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Why are trace minerals important?

Dariush Mozaffarian, MD
Internal Medicine
A thimble could easily contain the distillation of all the trace minerals normally found in your body. Yet their contributions are just as essential as those of major minerals such as calcium and phosphorus, which each account for more than a pound of your body weight. Trace minerals carry out a diverse set of tasks. Iron, for example, is best known for ferrying oxygen throughout the body, while fluoride strengthens bones and wards off tooth decay. Zinc helps blood clot, is essential for taste and smell, and bolsters the immune response. Copper helps form several enzymes, one of which assists with iron metabolism and the creation of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood. The other trace minerals perform equally vital jobs, such as helping to block damage to body cells and forming parts of key enzymes or enhancing their activity.

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