If, like many Kiwis, you take a multi-type supplement then you should carefully read the mineral content on the label. Minerals are critical for the health and development of every cell in our body. Minerals are divided into major minerals that we need in greater amounts that include calcium, potassium and magnesium.
Of these it is usually the calcium and magnesium that are insufficient in many diets. A good multi should have all these in chelated form. This means they are bound to amino acids for better absorption as they stay in suspension and move from the acidic stomach to a more alkaline small intestine.
Our real focus here is on the trace minerals, especially zinc, copper, iron, selenium and manganese. These minerals are absolutely critical. Minerals come from the sea or soil. If they are missing or deficient in our diet then our health will suffer.
We use these to make a group of antioxidant enzymes. The two most important are superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx). We make SOD from zinc, copper, iron and manganese. We make GPx from selenium. While these may sound like obscure chemicals they are the front line of our cell defences against free radical damage.
Low levels of SOD and GPx have been linked to pretty much any disease you can think of, from osteoarthritis to cancer. But here is the real point – most people have less than optimum levels of these key trace minerals.
This is why any good multi-nutritional will have these minerals at the right levels and in a form our body can absorb. I know of no other group of nutrients that have such a profoundly positive impact on our health and wellbeing.