Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, found in the highest concentration in the bones and teeth (98%) and in lesser amounts in the blood, extracellular fluids and soft tissue cells.

Calcium can be found in its free form or its complex form (citrate or bicarbonate). Calcium levels are controlled by hormones: PTH (parathyroid hormone) increases calcium levels and calcitonin reduces it.

Calcium is a structural component of the bones and teeth and is essential for their maintenance. It is involved in processes such as: vasoconstriction and vasodilation, transmission of nervous impulses, muscular contraction and hormone secretion. Calcium furthermore acts as a cofactor of enzymes and proteins.

Deficiency in this mineral can occur as a result of malnutrition, abnormal functioning of the parathyroid (a gland that regulates calcium levels in the blood), renal insufficiency, and deficiency in vitamin D or magnesium.

The presence of calcium is necessary for the absorption of vitamin B12.

Vitamin D is indispensable to the use of calcium in the body.

Substances that deplete calcium: cimetidine, ranitidine, omeprazole, aluminum antacids, corticosteroids, cholestyramine, mineral oil, phenytoin and furosemide.

The high intake of sodium (salt), protein, phosphor (soft drinks and food additives), or caffeine (more than two cups of coffee or 300 mg of caffeine per day) can promote the loss of calcium.

Calcium supplements can reduce the effectiveness of blockers of calcium channels (medicine used to lower blood pressure); their use with thiazide diuretics increases the risk of hypercalcemia (high calcium levels in the blood); calcium supplements can reduce the absorption of antibiotics (tetracycline, quinolones), and of bisphosphonates (medicines for osteoporosis) and of the levothyroxine (thyroid hormone).

There are numerous problems that can arise due to calcium deficiency: Osteoporosis (weakening of the bones making them more fragile and susceptible to fractures), osteomalacia (inadequate mineralization of the bone matrix in adults), rickets (similar to osteomalacia occurring in children), tetanus (muscular spasms) heart palpitations, dental cavities, back and leg pain, insomnia and nervous system disturbances.

It is difficult to reach the recommended daily dose of calcium through food alone, unless dairy intake is raised.

Note: the bioavailability (which determines the amount of nutrients that are absorbed and used by the body) of the calcium in dairy products is significantly superior to that of leafy green vegetables.

Various forms of calcium exist: Carbonate supplies the largest amount of calcium (40%) and is cheap; Citrate provides 21%, but may be better absorbed by older people and people who take antacid medicines.

Separate the intake of food and supplements rich in calcium with the intake of iron supplements by two hours (calcium reduces iron absorption); avoid drinking tea with meals, because the tannins in tea reduces calcium absorption.

Some vegetables contain chemical products that inhibit the absorption of calcium, such as oxalic acid, which is found in raw spinach, potato, rhubarb and dry beans. By cooking these foods, the calcium is released that is linked to the oxalic acid, thus increasing the amount that can be absorbed. Phytic acid, which is found in wheat bran or dry beans, also reduces calcium absorption.

Food sources: Milk derivatives, Dark green vegetables (Cabbage, Watercress, Spinach, Coriander), and Almonds, Hazelnuts, Soy and Egg yolk.

Chromium it is an essential trace element, necessary for the body in very small amounts – between 20 – 35 µg for adults.

There are diverse descriptions of the mechanisms of chromium, the most relevant describes how chronium is necessary for the functioning of insulin and its receptor. Without chromium, the insulin receptor does not reach its maximum functioning potential.

A number of studies have shown that individuals who already have diabetes or resistance to insulin have low levels of a variety of minerals including chromium.

Individuals who are already insulin-resistant have better results from supplements, and the worse the deregulation is, the greater the effect chromium has.

Signs/causes of chromium deficiency in the body:
Exaggerated hunger, weakness, fatigue, irritation without cause, can all be symptoms of chromium deficiency;
Changes in the metabolism of glucose and insulin;
Accelerated aging, mainly in diabetics;
High consumption of processed food, especially sugar, white wheat flour and white rice;
A high level of physical exercise, it has been proven that running significantly increases urinary excretion of chromium;
Women in estrogen therapy have an increased level of insulin, and consequently have a higher GTF requirement (Glucose Tolerance Factor), that affects chromium level;
Physical and emotional stress increases the necessity for chromium.
Serious chromium deficiency is rare, but mild deficiency is common: it is estimated that 90% of adults consume less than the recommended daily dose.

