Bromine - toxic, no known metabolic function.
Calcium - daily intake requirements are a minimum of 600 mg. Total dietary and supplemental calcium intake should remain below 2,500 mg long term. Hydrochloric acid and vitamin D are necessary to absorb calcium. (both typically need to be supplemented as we grow older) Myths like phytic and oxalic acids interfere with calcium absorption from foods such as spinach distort reality and can generally be ignored.
- To optimize absorption take less than 500 mg of elemental calcium in a single dose.
- If taking large amounts of calcium increase magnesium too. Calcium supplementation reduces magnesium absorption. (it is better to take calcium and magnesium separately.
- Although calcium and magnesium compete for absorption, supplementation of both at the same time does not appear to have significant impact on metabolic levels.
- If low on Vitamin D, calcium absorption will be decreased (significantly).
- Calcium Carbonate is an inexpensive but common form, this form is generally undesirable (can cause constipation and bloating) and is not well absorbed, especially if the individual has low levels of stomach acid. Consuming orange juice or citric juices at the same time can help create calcium citrate which is much better absorbed.
Chromium - difficult to absorb, only about 3% from diet is absorbed.
- Stimulates the activity of enzymes involved in metabolizing glucose
- Increases the effectiveness of insulin (very important for regulating blood sugar)
- Dr. Jonathan Wright recommends 5,000 to 6,0000 mcg daily until sugar cravings go away and then 1,000 mcg per day. ["Breakthrough" - Page 41]
- Competes with Iron to transport proteins in blood
- Binds with RNA and thus is important for synthesizing proteins
- Antioxidants should be taken with chromium (in particular with larger dosages (500 to 1000 mcg or higher) of chromium - 200 mcg is a very small dose)
- do not go above 70,000 mcg per day!
Cobalt - if a woman has been on synthetic hormones (like Premarin) and then has trouble processing bioidentical estrogen try 600 mcg of cobalt until estrogen levels reach optimum. Cobalt is safe in normal physiologic levels of 500 to 600 mcg per day. (the danger came in the 1950s when doctors were using it to combat anemia at levels of 10,000 to 30,000 mcg per day, at that level it would cause heart failure)
Copper - competes with iron (to carry oxygen in hemoglobin but is not as efficient as iron); usage of the birth control pill raises copper levels
- Aids in converting tyrosine into melanin
- Copper and Zinc are antagonists of each other; obtaining adequate zinc helps avoid a copper excess
- Long term (2.5 years) copper intake of 30 mg per day followed by one year of 60 mg per day resulted in liver failure of one young man.
- The tolerable upper limit of copper is considered to be 10 mg per day.
- Zinc and copper intake should be in a ratio of roughly 8:1 to 30:1
- Total human body content is roughly 100 mg of copper.
Iodine - excellent work by a number of people including Dr. Guy Abraham, Dr. Jorge Flechas, Dr. Jonathan Wright and others has explained why the average daily intake of iodine by Japanese people is the optimum amount for human health. Optimum levels are 5 mg of Iodine and 7.5 mg of Iodide. This is critical for proper hormone health and reduction of breast cancer and other issues. A key factor is the conversion of 16-hydroxyestrone to the healthy and protective estriol form of estrogen.
Breast Cancer - iodine, at low to moderate concentrations, induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in cancer cells (which have high concentrations of arachidonic acid) (high iodine concentrations will induce this in normal cells) See: http://erc.endocrinology-journals.org/cgi/content/abstract/ERC-08-0125v1
Note: the following gibberish from textbooks and conventional sources is misinformation and based on faulty science:
iodine supplementation is not typically needed in the USA due to plenty of iodine from iodized salt (75 to 150 mcg intake is recommended - 1 mcg per kg of body weight). A good supplement should supply 100 to 200 mcg of iodine per day.
Iodine is not stored in the body and thus regular intake is needed. Absorption is quick and efficient so there are few concerns about source and bioavailability. Absorption is dynamic and typically 30% will be absorbed but if a deficiency exists absorption can increase to 80%.
