Just driving home from outstation a few months back, I realised that my energy levels are not what it used to be when I was in my 20’s or 30’s. I feel so sleepy on the road these days, it’s not funny.
Then just last month, I started taking Trace Minerals in the mornings, in the form of a liquid, dropped into my water. When I drove home yesterday from a short trip up North, I found myself surprisingly refreshed and not tired or sleepy at all. I definitely attribute these changes to the trace minerals.
What are they?
You see, trace elements are essential minerals found in a large variety of animal and plant foods; these nutrients have both regulatory and structural functions in the body. Trace elements differ from the major minerals (e.g., calcium, phosphorus, magnesium) in two ways. First, the dietary requirements for each of the trace elements are less than 100 milligrams per day. For example, iron and zinc intake recommendations for adults range from 8 milligrams to 18 milligrams per day, whereas the adult daily calcium recommendation is 1,000 milligrams per day. Second, the total amount of each trace element found in the body is small, less than 5 grams. For example, the total amount of iron in the body is 2 to 4 grams, or about the amount of iron in a small nail. In contrast, a typical adult body contains more than 1,000 grams of calcium. Hence the name “trace” – i.e. not a lot of.
For the sports man.. consider Magnesium – good for muscles.. and Potassium is good for the heart… also, Manganese, Mercury, Molybdenum, Neodymium, Nickel, Niobium, Osmium, Palladium, Phosphorus, Platinum, Potassium, Praseodymium, Rhenium, Rhodium, Rubidium, Ruthenium, Samarium, Scandium, Selenium, Silicon, Silver, Sodium, Strontium, Sulfate/Sulfur, Tantalum, Tellurium, Terbium ,Thallium, Thorium, Thulium, Tin, Titanium, Tungsten, Vanadium, Ytterbium, Yttrium, Zinc, Zirconium, Barium, Beryllium, Bismuth, Boron, Bromide, Cadmium, Calcium, Carbonate, Cerium, Cesium, Chloride, Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Dysprosium, Erbium, Europium, Fluoride, Gadolinium, Gallium, Germanium, Gold, Hafnium, Holmium, Indium, Iodine, Iridium, Iron, Lanthanum, Lithium, Lutetium.. all have their function at the cellular level of the human body.
And why are trace elements important?
Despite the minuscule amounts in the body, trace elements are crucial to many body functions, including metabolic pathways. Trace elements serve as cofactors for enzymes, components of hormones, and participants in oxidation reduction reactions. They are essential for growth and for normal functioning of the immune system. Deficiencies may cause delayed sexual maturation, poor growth, mediocre work performance, faulty immune function, tooth decay, and altered hormonal function.
Other characteristics of Trace elements
Foods from animal sources, particularly liver, are good sources of many trace minerals. Amounts in plant foods can differ dramatically from region to region, depending on the soil’s mineral content.
So why is it important to take these supplements?
Well, though you should actually get most of your minerals from soil (and in your diet), these days one can never be sure of the source from which your raw produce comes from – what with pollutants (heavy metals etc) in soil, or over stressing the land and not rotating crops – often soil can be depleted of the right minerals.
Also, even if we are fairly sure of the amount of a particular mineral in a food, other components of the diet can affect the mineral’s bioavailability. Trace minerals are affected by the same factors that affect bioavailability of the major minerals, including fiber, phytate, polyphenols, oxalate, the acidity of the intestinal environment, and the person’s need for that mineral. High doses of other minerals can compete with trace minerals and inhibit their absorption.
So, that’s why I like ConcenTrace – just 20 drops for women and 30 drops for men in the morning. You need to start low (5 – 10 drops) and work your way up to the optimum dose. As it has a sharp metallic and bitter taste (of course, they are after all minerals!) you should either drop it into your juice or hot beverage in the morning. I like to take mine neat with just 15ml of water, then chase it with a sweet drink or some food. Otherwise, if you have a big bottle of water, even 20 drops will alter its taste, and you still need to finish the entire bottle. I rather make it one swift bitter shot, than a long drawn drink! Anyway, for children age 2-3: Take 1 drop for every 5 lbs of body weight.
I did notice however that while Magnesium reaches the RDA in this product (ConcenTrace), the Potassium concentration is still slightly low of the RDA so you need to supplement it with a balanced diet – ie. eat more White Beans, Apricots, Bananas, Avocado and foods rich in Potassium.
Good luck, and hope it helps you like it did sleepy-head me!