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Minerals are no substitutes to healthy diets.  Please ask your dietitian or medical advisor before taking medications or minerals.

Minerals

Name

Function

        Sources

Recommended Intakes

Deficiencies

Toxicity

Calcium
builds strong bones
& teeth, needed for
muscle growth. Helps
in normalizing blood
clotting, blood
pressure.
fish (with bones)
legumes, tofu, milk
milk products,
whole grains cereals, peanuts
1000g/day-adults
1500g/day-adults

males over age 65

stunted childhood
growth,   
osteoporosis
rare, possible
imbalance of 
other minerals
Phosphorus
acid base balance,
enzyme cofactor,
found in every cell 
DNA/RNA structure 
meat, fish, eggs,
poultry, whole grains,
seed & nuts
800mg -adults 
over age 25
1200 mg for adults
females during 
pregnancy
unknown
could lead to  
hypocalcaemia 
Magnesium
enzyme reactions,
bone mineralization,
nerve transmission,
whole grain cereals
nuts, dark green 
vegetables, mineral
water, legumes

adults

350mg/day-males
280mg/day-females
confusion, growth
failure, weakness,
hypertension,  
arrhythmia 
none known
Sodium
fluid retention, acid 
base balance
table salt, canned
food, pickled food, 
500mg/day for all 
adults
120mg for infants
apathy, cramping
Possible 
hypertension
Potassium
essential for heart,
nerves, muscle,
protein synthesis, 
fluid balance
fruit, vegetables,
grains, beef, legumes
2000mg/day for
adults
weakness, mental
confusion, paralysis
weakness, 
vomiting
Iodine
component of  
hormone thyroxin
which aids in fetal
development &  
metabolism
regulation
seafood, iodized 
salt, bread
150g/day for
adults
175g/ for 
pregnant females 
goiter, cretinism
depressed 
thyroid activity
Iron
formation of 
hemoglobin in red 
blood cell, oxygen
carrier, energy 
utilization 
liver, lean meat,
eggs, cereals, fruits,
vegetables, brewer's
yeast
10mg/day- males
10mg/day-females
ages 50+
weakness, 
anemia, headache 
depressed
immunity
infections, liver damage, possible 
increase cancer 
& heart disease risk
Selenium
antioxidant, protects against oxidation,
helps to prevent
formation of free
radicals
broccoli, onions,
tomatoes, tuna, 
grains, meat
70g/day males
55g/day females
50g/day children
ages 15-18
rare, anemia
dermatological 
lesions, digestive 
disorders
Copper
part of many 
enzymes, 
absorption of iron
drinking water,
meat
1.5-3.0mg/day 
for adults
anemia, bone
changes
none known
Fluoride
bone & teeth 
formation, decrease 
dental caries
seafood, drinking
water
3.8mg/day - males
3.1mg/day-females
3.0mg/ - children 
ages 14-18 
bone loss, tooth
decay
fluorosis
Zinc
necessary for 
healing & developing 
new cells, aids
enzymes in digestion 
& metabolism, sperm
production, transport 
vitamin A 
beef, fish, poultry 
grains, vegetables 
15mg/day- males
ages 10+
12mg/day females
ages 10+
delayed develop.
sex organs, poor 
wound healing,
decreased 
appetite, growth
failure in children
fever, vomiting,
gastric distress,
dizziness, diarrhea
Chromium
energy release, 
sugar & fat 
metabolism
meat, unsaturated 
fat- corn oil, calms
liver, whole grain,
chicken, shellfish
50-200g/day for 
adults
elevated 
circulating insulin, 
impaired glucose
tolerance
limited primarily
to occupational
exposure in 
hexavalent 
chromium
Molybdenum
component of 
several enzymes
legumes, organ  
meat, cereals,  
leaf vegetables
75-250g/day- 
adults & children
ages 11+ 
50-150g/day for
children ages 7-10 
none known
 
gout, enzyme
inhibition
Manganese
component of 
several enzymes  
non-animal sources only
fruits, vegetables, 
pecans, peanuts,
rice, oatmeal
2.0-5.0mg/day- 
adults & children
ages 11+
rare
 
rare
Cobalt
as a component of 
vitamin B12, aids 
in nerve function &
blood formation 
meat, green leafy 
vegetables 
No Rec. Intakes
none known
none known