Symptoms of Mineral Deficiencies

There are two classes of minerals, MAJOR and TRACE. Even though trace minerals are required in very small amounts, they are indeed essential to good health. Below is a list of essential minerals. This list describes each mineral and lists some symptoms of deficiency, along with possible links to diseases that have been associated with mineral deficiency. The list of symptoms of deficiencies and possible links to certain diseases is not intended to be the practice medicine. Consult your physician for diagnosis.

Major (Macro) Minerals Minor (Trace) Minerals
Calcium Chloride Magnesium Chromium Cobalt Copper
Phosphorus Potassium Selenium Germanium Iron Lithium
Sodium Sulfur Manganese Molybdenum Nickel
Rubidium Selenium Silica
Vanadium Zinc

Magnesium (Mg)

Did you know that some minerals like MAGNESIUM helps promote absorption and metabolizes other minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, sodium and potassium? Magnesium is an essential mineral that accounts for about 0.05% of the body’s total weight. Magnesium is involved in activating enzymes necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates and amino acids. By countering the stimulative effect of calcium, magnesium plays an important role in neuromuscular contractions. It also helps regulate the acid-alkaline balance in the body. Magnesium helps promote absorption and metabolism of other minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, sodium and potassium. It also helps utilize the B Complex and Vitamins C and E in the body. It aids during bone growth and is necessary for proper functioning of the muscles including those of the heart.

Magnesium deficiency has been associated with the following symptoms or illnesses:
  • Anxiety
  • Asthma
  • Anorexia
  • Birth Defects
  • Calcification of arteries
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Growth Failures
  • Hyperactivity
  • Hypertension
  • Hypothermia
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Calcification of Soft Tissue
  • Menstrual Migraines
  • Muscle Weakness, Tremors, Pains
  • Neuromuscular Problems
  • Restlessness
  • Seizures
  • SIDS Sudden Infant Death
  • Tachycardia/Palpitations
  • Tetany – Convulsions
  • Tremors
  • Vertigo

Calcium (Ca)

Did you know that CALCIUM is not only essential for building strong bones and teeth, but it also is necessary for healthy blood and helps maintain a REGULAR HEARTBEAT? Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and the fifth most abundant substance. About 99% is deposited in the bones and teeth. The remaining 1% is involved in the soft tissues, intracellular fluids and blood. The major function of Calcium is to act in cooperation with phosphorus to build and maintain bones and teeth. Another important function is the storage of the mineral in the bones for use by the body. The Calcium state of the bones is constantly fluctuating according to the diet and to the body’s needs.

The 1% of ionized Calcium that circulates in the fluids of the body is small, but vital, to life. It is essential for healthy blood and eases insomnia and its delicate messenger ions help regulate the heartbeat. Calcium assists in the process of blood clotting and helps prevent the accumulation of too much acid or too much alkali in the blood. It also plays a part in secretion of hormones. It affects neurotransmitters (serotonin, acetylcholine and norepinephrine), nerve transmission, muscle growth and muscle contraction. The mineral acts as a messenger from the cell surface to the inside of the cell and helps regulate the passage of nutrients in and out of the cell walls.

Calcium deficiency has been associated with the following symptoms or illnesses:
  • Arthritis
  • Back Pain
  • Bell’s Palsy
  • Bone Spurs
  • Brittle Fingernails
  • Calcium Deposits
  • Cognitive Impairment
  • Delusions
  • Depression
  • Eczema
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Hyperactivity
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Kidney Stones
  • Limb Numbness
  • Muscle Cramps, Spasms
  • Nervousness
  • Neuromuscular Excitability
  • Osteofibrosis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Panic Attacks
  • Periodontal Disease
  • Pica
  • Rickets
  • Retarded Growth
  • Tetany – convulsions
  • Tooth Decay
  • Twitches

Iron (Fe)

Feeling tired all the time? Have you been told your ANEMIC? Did you know that IRON is the main carrier vehicle that delivers oxygen to all the cells in the body? Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the World! Iron is a mineral concentrate in the blood, which is present in every living cell. It is the mineral that is found in the largest amounts in the blood. It is involved in respiration by being the main carrier vehicle for getting oxygen to all the cells in the body. It is essential to the oxidation of fatty acids.

