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Cancer Fighters - Trace Minerals

Trace Minerals is the last but not least in the "power triangle" of the cancer fighters vitamins and essential minerals. Trace minerals are called thus because the amount a person needs in their daily diet is very small. In some instances only a microgram is needed – but that microgram is vital.

Necessary
There are at least eight known trace minerals, and five that are firmly established as essential to humans. They are copper, chromium, cobalt, manganese and molybdenum. No one can do without these, at least for very long. This means that these minerals are necessary for certain vital chemical reactions to occur within the body and no other elements can take their places.

Small Dose
Researchers at the National Research Council have established the Estimated Safe and Adequate Daily Dietary Intakes guidelines for essential nutrients and some trace minerals. However, unlike most vitamins, there is no Recommended Daily Value guide for trace minerals. What researchers know is that the amounts must be small.

Main Job - Kickstarter
Trace minerals act as coenzymes within the body, or like catalysts in chemical reactions. They function similar to a spark plug which gets chemical reactions going without actually being changed in the process. This is a profound statement and fact, because within our bodies billions of chemical reactions are taking place all of the time and the trace minerals are really the icing on the cake to keep it all balanced and in good running condition.

Trace minerals:
• Help your body produce neurotransmitters. These are bio-chemicals that send messages through your central nervous system.
• Assist in the production of major hormones secreted by your thyroid and adrenal glands.
• Assist in your body’s ability to burn carbohydrates and fat for energy.
• Weave molecules into the tissues that become your bones, blood vessels, skin and teeth.
• Help you grow, reproduce and maintain your body over the years.
I don't know about you, but these facts alone got my attention!

Food Sources
Getting enough each day is not hard- just eat a varied diet that contains whole foods. A few are:

• Whole grains
• Nuts
• Seeds
• Beans
• Fish (make sure the source is non-toxic)
• Fresh fruits
• Fresh veggies
• Mushrooms
• Shellfish (use same precaution as with fish)
• Herbs
• Spices
• Water

These are the richest sources of trace minerals. Although I don’t advocate processed foods, there are a few that actually have high amounts of trace minerals. They are:

• Ham
• Canned pineapple juice
• Cocoa
• Beer
Beer gets it from the brewer’s yeast used to make it. This is good news for chocolate and beer lovers! Just be sure to use both in moderation. Cocoa has a high fat content, and beer well – has the alcohol.

Supplements/Precaution about Dosage
If you feel like you need a supplement, a good multi-vitamin/mineral combination should make up for what you are lacking. Don’t take trace minerals in individual amounts. [Warning: This is because trace minerals are toxic in high amounts. “It will always be the dose that is the poison.” – Curtis Hunt, Ph.D., research biologist U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Human Nutrition Research Center, North Dakota]. Until more is known about these elements, it is best to stick to what is known to be safe amounts – and with trace minerals those amounts are very low – trace.

Consult Your Physician
It's always wise to discuss talking supplements with your General Physician/Family Doctor before taking them. They can be powerful if made by a company that turns out an optimal product. In other words, if you combined them with some prescription medication, you could get into trouble and make yourself very sick, so do your due-diligence and research it out, especially if you have ongoing health problems or are hyper-sensitive to drugs.

More Resources
My two previous articles on vitamins and essential minerals have great information about what they do for our body and the foods that contain them. Their links to those articles are listed below.

Source: Prevention’s Healing with Vitamins, from the Editors of Prevention Health Books (First Edition 1996); National Research Council.



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