Iodine is critical for making thyroid hormones (T3 & T4) along with tyrosine, but too much iodine can actually suppress thryoid function.
If your consumption of iodine is minimal and you consume excessive amounts of uncooked cabbage, mustard, turnip, soybean, millet, and peanuts then you could experience goiter and iodine deficiency effects.
Most American's get plenty of iodine from standard iodized salt. But if you are health concious and have switched to healthier sea salt then you should either buy iodized sea salt or more likely you probably already take a mineral supplement with enough iodine.
Average US dietary intake is 240 to 300 mcg per day; 11% of the population was found to be low between 1988 and 1994. In the 1920s, before iodized salt, the rate of goiter was 47% in Michigan. Most diets supply less than 1,000 mcg per day and it is rare for a diet to supply more than 2,000 mcg per day. Northern Japanese coastal areas consuming diets rich in seaweed have been found to consume 50,000 to 80,000 mcg per day.
Tolerable upper intake level is 1,100 mcg per day
"Iodoral" tablets are sometimes advised. Beware: one Iodoral tablet contains 12.5 mg of iodine, that's 12,500 mcg of iodine. A dangerously high amount! This level of iodine supplementation should only be taken under medical supervision!
Iron - humans lose about 1 mg per day of iron (menstrating females lose 1.4 to 3.2 mg per day). Only about 5% of dietary iron is absorbed (thus 20 mg need to be consumed in order to gain 1 mg). Absorption is automatically regulated so that more is absorbed when needed (ferritin levels are low) and less is absorbed when sufficient iron is already in the ferritin stores. Vitamin C greatly enhances absorption of iron. (orange juice will double iron absorption while tea will cut absorption 75%) Milk casein binds to iron and prevents absorption.
Lead - Our bones have 1000 times more lead in them than a hundred years ago.
Lithium - protects neurons against damage (in particular against glutamate toxicity); helps protect against memory loss
- 5 to 10 mg per day (not the 165 to 330 mg per day used to treat bipolar disease) - roughly a dozen tomatoes would provide about 6 mg ["Breakthrough" page 31]["Optimum Nutrition for the Mind" page 265]
- Stabilizes mood, too much lithium excessively dampens emotions. ["Optimum Nutrition for the Mind" page 265]
- Lowers folic acid levels (supplement folic acid also) ["Optimum Nutrition for the Mind" page 266]
- A study showed lithium induces formation of approximately 3% new brain cells in patients over 55 years old. 3% is several billion new brain cells. ["Breakthrough" page 32]
- Essential fatty acids protect against lithium toxicity. ["Breakthrough" page 33]
Magnesium - Magnesium is extremely important. Chocolate (cocoa) is richer in magnesium than any other food. Beans are another good source. Supplements should list the actual amount of magnesium not the weight of the compound. However this is not equivalent to the amount actually absorbed. The amount of magnesium is 5.8% in magnesium gluconate, 12% in magnesium chloride hexahydrate, 16.2% in magnesium citrate, 50% in magnesium glycinate, and 60.3% in magnesium oxide. Magnesium Oxide is the most common form of magnesium supplement, however it is poorly absorbed. Magnesium Absorption:
- 23 ppm Magnesium Oxide
- 36 ppm Magnesium SO4
- 51 ppm Magnesium CO3
- 94 ppm Magnesium Glycinate
Optimum consumption should be roughly 600 to 800 mg per day. (the Linus Pauling Institute recommends 420 mg per day for men and 320 mg per day for women) Eat green veggies, beans and whole grains for about 300 mg and supplement with 150 to 500 mg per day. Bill Faloon: minimum 400 mg per day, 800 mg/day would be better [Breakthrough - page 86]
Sugar, phosphates, alcohol, stress and fat increase the need for magnesium. Only 1% of body magnesium is extracellular so serum blood tests are worthless. A urine loading test is the best measurement. Like Calcium, absorption rate is dynamically regulated by the body. When low absorption rates can rise to 75%, when high absorption rates will decrease to 25%. Calcium and Magnesium compete for absorption. Vitamin D is necessary for utilization of Magnesium. RDA is 350 mg but rarely met by the average American diet.