Iron deficiency has been associated with the following symptoms or illnesses:
  • Anemia
  • Angular Stomatitis
  • Anorexia
  • Brittle Nails
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Dirt Eating (PICA)
  • Dizziness
  • Dysphagia
  • Fatigue
  • Fragile Bones
  • GI Upset
  • Growth Retardation
  • Headaches
  • Ice Eating (PICA)
  • Heart Palpitation
  • Hemoglobin
  • Irritability, Listlessness
  • Memory Deficits
  • Sore Tongue

Potassium (K)

Did you know POTASSIUM helps stimulate the kidneys to eliminate poisonous body wastes? Did you know that SODIUM & POTASSIUM work together to equalize the acid-alkali factor in the blood? Potassium is an essential mineral found mainly in the intracellular fluid (98%), where it is the primary positive ion force. Potassium constitutes 5% of the total mineral content of the body. Potassium and sodium help regulate water balance within the body, that is, they help regulate the distribution of fluids on either side of the cell walls and preserve proper alkalinity of the body fluids.

Potassium also regulates the transfer of nutrients to the cells. Potassium unites with phosphorus to send oxygen to the brain and also functions with calcium in the regulation of neuromuscular activity. The synthesis of muscle protein and protein from the amino acids in the blood requires potassium. Protein and carbohydrate metabolism are dependent upon potassium. It stimulates the kidneys to eliminate poisonous body wastes. Potassium works with sodium to help normalize the heartbeat.

Potassium deficiency has been associated with the following symptoms or illnesses:
  • Acne
  • Arrhythmia
  • Cognitive Impairment
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • ECG Changes
  • Edemia
  • Fatigue
  • Glucose Intolerance
  • Growth Retardation
  • Hypocholesterolemia
  • Hyperreflexia
  • Insomnia
  • Mental Apathy
  • Muscular Weakness
  • Nervousness
  • Palpitations
  • Plydipsia
  • Proteinuria
  • Respiratory Distress
  • “Salt” Retention
  • Rapid Heart Rate
  • Xerosis

Sodium (Na)

Did you know that SODIUM & POTASSIUM work together to equalize the acid-alkali factor in the blood? Sodium is an essential mineral that is found in every cell in the body, but predominantly in the extracellular fluids, the vascular fluids (blood pH) within the blood vessels, arteries, veins and capillaries, and the intestinal fluids surrounding the cells. It functions with potassium to equalize the acid-alkali factor in the blood. Along with potassium, it helps regulate water balance within the body and it helps regulate the distribution of fluids on either side of the cell walls.

Sodium deficiency has been associated with the following symptoms or illnesses:
  • Intestinal Gas
  • Weight Loss
  • Short Attention Span
  • Vomiting
  • Palpitations
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Linked to Arthritis
  • Linked to Rheumatism
  • Linked to Neuralgia

Deficiency in Sodium can lead to Build Up of Acids in the Body

Phosphorus (P)

Did you know PHOSPHORUS is necessary for B-Complex Vitamins and many enzymes to function? Phosphorus is the second most abundant mineral in the body and is found in every cell. The balance of calcium and phosphorus is needed for them to be effectively used by the body. Phosphorus plays a part in almost every chemical reaction within the body because it is present in every cell. It is important in the utilization of carbohydrates, fats and protein for growth, maintenance and repair and mediation, both within and without the cells, and for the production of energy.

