Microelements (micronutrients) are the most important substances on which the vital activity of organisms depends.
They are not an energy source, but they are responsible for vital chemical reactions. They are required in very small quantities (the daily rate is measured in milligrams and micrograms, less than 200 mg).
If the human body can be thoroughly analyzed, it becomes clear: we are composed of different types of chemical compounds, 30 of which are trace elements. They are responsible for the optimal functioning of the human body, and their lack is extremely negative for the health of adults and the development of children.
Micronutrients: what are
The group of micronutrients in science is usually divided into 2 categories: essential substances (vital); conditionally essential (important for the body, but are rarely in short supply).
Essential micro-substances are: iron (Fe); copper (Cu); iodine (I); zinc (Zn); cobalt (Co); chromium (Cr); molybdenum (Mo); selenium (Se); Manganese (Mn).
Conditionally essential micronutrients: boron (B); bromine (Br); fluorine (F); lithium (Li); nickel (Ni); silicon (Si); vanadium (V).
According to another classification, trace elements are divided into 3 categories:
- stable elements: Cu, Zn, Mn, Co, B, Si, F, I (there are in an amount of about 0.05%);
- 20 elements that are present in concentrations below 0.001%;
- a subgroup of contaminants whose stable excess leads to diseases (Mn, He, Ar, Hg, Tl, Bi, Al, Cr, Cd).
The use of trace elements for humans
Almost all biochemical processes depend on the balance of trace elements. And although their required number is determined by micrograms, the role of these nutrients is huge. In particular, the quality process of metabolism, the synthesis of enzymes, hormones and vitamins in the body depends on trace elements. These micro substances strengthen immunity, promote hematopoiesis, proper development and growth of bone tissue. The balance of alkali and acids, the performance of the reproductive system, depend on them. At the cell level - they support the functionality of membranes, in tissues - they promote oxygen metabolism.
Scientists say that the chemical composition of the fluid in the cells of the human body resembles the formula of seawater in the prehistoric era. This is achieved by combining important trace elements. And when the body lacks one substance or another, it begins to “suck” them out of itself (from the tissues where nutrients have accumulated).
Micronutrient deficiency and overdose
Any disharmony of trace elements is almost always the development of many diseases and pathological changes in the body.
And as some studies say, an imbalance of micro-substances of different intensities is diagnosed in every third inhabitant of the planet.
Among the reasons causing a shortage or an overabundance of useful elements, most often are:
- bad ecology;
- psychological stress, stressful situations;
- poor nutrition;
- long-term use of certain drugs.
To understand what trace elements are missing for a person, and also to find out the exact level of deficiency can only be done in a laboratory setting by donating blood for biochemical analysis. But the imbalance of nutrients can also be considered for some external signs.
Most likely, a person experiences a lack of nutrients if:
- often exposed to viral diseases;
- obvious signs of weakened immunity;
- deteriorated condition of hair, nails, skin (acne, rash);
- became irritable, prone to depression.
Micronutrient deficiency conditions
In addition, by carefully analyzing the state of your health, even without laboratory tests, you can sometimes determine which micronutrient the body needs, which it lacks for the time being:
- Overweight - lack of substances such as chromium, zinc, manganese.
- Digestive problems - deficiency of zinc, chromium.
- Dysbacteriosis - not enough zinc.
- Food Allergy - Zinc deficiency.
- Prostate Dysfunction - Zinc Deficiency.
- Increased plasma sugar - a lack of magnesium, chromium, manganese, zinc.
- Brittle nails - not enough silicon and selenium.
- Slow growth of nails and hair - reduced levels of selenium, zinc, magnesium, silicon.
- Hair falls out - silicon, selenium, zinc are deficient.
- Brown spots on the skin - a lack of copper, manganese, selenium.
- Irritations and inflammation on the skin - a signal of a lack of zinc, selenium, silicon.
- Acne is a deficiency of chromium, selenium, zinc.
- Allergic rash - not enough selenium or zinc.
