If you take a calcium supplement for your bones and eat a healthy diet, you may think you’re getting all the minerals you need. But you’d be wrong!
Now it’s true—calcium is necessary for healthy bones and teeth, blood clotting, and normal muscle and nerve activity. But it’s only one of many essential minerals your body needs every day.
Magnesium is another important mineral. It’s 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 that’s 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 you’re generally healthy, I recommend taking 400 to 800 mg of magnesium each day.
Another nutrient you don’t want to forget is zinc.
While you don’t need much—just 15 mg a day—zinc is important for the hormone insulin.(2) And, it’s 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 arthritis (3) 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 “dry” 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 aren’t the only minerals we need. It’s also important to make sure you’re getting enough of these lesser known minerals:
Chromium: Needed for the formation of glucose tolerance factor, a complex that works with the hormone insulin. 200 mcg per day
Copper: Paired with iron to help form red blood cells and nerve fibers. It’s also necessary in the formation of hair and skin pigment. 1-2 mg per day
Iodine: Essential component of thyroid hormone which regulates your metabolism.150 mcg per day if you don’t use iodized salt
Manganese: Activates certain enzymes and is involved in fatty-acid metabolism and protein synthesis. It’s also needed for bone formation. 5 mg per day
Potassium: 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
Selenium: A constituent of the antioxidant enzyme glutathione. This mineral is found in red blood cells.100-200 mcg per day
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.
Dr. David J. Blyweiss began his medical career as a clinical pharmacist in South Florida prior to earning his medical degree from St. George's University School of Medicine in 1982.
His dual background allowed him to appreciate the relevance of conventional pharmaceutical/surgical based treatments in acute medical conditions, and recognize where these approaches fell short in treating the majority of patients who suffered from the chronic degenerative diseases of "western civilization origin."
Over the last twenty years, with the nutritional medical knowledge base expanding in the fields of nutrigenomics, protemics, and other related "orthomolecular" disciplines directed towards patients' biochemical individuality, Dr. Blyweiss became an early adherent and experienced practitioner of what would become known as "functional medicine." This knowledge allows him to effectively manage and alleviate the symptoms related to the most "difficult-to-treat" conditions by addressing the underlying causes, allowing the body to heal itself.
Dr. Blyweiss was one of the initial researchers doing the early work on chlorhexidine (Phisohex) while earning his first post graduate degree at Temple University School of Pharmacy. During medical school he worked with the WHO (World Health Organization) in vaccinating children in the islands of the Carribbean. He has traveled much of the world, most recently to Belize, Central America, Gabon, Africa, and Zagreb, Croatia working closely with teams of specialists to identify new plant life and natural products for possible human benefit as well as researchers and their stem cell transplantation teams. He has consulted for and created state-of-the-art nutritional supplements for multiple nutritional companies since 1999. He is currently in private practice in South Florida where he resides with his family.
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