It stimulates muscle contractions, including the regular contractions of the heart muscle. Niacin and riboflavin cannot be digested unless phosphorus is present. Phosphorus is an essential part of nucleoproteins, which are responsible for cell division and reproduction. Phosphorus helps prevent the accumulation of too much acid or too much alkali in the blood, assist in the passage of substances through the cell walls and promote the secretion of glandular hormones. It’s also needed for healthy nerves and efficient mental activity. B-Complex Vitamins and many enzymes require phosphorus to function.

Phosphorus deficiency has been associated with the following symptoms or illnesses:
  • Alopecia (Hair Loss)
  • Anemia
  • Aneurysms
  • Bone Pain
  • Dyspnea
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Numbess
  • Parathesias
  • Pica (Eating hair, wool, etc)
  • Tremulousnes
  • Weakness
  • Weight Loss

Sulfur (S)

Did you know SULFUR is important to cellular respiration, as it is needed to help cells utilize oxygen, which aids brain function and all cell activity? Sulfur is generally considered to be the 8th or 9th most abundant mineral in the human body. It is stored in every cell in the body, with the highest concentrations being in the joints, hair, skin, and nails. Sulfur is also the least researched major mineral. As part of four amino acids, sulfur performs a number of functions in enzyme reactions and protein synthesis. It is necessary for formation of collagen, the protein found in connective tissue in our bodies. Sulfur is also present in keratin, which is necessary for the maintenance of the skin, hair, and nails, helping to give strength, shape, and hardness to these protein tissues.

Sulfur, as cystine and methionine, is part of other important body chemicals: insulin, which helps regulate carbohydrate metabolism, and heparin, an anticoagulant. Taurine is found in bile acids, used in digestion. The sulfur-containing amino acids help form other substances as well, such as biotin, coenzyme A, lipoic acid, and glutathione. The mucopoly-saccharides may contain chondroitin sulfate, which is important to joint tissues. Sulfur is important to cellular respiration, as it is needed in the oxidation-reduction reactions that help the cells utilize oxygen, which aids brain function and all cell activity. These reactions are dependent on cysteine, which also helps the liver produce bile secretions and eliminate other toxins. L-cysteine is thought to generally help body detoxification mechanisms through the tripeptide compound, glutathione.

Sulfur deficiency has been associated with the following symptoms or illnesses:
  • Acne
  • Arthritis
  • Brittle Nails
  • Brittle Hair
  • Convulsions
  • Depression
  • Gastrointestinal Challenges
  • Immune Dysfunction
  • Memory Loss
  • Lung Dysfunction – Inflammation
  • Rashes
  • Scar Tissue
  • Slow Wound Healing

Chlorine (Cl)

Chloride ion is the most recent addition to the list of essential elements. Plants may take up as much chloride as they do elements such as sulfur. Chloride ion is not to be confused with chlorine gas. In general chloride has received little attention in dietary assessment and has been omitted from food composition tables. However, chloride content of infant cow’s milk and soy formulae has stimulated interest in the past 15 years because of iatrogenic hypochloremia induced by several infant formulas with deficient chloride concentrations.

There is a high correlation between the sodium and chloride contents of the diet, and only under unusual circumstances do levels of sodium and chloride vary in the diet independently. Adequate intake of sodium chloride is required for maintenance of extracellular fluid volume. Chloride is both actively and passively absorbed. Urine excretion reflects chloride intake, with low or no chloride found in deficiency states.

Chlorine deficiency has been associated with the following symptoms or illnesses:
  • Apathy
  • Reduced Appetite
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle Cramping
  • Nausea
  • Poor Growth

Selenium (Se)

Selenium is an essential mineral found in minute amounts in the body. It is one of the essential body substances that can be used in a preventive manner for many diseases, including cancer, arteriosclerosis, stroke, cirrhosis, arthritis and emphysema. Selenium functions either alone or with enzymes. It is a natural antioxidant that protects against free radicals and appears to preserve elasticity of tissue that becomes less elastic with aging. All diseases that are associated with aging are affected by the workings of Selenium.