Substances that deplete chromium: corticosteroids (prednisone).

Other interactions: chromium can increase blood sugar, reducing the effect of insulin and of medicines taken orally (glibenclamide and metformin), thus requiring an adjusted dosage.

Food sources: Brewer’s yeast, some beers and wines, oysters, liver, potato, whole cereals, wheat-germ, egg yolk, coffee, carrot, spinach, broccoli, nuts, green beans, meat, shellfish.

Phosphor is a mineral that is found primarily in the form of phosphate (PO4), and is present in all cells of the body, although 80-85% is found in conjunction with calcium.

Phosphor is one of the structural components of bones, found in the form of calcium phosphate salt called hydroxyapatite.

It is also found in the structure of the phospholipids which are components of the cellular membranes, in the ATP molecule (energy molecule) and in the structure of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA).

Phosphor is equally essential for the activation of many enzymes and hormones and functions as a buffer in maintaining pH in our body. This mineral is also involved in the transportation of oxygen, connected to the functioning of hemoglobin.

It is fundamental to the adequate functioning of the nervous system and for good intellectual performance.

Normal bone growth requires an adequate supply of calcium and phosphor through food, but the body cannot absorb these minerals without a sufficient quantity of vitamin D.

A phosphor deficiency is rare, except in alcoholics and in people with renal illness, or syndromes that cause low-absorption (Celiac Disease or Crohn’s Disease), or due to malnutrition.

Substances that deplete phosphor: aluminum and magnesium (antacids), digoxin and cholestyramine.

The symptoms of phosphor deficiency include anorexia, anemia, muscular weakness, bone pain, rickets (in children) and osteomalacia (demineralization of the bones in adults), increased susceptibility to infections, numbness and tingling in the extremities and locomotion difficulty.

In extreme situations phosphor deficiency can lead to death.

Food Sources: Soy, Cashew, Egg yolk, Cowpea, Cheese, Almonds, Peanuts, Pine Nuts, Peas, Broad Beans, White beans, Walnuts, Hazelnuts, Liver (except pork), Chocolate, Kidney, Meat, Fish, Yogurt, Milk

Potassium is a mineral as well as an electrolyte, that is, it dissolves in solution into ions that allow electricity to pass through the solution.

It is the ion found in the highest concentration in the cell interior and is also the third most abundant mineral in the human body, surpassed only by calcium and phosphor.

Potassium plays an important role in muscle relaxation, in insulin secretion by the pancreas and conservation of the acid-base balance.

Potassium has a high absorption rate in the order of 90%, this being accomplished through the small intestine.

Potassium is one of the minerals responsible for the maintenance of hydro electrolyte balance that allows for the maintenance of membrane potential, essential for nerve impulse transmission, muscle contraction (intestine and heart) and cardiac function. Potassium also plays the role of enzymatic cofactor.

Maintaining the right balance of potassium in the body depends on the amount of sodium and magnesium in the blood. Too much sodium – common in Western diets that use a lot of salt – may increase the need for potassium which serves to neutralize the harmful effects of sodium.

Hypertension is caused by the imbalance of sodium and potassium. That is why when there is an excess of sodium in the body, it is necessary to compensate with an increase in potassium, so as to maintain the balance between the two minerals in all body fluids.

Potassium deficiency (hypokalemia), can arise as a result of various situations: low food intake (anorexia), gastrointestinal loss (diarrhea, vomiting, diuretics and laxatives), renal losses (due to kidney diseases) or losses arising from abnormalities in metabolism (magnesium deficiency) and also alcoholism.

Symptoms that can occur are: fatigue, vomiting, abdominal distension, muscle weakness, paralysis, tingling, anorexia, low blood pressure, thirst, muscle spasms, tetanus, cardiac arrhythmia, disorientation and in severe cases deficiency may even lead to coma.

Substances that deplete potassium: pseudoephedrine, hydrochlorothiazide, furosemide, steroids, caffeine, and high doses of penicillin.

