Essential minerals are those which are specifically required for the maintenance of life or normal growth. Deficiency results in clinical syndromes which are reversible by supplementation. Each essential mineral is associated with a role in metabolism e.g.:
- active site of enzymes
- component of hormones e.g. zinc in insulin
- acid-base balance
- maintenance of intercompartmental fluid balance
- muscle contraction
Some of the essential minerals are present in relatively large quantities e.g. sodium; the rest are 'trace minerals'.
Last reviewed 05/2020