Selenium deficiency has been associated with the following symptoms or illnesses:
  • Age Spots / Liver Spots
  • ALS (Lou Gerhrig’s Disease)
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Anemia
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Cataracts
  • Cancer Risk
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Fatigue
  • Growth Retardation
  • Hearth Palpitations
  • High Infant Mortality
  • HIV
  • Impaired Immunity
  • Keshan Disease
  • Liver Cirrhosis
  • Low Birth Weight
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Myalgia
  • Pancreatitis
  • Parkinson’s (associated lead poison)
  • Scoliosis
  • Sterility in Males
  • SIDS Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
  • Sickle Cell Anemia

Zinc (Zn)

Zinc is an essential trace mineral occurring in the body in larger amounts than any other trace element except iron. It is present in all tissues. Zinc is known for its ability to fight disease and to protect the immune system. It is involved in the Krebs cycle and energy production. More recently, blindness in the elderly has been found to be arrested by zinc. It is also credited with increasing male sex drive and potency because of its ability to regulate testosterone in the prostate.

Zinc deficiency has been associated with the following symptoms or illnesses:
  • Acne
  • Alopecia (Hair Loss)
  • Anemia
  • Anorexia or Bulimia
  • Apathy
  • Birth Defects
  • Bad Body Odors
  • Brittle Nails
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Enlarged Prostate
  • Eczema
  • Fatigue
  • “Frizzy” Hair
  • High Infant Mortality
  • Hypercholesterolemia
  • Hypogewusia (loss of taste)
  • Infertility
  • Impaired Wound Healing
  • Impotence
  • Irritability
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of Sense of Smell
  • Malabsorption
  • Memory Loss
  • Paranoia
  • Pica (eating wool, hair, etc)
  • Poor Growth
  • Sexual Immaturity
  • Poor Ovary Function
  • Poor Testes Function
  • Sterility
  • Weakened Immune Function
  • White Spots on Nails

Manganese (Mn)

Manganese plays an important role, as an antioxidant, in the prevention of toxic oxygen forms. It may play a part in the degenerative process called aging. It also plays a role in activating numerous enzymes that are necessary for utilization of choline, biotin, thiamine and Vitamin C complex. It is a catalyst in the synthesis of fatty acids, cholesterol and mucopolysaccharides.

Manganese deficiency has been associated with the following symptoms or illnesses:
  • Asthma
  • Ataxia
  • Atheroscleosis
  • Chondromalacia
  • Chondrodystrophy
  • Convulsions
  • Dizziness
  • Hearing Loss
  • Hypocholerolemia
  • Hypoglocemia
  • Infertility
  • Loss of Sex Drive
  • Pancreatic Atrophy
  • Poor Cartilage Formation
  • Carpal Tunnel, TMJ
  • Retarded Growth Rates
  • Shortened Long Bones
  • Still Birth
  • Tinnitus
  • Spontaneous Miscarriages

Copper (Cu)

Is found in all body tissues. During growth, the largest concentrations occur in the developing tissues. It is also one of the most important blood antioxidants and prevents the rancidity of polyunsaturated fatty acids and helps the cell membranes remain healthy.

Copper deficiency has been associated with the following symptoms or illnesses:
  • Alopecia (Hair Loss)
  • Anemia
  • Aneurysms
  • Arthritis
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Criminal or Violent Behavior
  • Depression
  • Dermatosis
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry Brittle Hair
  • Fatigue
  • Fragile Bones
  • Hernias
  • High Blood Cholesterol
  • Hypocholestolemia
  • Hypo or Hyper Thyroid
  • Ptosis (sagging skin/tissue)
  • Kawasaki Disease
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Liver Cirrhosis
  • Nervous Ticks
  • Ruptured Disc Problems
  • Respiratory Disease
  • Swachman’s Syndrome
  • Varicose Veins
  • White or Grey Hair

Cobalt (Co)

Cobalt is an essential mineral and is an integral part of Vitamin B12. Cobalt acts as a substitute for manganese in activating a number of enzymes in the body. It replaces zinc in some enzymes and activates others as well. It is necessary for normal functioning and maintenance of red blood cells, as well as all other body cells. It is present in ocean and sea vegetation, but is lacking in almost all land grown, green foods.

