineapple, broccoli, spinach, beets, green tea, flax seeds, pumpkin, and tomatoes. The amount of manganese in vegetables and grains directly depends on its concentration in the soil.

Iodine

Iodine is necessary for the normal functioning of the thyroid gland; it accumulates in it selectively and goes through a complex path of transformations before becoming an integral part of the thyroid hormones – thyroxine and triiodothyronine. These hormones regulate the rate of metabolism in the body and are involved in the functioning of all organs and systems. During pregnancy, they help form the brain, nerves and bones of the fetus. Both excess and deficiency of iodine lead to serious consequences. In women, a lack of a microelement can cause problems with conceiving and bearing a child: causing infertility, miscarriages and intrauterine fetal death. In children, especially during fetal development, iodine deficiency leads to brain damage, severe mental retardation (cretinism), growth retardation, deafness and deaf-muteness, and severe muscle tension (spasticity).

Daily rate

Typically, adults need 150 mcg of iodine per day. Women planning a pregnancy, pregnant or breastfeeding should take at least 250 mcg of iodine per day.

Sources of

The human body does not produce iodine on its own, but only obtains it from foods. The microelement is found in sea water, so algae, sea fish and seafood are rich in it. In coastal areas it is also found in soil, so it can be found in dairy products and eggs. The most affordable way to enrich food with iodine is to use iodized salt when preparing and serving dishes. Due to the fact that not everyone can get enough iodine from food, but it is necessary for life, some countries began to iodize salt, bread and other products. Thanks to this, there are fewer people with iodine deficiency.

Molybdenum

Molybdenum is a trace element that is part of many enzymes involved in the metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Molybdenum also plays an important role in sulfur metabolism, helping to ensure the synthesis of sulfur-containing amino acids. It is necessary for the functioning of the immune system, as well as for the proper formation of bones and teeth.

Daily rate

The recommended daily intake of molybdenum for adults is from 45 to 75 mcg, depending on age and gender. For pregnant and lactating women, it is recommended to increase the dose to 80 mcg per day.

Sources of

Foods rich in molybdenum include milk, cheese, yogurt, legumes, organ meats (beef liver), grains, nuts and some green leafy vegetables. Beef liver is the richest in molybdenum: 100 g of product contains 110 mcg of the microelement

Chromium

Chromium is a trace element that regulates blood sugar levels. It is part of the chromodulin protein, which activates the action of insulin by helping it bind to receptors on the surface of cells. Chromium is also necessary for normal fat metabolism (including fat burning); its deficiency always leads to overweight and obesity. Chromium also helps the thyroid gland function, participates in the formation of normal immunity and affects tissue growth and regeneration. With a lack of this microelement, increased fatigue, high blood cholesterol, anxiety, hair loss, deterioration of nails, sugar intolerance (borderline diabetes), overweight and obesity are observed. Low chromium levels in the body of a child or teenager can lead to growth retardation.

Daily rate

Chromium enters the body only with food. Adults need 40 mcg, and children need 11–35 mcg per day. Breastfeeding women need about 50 mcg of chromium per day, in which case the child will receive a sufficient amount of the microelement from mother’s milk.

Sources of

The most dietary chromium is found in brewer’s yeast. In addition, it is present in meat, eggs, whole grain cereals and bread, broccoli, onions and tomatoes. 100 g of broccoli contains 11 mcg of chromium, which is approximately 30% of the recommended daily value.

Cobalt

Cobalt is a vital trace element that is involved in hematopoiesis and the functioning of the nervous system, muscles, thyroid gland, and is part of enzymes and vitamins. Thus, vitamin B4 (cyanocobalamin) consists of 12% cobalt. Cobalt is excreted from the body mainly in feces and in smaller quantities in urine. Microelement deficiency is possible with atrophic gastritis, gastric ulcer, helminthiasis, B12-deficiency anemia.

Daily rate

The body’s daily need for cobalt is quite low – no more than 5–8 mcg per day. Excess microelement is excreted mainly by the kidneys, therefore, if there is no impairment of renal function, excess microelement is excreted in the urine.

Sources of

Cobalt is found in meat, fish, dairy products, chicken eggs, flour, cereals, legumes, potatoes, vegetables, fruits and berries. There is especially a lot of it in beef liver. A serving of grilled squid completely covers the daily requirement for cobalt

Selenium

Selenium is a trace element that supports the functioning of the immune system and the thyroid gland, and also stimulates the synthesis of the hormones T3 and T4. In addition, selenium is a powerful antioxidant. It protects the body’s cells from the action of free radicals – aggressive fragments of molecules. In pregnant women, normal selenium levels reduce the likelihood of fetal development pathologies. After childbirth, selenium enters the baby’s body through breast milk. It strengthens the newborn’s immunity and supports the functioning of the thyroid gland. The cause of microelement deficiency can be, for example, gastrointestinal diseases associated with malabsorption of nutrients, and improper or limited (for example, vegetarians) nutrition. With a lack of selenium, hair may fall out and nails begin to split. The functioning of the thyroid gland and liver is disrupted, and immunity is reduced. Acute microelement deficiency can cause infertility (mainly male). Cardiovascular diseases and arthritis – inflammation of the joints – are possible.

Daily rate

The daily intake of selenium depends on gender, age and other factors, such as pregnancy. Men need 70 mcg of selenium per day, women – 55 mcg. Pregnant and lactating women require about 60–70 mcg per day, children – 10–50 mcg.

Sources of

Selenium is found in seafood and fish. Among products of plant origin, olives, legumes, nuts, buckwheat and oatmeal, wheat bran, wheat sprouts, corn grains, tomatoes, brewer’s yeast, mushrooms and garlic are rich in it. One chicken egg provides about 20% of the recommended daily amount of selenium

Why is micronutrient deficiency dangerous?

A slight deficiency of microelements rarely leads to serious health consequences, but a long-term lack of useful elements in the diet can lead to a deterioration in well-being. A deficiency can be suspected by increased fatigue, problems with concentration, brittle nails, hair loss, dry skin, poor wound healing, and frequent ARVI. Micronutrient deficiency can develop in anyone, but it is most often encountered by pregnant and lactating women, children, the elderly, those who do not eat fish, meat and dairy products, as well as people with chronic diseases of the digestive system.

Which doctor should I contact if I have a micronutrient deficiency?

If a person notices a general deterioration in health and suspects that this may be due to a deficiency of microelements, he should seek advice from a general practitioner. He will clarify the complaints, study the medical history and, if necessary, prescribe laboratory tests and instrumental examinations. You should not identify and correct the deficiency yourself. This way, a person risks wasting money and losing time that he could devote to truly effective diagnosis and treatment.

Laboratory diagnosis

Blood, urine and hair tests are needed to confirm or refute micronutrient deficiency. Which one the doctor will suggest depends on the specific microelement and the person’s complaints.

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