Substances that increase potassium (can cause hyperkalemia): spironolactone, triamterene, amiloride, ACE inhibitors, anti-inflammatory substances (ibuprofen), and heparin, digoxin and beta blockers.

In general, high potassium concentration in the blood is more dangerous than low concentration. A concentration higher than 5.5 mEq per liter of blood begins to affect the electrical conduction system of the heart. If the level in the blood continues to rise, the heart rhythm becomes abnormal and the heart may stop beating.

Food Sources: Pistachios, Almonds, Parsley, Hazelnuts, Peanuts, Chestnuts, Spinach, Banana.

Sodium an electrolyte like potassium, that is, in solution it disolves into ions that allows electricity to pass through the solution.

Sodium it is an element of mineral origin that when joined to another element, chlorine, forms sodium chloride, or salt, as we know it in its common form. Other mineral salts, such as sodium iodide or sodium nitrate, are also formed from the the main element “sodium”. This mineral can come from three different sources and exists in almost all foods, forming diverse salts.

It has an extremely high rate of absorption. Practically the totality of this mineral passes through the blood, the kidneys function to eliminate excess sodium, which in many cases corresponds to 90% of what it is ingested via food.

Sodium is one of the main ions of the extracellular fluid. It is one of the electrolytes responsible for the maintenance of the membrane potential, which is extremely important for the transmission of nervous impulses, muscular contraction and cardiac function.

It is also involved in the absorption of other nutrients, such as chlorine, amino acids, glucose and water, and in the regulation of the levels of blood pressure and blood volume.

We consider sodium to be the most important ion in extracellular terms, contributing greatly to maintaining the aqueous and acid balance of the body, by retaining water. In cases of excess, there is loss of calcium through the urine, edemas and hypertension.

One of the main causes of hypertension and other illnesses is the disequilibrium between sodium and potassium. All animal-derived products and also processed foods, such as cheese and meats, possess more sodium than potassium.

Sodium deficiency is rare (Hyponatremia) and can be a consequence of increased fluid retention (due to excessive fluid intake, nervous system disorders, or certain drugs) or due to increased sodium loss (in the case of vomiting, diarrhea, extreme sweating, and use of diuretics or renal pathology).

Substances that deplete sodium: diuretics, anti-inflammatory substances, carbamazepine, codeine, morphine and some antidepressants.

The symptoms include: migraines, nausea and vomiting, muscular cramps, fatigue, disorientation, unconsciosness. In more serious situations deficiency can cause brain edema, convulsions, coma and brain damage.

Vegetable-derived foods are all very poor in sodium, it is practically non-existent in fruits and very scarce in cereals and legumes. The vegetables with the biggest concentration of sodium are seaweed, celery, spinach and green vegetables. In animal-derived foods, sodium is sufficiently abundant, for example in milk, meat, eggs and fish.

Food Sources – Salt, stock, Cold meats, Olives, Dried cod, Ketchup, Margarine, Cheese, Salted butter; Water, wheat and salted crackers, Packaged potato chips, Tuna (canned), Nuts, Liver, Pistachios, Vegetable soup.

Magnesium is a mineral that in the body is found in particular in bones, however it can also be stored in muscles and cells.

Magnesium has diverse functions:
Metabolism: (participates in energy metabolism of lipids and carbohydrates in all reactions requiring the use of ATP (adenosine triphosphate);
Protein synthesis, nucleic acids (molecules that carry genetic information in the cells);
Excretion of some toxic substances (for example ammonia);
It is a structural component of the bones, celular membranes and chromosomes (DNA sequence);
Along with calcium, magnesium is responsible for the regulation of blood pressure, and muscular contraction, it has an antagonistic role to that of calcium (while the calcium is responsible for contraction, magnesium is responsible for relaxation);
Magnesium also has:

Control over calcium levels;
Maintenance of the electric potential of the membrane and transmission of nervous impulses and the transportation of sodium, potassium and calcium via the membrane;
Stimulation of insulin production (the hormone responsible for the control of the glycaemia) and it facilitates absorption on the part of the cells.
Mild magnesium deficiency is common, and it is estimated that it affects 75% of the population, as it is difficult to reach the recommended daily dose through food alone.

