Trace Minerals: What Are They?

Trace Minerals – What Are They?

Trace Minerals

To function properly, our bodies need several types of minerals. There are minerals you need in large doses, referred to as macrominerals, and there are trace minerals, which you need less of to carry out physiological processes.

8 Trace Minerals

  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Cobalt
  • Copper
  • Manganese
  • Fluoride
  • Iodine
  • Selenium


Zinc allows our immune system to work properly, as well as assisting in cell division, growth and healing. It also plays a role in breaking down carbs. We also use zinc in our development of our sense of smell and taste.


Most important in the blood, we have iron. Iron is the most abundant of the trace elements in your body, zinc coming in second. 70 percent of our iron is found in our red blood cells and muscles. The iron in your red blood cells is called hemoglobin and transfers oxygen from your blood to your lungs and tissues. The iron in your muscles is called myoglobin, and accepts and stores and transports the oxygen. Interestingly enough, men store enough iron for about three years while women only store enough for around six months.


We use cobalt to help us absorb and process the vitamin B12. It can also boost our immune system, and help treat some illnesses such as anemia. It helps form red blood cells, and plays a role in producing certain hormones.


The human body gains iron through ingestion, as it cannot synthesize it on its own. The average adult’s body has between 1.4 and 2.1mg or copper per kg of body weight. Copper combines with proteins to create certain enzymes that assist in several bodily functions. For example, our skins pigmentation, collagen and artery functioning are all made possible by copper.


This trace mineral helps with the synthesis and absorption of nutrients such as carbs and proteins. Whole foods, such as seeds, contain high quantities of manganese. It is important to note that manganese works closely with iron. The two trace minerals are usually found together in the body. The human body is great at monitoring how much manganese it hold, and can absorb and excrete the mineral as needed.


Most famously known for preventing tooth decay, fluoride is added into to our drinking water and toothpaste. Fluoride helps the mineralization of bones and dental enamel formation. Which is why you can find 98 percent of your body’s fluoride in your teeth and bones.


Certain meats, such as turkey, eggs and beef contain iodine, but the best source of this trace mineral is in seafood. It is also added to certain forms of salt. Iodine plays a key role in the production of the thyroid hormone. To break it down, the thyroid gland produces the two hormones T3 (Triiodothyronine) and T4 (Thyroxine). These hormones are made of heavily of iodine. They are responsible for keeping your cells in a metabolic rate. In other words, they help regulate your sugar and energy levels.


Selenium is one of the antioxidants that help fight free radicals. Free radicals can cause the body harm by damaging cell membranes and DNA. The immune system also needs selenium to function properly. Like iodine, it also plays a role in thyroid function.

Make sure to get regular check up with your doctor to ensure your minerals are balanced. We have agents that would love to help you find the health insurance plan that covers your needs and is affordable for you. Give us a call today or request a quote below!

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