Your body uses minerals to build bones, make hormones and regulate your heartbeat. Found in dietary supplements, functional foods and beverages, and personal care products, nutritional minerals come in two forms: macrominerals and trace minerals.
Macrominerals, which your body needs in large amounts, include calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium potassium, chloride and sulfur. Today, calcium and/or magnesium supplements are popular complements to diets. To boost bioavailability of the best-selling mineral for bone health, calcium supplements now include magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin D and prebiotic fibers like inulin. As consumers learn that magnesium depletion is possible, magnesium—which helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, supports a healthy immune system and keeps bones strong—has been promoted from playing just a supporting role for calcium to performing as star of some supplements.
Your body needs only small amounts of trace minerals. These include iron, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, fluoride and selenium--with each of these minerals performing its own specialized function. Because U.S. soils suffer mineral depletion due, in part, to conventional agriculture techniques, trace minerals are gaining interest as nutritional supplements.
Minerals also are rocking the beauty aisles, as personal-care manufacturers infuse makeup, creams, masks and shampoos with copper, smithsonite, calcium, selenium, potassium and magnesium.