By the way, an interesting fact regarding hair. It is by their structure that it is easiest to determine the deficiency of trace elements. Usually, 20 to 30 micro-substances are represented in the hair, while a blood or urine test will show the level of no more than 10 nutrients in the body.
How to keep balance
There are several rules for restoring the balance of trace elements. There is nothing complicated or new in them, but in the modern rhythm of life, we sometimes forget about these doctors' advice.
First of all, it is important to monitor the health of the nervous system, regularly visit the fresh air and eat right.
After all, the best source of most trace elements is natural organic food.
By the way, if we talk about food sources, then most of all micro substances are found in plant foods. A leader among products of animal origin could be called milk, in which there are 22 trace elements. Meanwhile, the concentration of nutrients in it is so low that it is not necessary to talk about milk as a product capable of ensuring a balance of substances. Therefore, nutritionists insist on the importance of a balanced and varied diet.
But according to biologists, it would be a mistake to think that, for example, all tomatoes in the world have an identical set of microelements. And even if the product contains the same nutrients, their amount can vary significantly. These indicators are affected by soil quality, plant variety and rainfall frequency. Sometimes even vegetables of the same variety, collected from the same bed, can significantly differ in their chemical composition.
Causes of micronutrient deficiency:
- poor ecology, which affects the mineral salt composition of water;
- improper heat treatment of products (leads to almost 100 percent loss of nutrients);
- digestive system diseases (interfere with the proper absorption of microorganisms);
- poor nutrition (mono-diets).
|Trace element||Benefits for the body||Consequences of deficiency||Sources|
|Iron||It is necessary for blood circulation and maintaining the health of the nervous system.||Anemia.||Beans, cereals, peaches, apricots, blueberries.|
|Copper||Promotes the formation of red blood particles, the absorption of iron, maintains skin elasticity.||Anemia, pigmentation on the skin, mental disorders, pathological decrease in body temperature.||Seafood, nuts.|
|Zinc||It is important for the production of insulin, takes part in the synthesis of hormones, strengthens the immune system.||Decreased immunity, the development of depression, hair loss.||Buckwheat, nuts, cereals, seeds (pumpkins), beans, bananas.|
|Iodine||Supports the functioning of the thyroid gland and nerve cells, an antimicrobial substance.||Goiter, delayed development (mental) in children.||Sea kale.|
|Manganese||Promotes the exchange of fatty acids, regulates cholesterol.||Atherosclerosis, increased cholesterol.||Nuts, beans, cereals.|
|Cobalt||It activates the production of insulin, promotes the formation of proteins.||Incorrect metabolism.||Strawberries, wild strawberries, legumes, beets.|
|Selenium||Antioxidant, prevents the development of cancer cells, delays aging, strengthens the immune system.||Shortness of breath, arrhythmia, weakened immunity, frequent infectious diseases.||Seafood, mushrooms, different grapes.|
|Fluorine||Strengthens bones, teeth, supports enamel health.||Fluorosis, gum and tooth diseases.||All vegetarian food, water.|
|Chromium||Participates in the processing of carbohydrates and the production of insulin.||Increased blood sugar, the development of diabetes, improper absorption of glucose.||Mushrooms, whole grains.|
|Molybdenum||It activates the metabolism, promotes lipid breakdown.||Impaired metabolism, malfunctions of the digestive system.||Spinach, different varieties of cabbage, blackcurrant, gooseberries.|
|Bromine||It has sedative properties, strengthens the body with cardiovascular, gastrointestinal diseases, relieves cramps.||Slowed growth in children, decreased hemoglobin, insomnia, miscarriages at different stages of pregnancy.||Nuts, legumes, cereals, seaweed, sea fish.|
Trace elements are essential nutrients for humans. The metabolic processes, the development and growth of the child, the functioning of all systems (including the reproductive), the maintenance of health and immunity depend on them. And since the body is not able to independently synthesize micronutrients, it is important to take care of a rational and balanced diet in order to replenish the supplies of necessary elements daily.