Cobalt deficiency has been associated with the following symptoms or illnesses:
  • Fatigue
  • Slow Growth Rate
  • Digestive Disorders
  • Nerve Damage
  • Anemia
  • Hormonal Imbalance
  • Poor Circulation
  • Pernicious Anemia
  • Associated w/Bell’s Palsy
  • Myelin Sheath Damage
  • Emaciation (starved look)

Nickel (Ni)

Nickel is an essential trace mineral found in the body. Human and animal tests show that nickel may be a factor in hormone, lipid and membrane metabolism and cell membrane integrity. Significant amounts are found in DNA and RNA and nickel may act as a stabilizer of these nucleic acids.

Nickel deficiency has been associated with the following symptoms or illnesses:
  • Anemia
  • Delayed Puberty
  • Depressed Oxidative Ability of Liver
  • Dermatitis
  • High New Born Mortality
  • Poor Growth
  • Poor Zinc Absorption
  • Rough Dry Hair Coat in Animals

Chromium (Cr)

This mineral is now being recognized as important in carbohydrate metabolism. Organic chromium is an active ingredient of a substance called GTF (glucose tolerance factor); niacin and amino acids complete the formula. Chromium stimulates the activity of enzymes involved in the metabolism of glucose for energy and the synthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol. It appears to increase the effectiveness of insulin and its ability to handle glucose, preventing hypoglycemia or diabetes. Persons with low levels of Chromium in their bodies are more susceptible to having cancer and heart problems and becoming diabetic.

Chromium deficiency has been associated with the following symptoms or illnesses:
  • Anxiety
  • Aortic Chosterol Plaque
  • Coronary Blood Vessel Disease
  • Depression/Manic Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Dr. Jekyll/Hyde Rages
  • Elevated Blood Cholesterol
  • Elevated Blood Triglycerides
  • Fatigue
  • Hyperactivity
  • Hypocholesterolemia
  • Infertility and Decreased Sperm
  • Learning Disability
  • Negative Nitrogen Balance
  • Prediabetes
  • Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Retarded Growth
  • Shortened Life Span

Germanium (Ge)

Highly efficient electrical initiator; aids in oxygen utilization; enhances immune system function. Germanium as an organic complex has been touted, but not proved, as having anticancer properties in humans.

Germanium deficiency has been associated with the following symptoms or illnesses:
  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Cardiac Insufficiency
  • Hypertension
  • Hepatic Cirrhosis
  • Leukemia
  • Nephritis
  • Neurotic Disorders
  • Softening of Brain Tissue
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Low Energy

Vanadium (V)

Vanadium is a trace mineral that is needed by the human body in small amounts. It is commonly found in vegetables and seafood. The presence of vanadium in the brain inhibits cholesterol from forming in the blood vessels. Vanadium is active in many chemical reactions that take place in the body. Vanadium containing compounds have also recently been indicated in their ability to help promote healthy cellular replication in the body. Vanadium aids in glucose (blood sugar) oxidation and transport. Enhances insulin effectiveness (aids with blood sugar problems), decreases cholesterol production, increases effectiveness of heart muscle contraction, and has Anti-Cancer properties.

Vanadium deficiency has been associated with the following symptoms or illnesses:
  • Linked to Cardiovascular Disease
  • Linked to Kidney Disease
  • Impaired Reproductive Ability
  • Increased Infant Mortality
  • Diabetes
  • High Cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Infertility

Molybdenum (Mb)

Molybdenum essential mineral is required in extremely small amounts for nitrogen metabolism. It aids in the final stages of the conversion of purines to uric acid. It promotes normal cell function, aids in the activation of certain enzymes, and is a component of the metabolic enzyme xanthine oxidase. Molybdenum is found in the liver, bones, and kidneys. It supports bone growth and strengthening of the teeth. A low intake is associated with mouth and gum disorders and cancer. A molybdenum deficiency may cause impotence in older men. People whose diets are high in refined and processed foods are at risk for deficiency. Because of molybdenum’s ability to raise the body’s pH, it may be beneficial in the treatment of cancer, viruses, and parasites.