Magnesium deficiency can occur as a result of malnutrition, surgery, burns, renal or pancreatic or liver pathology, low absorption, diabetes, hormonal pathology and cancer. Diets with high levels of nutrients that diminish magnesium absorption can also cause deficiency of this mineral.

The symptoms are: irritability, personality changes, anorexia, Weakness, fatigue, vertigo, convulsions, nervousness, muscular cramps, involuntary tremors, ocular movements, cardiac arrhythmia, hyperglycemia, hair loss, diminished calcium levels.

Substances that deplete magnesium: furosemide, hidroclorotiazina, cholestyramine and oral contraception.

Other interactions: magnesium reduces the absorption of digoxin, nitrofurantoin, anti-malaria medicines, antibiotics, quinolones, tetracycline, chlorpromazine, alendronate and etidronate, for which an interval of two hours is recommended between the ingestion of magnesium and these substances.

Food sources – Oleaginous fruits, Soy, Legumes, Whole wheat bread, Chocolate, Spinach, Cheese, Fish, Broad beans, Banana

Iron is found in two forms, one present in animals – heme – and the other in plants – non heme. It is a constituent trace element of hemoglobin, the protein of the blood that carries oxygen through the entire body.

Iron also participates in some enzymatic reactions and in the process of DNA synthesis, playing an important role in cellular growth and division. Iron furthermore participates in protein metabolism, production of energy in the cells and is necessary for the production of thyroid hormones and neurotransmitters (chemical substances produced by the nuerons) as well as for the correct functioning of the immune system.

Iron deficiency is one of the more common nutritional deficiencies, especially in women with intense menstrual bleeding and during pregnancy (levels required increase due to the baby), in vegetarians, and people with bad absorption syndromes (Celiac disease), hemorrhagic ulcers, copper deficiency and surgery. The pathology is called anemia (reduction in the concentration of hemoglobin in the blood that results in a reduction of the capacity to transport oxygen).

The symptoms include: Fatigue, increased heart-rate, dyspnoea (lack of air), vesicular stomatitis (cracks in the corners of the mouth), inability to concentrate, sleep disturbances, sharp pain and menstrual losses, ocular inflammation, mouth ulcers, fragile nails with white spots, hair loss.

Substances that destroy iron: antacids, cimetidine, ranitidine, omeprazole, lansoprazole, anti-inflammatory medicines, aspirin, and cholestyramine.

Iron supplments can bind and reduce the absorption and efficacy of levodopa, levothyroxine, methyldopa, quinolones, tetracycline and bisphosphonates zinc and calcium supplements. To prevent this, separate the ingestion of iron supplements from these other substances by an interval of two hours.

Foods rich in vitamin C increase the absorption of non-hematologic iron (the form of iron mainly found in plants).

Food Sources – Clams, Soy, Oysters, Pistachios, Lentils, Grains, Cockles, Cocoa powder, Egg yolk, Beans, Víscera, Broadbeans, Nuts, Horse meat, Almonds, Peas, Sausage, Whole wheat bread, Turkey, Tuna, Mutton, Beef, Pork

Zinc is a very important trace element for the body, is present in almost all cells, particularly in bones, skin and hair.

Zinc participates in the metabolism of macro-nutrients (proteins, lipids and carbohydrates) and of nucleic acids (molecules that carry genetic information in the cells). It also acts a protein stabilizer, the structure of nucleic acids and maintenance of the integrity of subcellular organelles. It participates in transport processes, the immune system and regulation of genetic expression.

Zinc is a structural component of bone, required for osteoclast activity, formation of alkaline phosphatase (enzyme), and calcification.

Zinc deficiency is rare and it can result from food deficiencies (vegetarian, pregnant women, elderly), poor absorption (Celiac disease, Crohn’s Disease, colitis and sickle cell anemia), or high losses of zinc in the body (for example from gastrointestinal losses, serious burns). Finally it can also be present in individuals with alcohol dependence.

Substances that deplete zinc: diuretics, anticonvulsants, penicillin, ECA inhibiting substances, antacid and oral contraceptives.

Zinc supplements can reduce copper levels, therefore choose a multivitamin that contains both copper and zinc.

