Thursday, February 21, 2008


Macronminerals like calcium and magnesium are minerals that are required in 100 mg/day or larger doses. Microminerals or trace minerals, like iron and zinc, are required in small amounts.

Minerals are found in food ad our bodies in ionic form or as part of organic compounds like metalloenzymes. One mineral may reduce the absorption rate of another mineral. For instance, iron can decrease in absorption. Food components like phytates, fiber, oxalate and tannin can decrease absorption of some minerals like calcium and iron. Some medications, such as antibiotics and laxative, can interfere with mineral absorption. Diuretics cause mineral depletion. Vitamin C enhances the absorption of iron. Vitamin D enhances calcium absorption in muscle and bone.

Mineral supplements are needed in rare cases of pregnancy, old age or illness. Read the labels and consult a dietitian about needs, dosages and possible harmful medication interactions.

Search in print or online for the metabolic actions of specific minerals, and look out for future blogs on this subject.

Some of this information was taken from Winning Sports Nutrition by Linda Houtkooper, PhD, RD, FACSM, Jaclyn Maurer Abbot, PhD, RD and Veronica Mullins, MS, RD, CSCS.

Disclaimer: None of the above information can be taken as a substitute for advice from a medical professional, such as a physician.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on,, and If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories.

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