Molybdenum deficiency has been associated with the following symptoms or illnesses:
  • Acne
  • Allergies
  • Anemia
  • Anthrax
  • Asthma
  • Gout
  • Hepatitis C
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Obesity
  • Parasites

Lithium (Li)

Plays a key role in eliminating clinical depression. It is not yet known what particular function of lithium may make it an essential nutrient. It is thought to stabilize serotonin transmission in the nervous system; it influences sodium transport; and it may even increase lymphocytic (white blood cell) proliferation and depress the suppressor cell activity, thus strengthening the immune system. There is also speculation that lithium is in some way involved in cancer genesis or prevention.

Lithium deficiency has been associated with the following symptoms or illnesses:
  • ADD Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Depression
  • Infertility
  • Aggravated by Sugar Consumption
  • Manic Depression
  • Rages & Fits
  • Reduced Growth Rate
  • Reproductive Failure
  • Shortened Life Span

Silicon (Si)

Increases collegen in growing bones by 100%. Silicon is essential for the proper functioning of nerve cells and tissues, and the sythesis of vitamin B1 or thiamine in the human body. It controls the transmission of nerve impulses. It contributes greatly to the strength and integrity of bones everywhere in the body. It is also essential for the growth of hair, nails and teeth, and is therefore, often calls “THE BEAUTY MINERAL.” It makes the eyes bright and prevents the skin from becoming “flabby.” It is beneficial in the healing processes and protects the body against many disease, such as, tuberculosis, irritations in the mucous membrane, and skin disorders.

Silicon deficiency has been associated with the following symptoms or illnesses:
  • Brittle Fingernails
  • Dry Brittle Hair
  • Poor Calcium Utilization
  • Arterial Wall Strength Problems
  • Poor Skin Quality
  • Abnormal Bone Development
  • Wrinkles
  • Thinning or Loss of Hair
  • Sensitivity to Cold
  • Osteoporosis

Rubidium (Rb)

Rubidium is an alkaline trace mineral related with cesium and Rubidiumhas been investigated for its antidepressant effect in a group of psychiatric disorders. The typical daily dietary intake of rubidium is 1 to 5 mg. Foods high in rubidium include coffee, black tea, fruits, vegetables (especially asparagus), poultry and fish. Rubidium is a relatively nontoxic element and has not show to be of toxicological concern from the nutritional point of view. Rubidium deficiency apparently depresses growth and life expectancy in goats. Rubidium exists in the earths crust, in our seawater, and in our on human bodies.

While there are many nutrients that don’t have a daily recommended value it is especially important to maintain a dosage of rubidium considering that it is a trace element that is needed in very small amounts. In studies with mice mice given rubidium supplements saw decreased tumor growth by replacing potassium in cell membranes with itself. Rubidium is absorbed easily from the stomach about 90 percent. It is found generally throughout the body with the least in the bones and teeth; it is not known to concentrate in any particular tissue. Excess rubidium is eliminated mainly in the urine. Because of its possible tranquilizing effect it could help in the treatment of nervous disorders or epilepsy. There is no known toxicity for rubidium.

Rubidium deficiency has been associated with the following symptoms or illnesses:

  • Studies are currently being conducted regarding the affects of Rubidium Deficiency and the central nervous system on patients with Neurobehavioral Functions (depression)
  • Studies are currently being conducted for Deficiencies of Rubidium in patients with Uremia/ Dialysis Patients
  • Depresses growth and life expectancy in goats
Author: Life Enthusiast