The symptoms include: stunted growth, hair loss, diarrhea, delay in sexual maturation, immune system deficiencies, anorexia, night blindness, disgeusia (altered taste), skin lesions, weight loss, and altered healing process.

Zinc supplements can reduce antibiotic absorption (tetracycline and quinolones), so supplements should be taken two hours before or after these products.

Food Sources – Oysters, Nuts, Cashew, Flemish Cheese, Egg yolk, Mussels, Beef, Peanuts, Almonds, Liver, Walnuts, Pistachios, Cockles, Heart, Hazelnut, Wholewheat Bread, Kidney, Pork, Tuna, Turkey, Mackerel, Sea Bass, Chicken.

Selenium is a trace element that in the body is found stored in the liver, kidneys and in tissue.

Selenium is necessary for the activity of enzymes called selenoproteins.

Selenium has an antioxidant function, as an enzyme component glutathione peroxidase, and acts together with vitamin E, protecting the cellular membranes from the damage provoked by free radicals.

It contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system, normal maintenance of hair and nails, functioning of the thyroid gland, and normal fertility, amongst other diverse functions.

Selenium increases the ratio of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) in relation to LDL (bad cholesterol), which is fundamental to maintaining a healthy heart.

In combination with vitamin E selenium has antioxidant properties.

Research has shown evidence of anti-inflammatory and immunostimulant properties relating to selenium.

Selenium deficiency is rare, but it can occur in people with poor diet, in people who live in zones where the earth is selenium deficient, and in people with Crohn’s Disease, bad absorption syndrome (celiac disease), individuals with parenteral nutrition or enteric nutrition and who are malnourished, and also in alcoholic individuals or people with cystic fibrosis.

The two most common pathologies are: Keshan disease and Kashin-Beck disease.

Keshan disease is a cardiomyopathy that affects mainly children. Kashin-Beck disease affects mainly pre-adolescents and adolescents and manifests in rigidity, edema and pain in the interphalangeal finger joints that progresses to osteoarthritis.

Substances that deplete selenium: valproic acid and corticosteroids (prednisone).

The most common symptoms of prolonged selenium deficiency are:
Fatigue; loss of muscular mass, cardiomyopathy (inflammation of the heart), damage to the pancreas and reduction in immunology function;
Changes to thyroid functioning, known as hypothyroidism;
Difficulty concentrating, mental confusion and mood swings;

Food Sources – Viscera, Shellfish, Meat, Cereals and Grains, Lactose, Fruit, Vegetables.

Copper is the third most abundant trace element in the body.

It is found mainly in the liver, brain, heart and kidneys, but also in the bones, muscles, nervous system and plasma.

Copper is a component of diverse enzymes, playing an important role in numerous enzymatic reactions. It is also one of the actors in the metabolism of the iron (it oxides the iron, which passes it from ferrous form to the ferric form). Iron is involved in the process of energy production in the mitochondria, the production of melanin and catecholamines and also has an antioxidant function.

A serious copper deficiency is rare, but a mild deficiency is common. A normal diet provides about 50% of the recommended daily dose.

Individuals at risk: premature babies and/or babies with low birth weight; children with diarrhea; babies fed only cow milk formula which is low in copper; people suffering from malnutrition; bad absorption syndromes (Celiac disease), cystic fibrosis and people who are fed intravenously.

Substances that deplete copper: ​​penicillin, ethambutol and zidovudine.

One of the main signs of copper deficiency is anemia. Given that copper is an actor in the metabolism of iron, a reduction in copper levels equally implies a reduction in iron levels.

Another consequence is a decreased number of white blood cells which causes neutropenia, resulting in a reduction of the body’s defenses thus increasing susceptibility to infection.

In infants and children with copper deficiency there are abnormalities in bone development.

Food Sources – Cow liver, Soy flour, Soy powder, Lentils, Beans, Peanuts, Beans, Cocoa powder, Pumpernickel flour, Turkey, Orange, Celery, Heart

Iodine is a trace element essential to life, obtained from sources exterior to the human body, through food and accumulated in the thyroid gland, with a fundamental role the biosynthesis of thyroid hormones (Tiroxina – T4 and Triiodothyronine – T3 corresponding to 65% and 59% of its molecular weight respectively).

