These are required in small quantities, less than a few mg a day. These are the Minor Mineral iron, zinc, iodine, fluoride, copper, selenium, chromium, cobalt, manganese and molybdenum.
Those elements which are required in traces are known as trace element. It is a trace element as its presence in small amount is very significant. Most of the Iron in the body is present as haemoglobin. Most of the body Iron is found in complex forms bound to proteins either as porphyrin or heme compounds or as ferritin. Free inorganic iron occurs in small amount. It is in circulating haemoglobin 4% into myoglobin.
- It is an essential part of several oxidative enzymes.
- It helps in specific brain functions such as a good attention span and capacity to learn and memorize.
- It facilitates the complete oxidation of carbohydrates , proteins and fats with in the cell and release of energy for performing physical work.
- Essential constituent of muscles.
Vegetable sources are cereals , beans , bajra , lentils , spinach , dried peach and apricot.
Non-vegetable sources are liver , kidney , brain , egg yolk , meat and fish.
Iron deficiency is very common in the vulnerable age groups in all developing countries. In healthy individual blood contains approximately 14 gm of haemoglobin per 100 ml. sometimes the level goes down and a low level of haemoglobin in blood is called anaemia. It occurs when diet is deficient in one or other of the nutrients required for the synthesis of haemoglobin.
In an adult body is found in the thyroid gland. The only known function of iodine is as a constituent of thyroxine. The thyroid hormone regulates the rate of oxidation within the cells.
Sea food like fish , shellfish , fishliver oils are the richest sources. Its content of vegetables , fruits and cereals depends upon the iodine of the soil.
- Thyroxine is related with the tissues of nerves and muscles.
- It helps in increasing heart rate.
- It helps in converting glycogen to glucose. In this way it increase blood sugar level.
It occurs when iodine content of the soil is so low that insufficient iodine is obtained through food. Deficiency of iodine results in a disease known as goiter. Goiter is an enlargement of the thyroid gland. This is when due to the deficiency of iodine the secretion of thyroxine hormone is also reduced.
It is the normal constituent of the body found mainly in bones and teeth. Small amounts of fluorine bring about striking reductions in tooth decay probably because the tooth enamel is made more resistant to the action of acids produced by bacteria in the mouth.
Milk , eggs and fish are important sources. Fluoridation of water to ensure a concentration of a safe and economical way to reduce the incidence of dental caries.
A deficiency results in dental caries and is seen in areas where drinking water contains less than 0.5 ppm of fluorine. Adding fluorine at a level reduces the incidence of dental caries by 50 per cent.