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What are minerals?

Minerals are natural, non-living materials that your body needs to stay healthy. There are two types: macrominerals and trace minerals. Your body needs macrominerals, like calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium, in larger amounts. You need smaller amounts of trace minerals, like copper, zinc, iodine and selenium. Different minerals have different functions in your body. Calcium helps you build healthy teeth and bones, conduct nerve signals and plays a role in your immunity and blood clotting. Magnesium is necessary for every major function of your body, including how your body uses glucose, nucleic acids and protein. Phosphorus is also needed for healthy bones and cells. Trace minerals also play important functions in bone and cell health, as well as how your body produces energy. Scientists aren't sure exactly how some trace minerals, such as manganese and selenium, work in the body, but they do know these minerals are needed for optimum health. Most people can get the right amount of minerals by eating a healthy, varied diet. It's also a good idea to ask your doctor if you need a mineral supplement, to be sure you're getting enough.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.