These hormones are responsible for the regulation of cellular metabolism and play a determining role in the growth and development of organs, especially the brain. In human beings, maximum cerebral growth and development occur during the fetal period and in the first two to three first years of life.

The concentration of iodine in food depends on innumerable factors, such as: iodine content in the water and soil, use of ionized disinfectants in the food industry and in agriculture the use of fertilizers rich in iodine.

The daily need for iodine varies throughout the life cycle. The Recommended Daily Dose (RDD) for children between the ages of 0 and 5 is 90 μg/day, between 6 and 12 years is 120 μg/day, for adolescents and adults it is 150 μg/day and for pregnant and breast-feeding women, 250 μg/day.

An iodine deficiency can occur in people who do not consume salt, fish or shellfish, and is becoming generally more common in the population, with restrictions on salt in order to reduce blood pressure.

Other interactions: amiodarone (heart medicine) contains high iodine levels and can affect thyroid functioning; potassium iodide can reduce the anti-coagulating effect of warfarin.

A deficiency of selenium, vitamin A or iron can be made worse by an iodine deficiency.

An iodine deficiency, whether moderate or mild, has been found in Portugal to cause cognitive and/or behavioral deficits, and in its extreme form, cretinism.

The World Health Organization (WHO) considers, moreover, iodine deficiency to be the leading preventable cause of mental retardation worldwide, estimating that about 13% of the global population is affected by illnesses caused by a deficiency of this micro-nutrient.

Iodine is obtained through diet, in foods such as fish and lactose products. But the typical diet in Portugal does not appear to be sufficient, according to what a number of studies have found iodine consumption is lower than what would be ideal.

This widespread deficiency has been known about for some time, but it was a population-based study published in 2010 (with a sample of 3631 pregnant women in 17 maternity hospitals across the interior, coastal and autonomous regions of Portugal) that uncovered the true seriousness of the problem: only 17% of the women had iodine levels that met WHO recommendations.

The situation in the autonomous regions was even worse: in Madeira, more than 90% of pregnant women presented with inadequate levels of iodine and in Açores, this ratio were even higher.

A previous study (2008) carried out in the region of Minho also demonstrated that women of fertile age and pregnant women presented with iodine deficiency.

Universal iodization of salt could eliminate the necessity for specific supplements during pregnancy and lactation. The use of iodized salt (20-40 mg of iodine per kilo of salt) is a common and safe practice and covers two thirds of the world population.

Food Sources – Iodized Salt, Saltwater fish, Shellfish, Meat, Vegetables cultivated in coastal zones, Milk, Eggs.

Manganese, (from the French manganèse) is a chemical element, with the symbol Mn.

In biology, manganese ions function as adjuncts for a great variety of enzymes that carry out numerous functions. Manganese enzymes are particularly important to the detoxification process of superoxide free radicals in organisms that need to make use of elemental oxygen.

Manganese contributes to normal energy producing metabolism. It aids in the maintenance of normal bones and contributes to the formation of normal tissue and protects cells against unwanted oxidation.

Deficiency in manganese is rare, but can occur in people with epilepsy, hypoglycemia, diabetes, schizophrenia and osteoporosis.

When a diet is deficient in manganese, the body seems able to conserve this mineral in an efficient way over a period of a number of weeks.

The symptoms of deficiency are: a transient rash, dermatitis, skin rashes, poor nail growth, nefralgia, joint pain, fever, liver hypertrophy and swollen lymph nodes.

Substances that deplete manganese: antacids that contain magnesium, laxatives and tetracycline.

Absorption is reduced by calcium, phospate and iron.

Hydrazine, an antihypertensive may cause manganese deficiency and related side effects such as pain radiating along the nerve path (neuralgia), joint pain, fever, rash, swollen lymph nodes and liver hypertrophy. Treatment consists of the administration of manganese salts.

Food Sources – Bread, Walnuts, Wholegrain cereals and Green vegetables such as Peas and Green beans, Fruits, Beetroot leaves and Blackberries. Manganese can also be found in tea.

Molybdenum is an important micro-nutrient in the metabolism of protein. Molybdenum is found in small amounts in the body and is readily absorbed through the stomach and small intestine. It is excreted through urine and bile.

