Minerals help maintain vital body processes such as cell and hormone production. Important dietary minerals include calcium, zinc, iron, and iodine. They are needed in smaller amounts compared to proteins and carbohydrates, but deficiencies are still common because few foods contain enough to meet recommended dietary allowances (RDAs). To compensate, most doctors recommend dietary mineral supplements to prevent deficiencies and related diseases.
There are different types of dietary mineral supplements, each offering different nutritional benefits. It is important to know which minerals you need to make sure you get the right dietary mineral supplements. Taking the wrong supplements can result in overdoses, which are often toxic and can cause severe side effects. This article provides some tips on choosing and using dietary mineral supplements.
1. Vitamin and mineral supplements
For a more complete supplement, choose a multivitamin containing a combination of vitamins and minerals. This helps achieve nutritional balance and prevents other deficiencies. Look for one that includes trace and bulk minerals, amino acids, bioflavonoids, antioxidants, and herb extracts.
2. Chelated mineral supplements
Minerals are naturally converted to chelated form during digestion so they can be absorbed by the body. Some people have limited chelation abilities, which may slow down absorption. Chelated dietary mineral supplements do not have to undergo this process, so they are absorbed up to ten times faster.
3. Synergistic minerals
Not all vitamins and minerals are designed to work together. When choosing multivitamin and mineral supplements, make sure they are scientifically formulated and approved by reputed laboratories. Labels like “scientifically tested” can be misleading – try calling the manufacturer and ask about the test results.
4. Herbal supplements
Some people prefer supplements that are plant-based because they are easier on the digestive system. These also contain fewer chemicals and have a lower risk of side effects. Like synthetic supplements, however, not all herbs go well together, so make sure the manufacturer is reputable and consult your doctor before taking herbal supplements.
IMPORTANT: Dietary supplements are not as strictly regulated as conventional drugs. As a result, some dietary mineral supplements may contain additives such as starch, silica, gluten, and sugar. These may not only hinder the effects of the supplement, but may even be harmful to your health. To make sure your supplements do not contain such chemicals, choose products that are approved by the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and do not contain any artificial colors or flavorings.