Toxicity is minimal with the kidney's able to excrete up to 60 g per day.
Mercury - very toxic. American's actually get more mercury from the coal burned in China than from the coal burned in America. Supplement with selenium to help detoxify mercury in your body. Mercury from dental fillings and fish are commonly mentioned as toxic sources, however breathing in mercury from the air (approximately 30% of the total body burden) is debated as either the major source or second largest source of toxic mercury load. It's impossible to avoid consuming toxic amounts of mercury, so it's important to not only try and limit consumption but also to take steps to detoxify.
Molybdenum - essential to sulfur metabolism, consumption of large amounts of MSM (for arthritis) can deplete molybdenum levels. Toxicity appears low, intakes as high as 1490 mcg per day (for 24 days) resulted in no adverse effects in healthy humans. There is some concern that high intake of molybdenum may deplete copper but this has only occurred in grazing animals, human studies do not show this to occur. Typical American diet provides 76 to 109 mcg per day. Molybdenum is richest in beans. Unfortunately soil has become depleted and molybdenum may not be available in sufficient amounts from dietary sources alone.
Phosphorus - consuming too much phosphorus will cause calcium to be leached from our bones. Avoid red meat and "soda pop" (too much phosphorus and not enough calcium).
- Low phosphorus levels results in reduced production of Vitamin D
Potassium - humans excrete excess potassium fairly easily
Selenium - neutralizes mercury. Do not take with vitamin C (will reduce absorption) (I question this as the lower test levels are probably due to greater utilization in combination with vitamin C). According to Merck, selenium toxicity does not occur in humans taking less than 900 mcg per day.
Sodium - natural foods contain 20 to 200 parts of Potassium to one part Sodium. Humans are unable to get rid of excess sodium easily and thus a high sodium diet becomes a problem. Because of the importance of sodium, humans developed a taste (craving) for salty foods. This craving betrays us in the modern world where sodium is added excessively to restore flavor to processed foods. Daily intake of 1,500 to 3,000 mg of sodium is adequate.
Zinc - critical for testosterone; take 25 to 40 mg extra, over and above what is in your normal supplements. Larger amounts may be beneficial but 50mg or more for an extended period of time (more than a few weeks) can induce a copper deficiency. Zinc influences hormone release and nerve impulse transmission. Bill Faloon: 30 to 50 mg per day [Breakthrough - page 86] Zinc is an aromatase inhibitor.
- Prostate tissue contains ten times the levels of zinc as other soft tissues.
- Zinc is critical for DNA repair
- Zinc has a role as an antioxidant
- Take Vitamin B6 with zinc because of B6's role in converting zinc into useful forms for prostate health.
- Zinc and copper intake should be in a ratio of roughly 8:1 to 30:1
- Total human body content of zinc is approximately 2000 mg.
Here is a table that shows the absorption antagonism between various minerals. So if you are low on one mineral look at not only increasing consumption of that mineral but also potentially too much of the antagonistic minerals.
Mineral Absorption Antagonists
|Calcium (Ca)||Magnesium, Phosphorus|
|Copper (Cu)||Cadmium, Iron, Zinc|
|Iron (Fe)||Cobalt, Copper, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc|
|Magnesium (Mg)||Calcium, Manganese, Phosphorus|
|Manganese (Mn)||Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium|
|Phosphorus (P)||Calcium, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Magnesium, Zinc|
|Potassium (K)||Iron, Manganese, Sodium|
|Zinc (Zn)||Calcium, Copper, Phosphorus|
Lithium, sodium and potassium have similar structure and thus can be used to manipulate each other.
Zinc, copper, calcium, magnesium and cobalt have similar structure and thus can be used to manipulate each other.