Molybdenum is important in the prevention and control of dental cavities, in the treatment of sexual impotence, in the prevention and prophylaxis of some types of anemia, in the oxidation of fat, the formation of xanthan-oxidase, through which if it forms uric acid, which is an excellent antioxidant substance when present in normal blood levels, for carbohydrate and fats metabolism and as an antioxidant and body detoxing agent.

The deficiency of this mineral is very rare due to the recommended amount being small and easily obtained through a normal diet.

Deficiency can occur in cases of prolonged poor nutrition.

The symptoms include: increased heart rate (Tachycardia), respiratory difficulty (Taquipneia – increased rate of breathing), nausea, vomiting, disorientation and even coma.

Substances that deplete molybdenum: high copper or sulphate consumption.

Food Sources – legumes, cereal grains, broad beans, vegetables, dark green leafy vegetables, viscera.

Fluorine is the trace element from the group of halogens most abundant on the earth’s crust.

The most important composites of fluorine are the metallic composites called fluorides. Alkaline fluorides are strongly antiseptic.

Fluorine is essential to the human body, increasing enamel resistance in the acidic mouth environment and protecting teeth from decay.

Nevertheless an excess of fluorine has negative effects and causes for example dark spots on the teeth. In very high doses, it can cause malformations of the teeth and skeleton – which is called fluorosis and manifests itself through brittle and chromatically misshapen teeth, (mottling). This occurs when children consume high amounts of naturally fluorinated water, and foods processed with this water.

The daily amount of fluorine ingested varies greatly from person to person. It depends on the toothpaste that is used, eating habits and medication that is being taken at any given time.

A person who drink tap water and brushes their teeth three times a day is ingesting fluorine.

Substances that deplete fluorine: calcium or aluminium supplements and calcium (antacid) can reduce fluorine absorption (therefore it is important to separate the consumption of these substances and fluorine by two hours).

The first research into fluorine ingestion in human beings was carried out by Nazis in concentration camps with the intention to pacify the prisoners, giving them ion from the water with up to 1500 ppm fluoride. The result generated a type of apathy, with prisoners ‘better’ carrying out their tasks without question.

With a similar objective, fluorine is nowadays added to some psychiatric medicines.

More than 60 tranquilizers contain fluorine, including Diazepam, Valium and Rohypnol, the later linked to I.G.Farben, a chemical industry company which acted in the service of Nazi Germany.

The majority of mineral waters possess fluorides, as does sea water.

Sulphur (S) (from the Latin Sulphur- ŭris) is a key element of living matter, a protagonist of cellular biological phenomena.

It has energy, plastic and detoxification functions.

A growing human body contains approximately 140 grams of sulphur. Approximately half of this amount is found in muscular tissue, the skin and bones.

While sulphur is abundant and easily ingested in the context of a balanced diet, vegans, and vegetarians who do not consume eggs, HIV-positive adults and children may all require supplements.

Sulphur deficiency can lead to some muscular, joint and skin illnesses, an excess of sulphur is eliminated through faeces and urine.

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is an organic form of Sulphur that appears in nature in all biologically active living creatures.

MSM increases the action of many vitamins and improves the capacity of other nutrients, among them vitamin C, co-enzyme Q 10 (health and maintenance of the skin, nails and hair), all the complex B vitamins, vitamin A and D and amino acids, selenium, calcium, magnesium and many others.

MSM reacts with toxins, deactivating them and promoting their excretion.

Moreover, MSM increases the permeability of cellular membrane, allowing nutrients to enter more easily.

MSM drastically increases the ability of the cell to excrete useless products from the body.

Without sulphur we would also have difficulty producing food as it is used in fertilizers. It is also important in the production of powder, medicines and insecticides.

Sulphur deficiency can cause: skin problems; allergic reactions, liver and bladder dysfunction.

The symptoms of sulphur deficiency are: acne, arthritis, fragile hair and nails, gastrointestinal upsets, immune system dysfunction, persistent muscle injuries, memory loss, skin rashes, scars and slow healing.

Food Sources: meat, milk, eggs, cheeses, cereals, dry fruits, onion, garlic and cauliflower

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