Vitamins / Minerals
WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL ESSENTIAL VITAMINS AND MINERALS?
The simplest answer to this question is that the essential vitamins and minerals are the ones the body cannnot make, but which are required to sustain a healthy life. Therefore, they must come from food and supplements.
There are fewer than 50 nutrients critical to the human body. Since we are made up of the food and water we consume, and the air we breathe, it is reasonable that the state of our health is shaped by those 3 actions.
Those critical nutrients are comprised of 21 to 23 minerals, 13 vitamins, 8-10 amino acids, and 2 essential fats.
ESSENTIAL VITAMINS are organic compounds necessary to sustain life. While we do not need them in large quantities, they must come from foods or supplements. Each vitamin performs a specific function, but they are all critical to virtually every process in the body. Vitamins are grouped as either fat soluble or water soluble, according to their properties.
The fat soluble vitamins are only depleted through the body’s use of them.
The water soluble vitamins are not easily stored by the body, and are continually lost via perspiration and urination. As such, continuous replacement of these vitamins is important so they have a constant presence in our system.
There are also 4 ‘conditional’ essential vitamins. This means the body can make them, but sometimes we need more than our body produces.
ESSENTIAL MINERALS are substances absolutely required by the body for health. Over forty years ago, doctors and scientists found that removing any of these essential minerals from the body caused a physiological or a structural abnormality. These conditions were reversed when sufficient levels of the element was added back to the diet. These findings prove and solidify the essential need for minerals in our diet. Unfortunately, the demineralization of the soils in North America creates the need for mineral supplementation.
The macronutrient minerals are needed in greater quantities and include Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Chlorine, and Sodium. The micronutrient minerals include Boron, Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Selenium, Silicon, Vanadium, Zinc, Arsenic, Fluorine, Nickel, and Tin.
Several of these minerals are not typically supplemented as they are abundant in our food sources and in many of the processed foods that the public consumes. Several are dangerous and cause problems when there is too much in the body. Phosphorus, for example, depletes calcium and other minerals from the body. Too much arsenic can cause poisoning. This is why balance is key in taking supplements, and why we are not huge advocates of taking random supplements without knowing exactly what you are getting.
There are 92 known, natural occurring minerals and elements. Science has not yet discovered every use of them in the body, particularly in the minute trace amounts some may be needed. Only the top 21 are identified; however, all the trace minerals may play a key, but as yet unknown, role in our health.