Mighty minis: The fascinating trace minerals (part 2)

May 1, 2014

drWith health delivery in such chaos and uncertainty, we at Carter Drug Store suggest arming yourselves with the latest up-to- date information, which hopefully will prevent minor problems from escalating into major problems. You and your loved ones deserve the best treatment possible to survive in these difficult times.
COPPER (Cu): Important to enzyme structure, copper is involved in processes from energy production (influencing thyroid and adrenal functions) to pigment formation. It is used in building collagen, the matrix material for bones, joints, and connective tissue. Needed for forming red blood cells and for the synthesis of neurotransmitters, Cu also has a role in reproduction, including prostate health and pregnancy.
Copper interacts particularly with two other minerals: iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn). Cu interacts with iron in the synthesis of red blood cells. Because of this, a copper deficiency can look like iron deficiency anemia. Treating copper anemia with iron makes the condition worse, get a blood test to be sure.
Copper and zinc are antagonists. To function optimally, a balance of 1 part copper to 8 parts zinc is required. When copper has the upper hand, the main symptom is fatigue.
Although many people suffer copper-based fatigue, it is seldom diagnosed. In her book Why Am I Always So Tired?, popular nutritionist Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, presents case studies and a recovery program for copper overload.
A final caution about copper. An article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science links copper accumulation in the brain with the development of Alzheimer’s disease. The effect is interference with the removal of amyloid beta from the brain. Amyloid beta forms the plaques that are the hallmark of Alzheimer’s. Rashid Deane, PhD, lead author of the study, noted that in future, we may regulate our copper intake with diet.
Recommended daily allowance (RDA) for copper is 340 mcg daily for young children, rising to 900 mcg for adults.
Sources: Whole grains, beans, including soy, nuts and seeds (with the exception of pepitas, rich in zinc), plus black tea and chocolate. If you don’t eat a lot of meat (zinc source) and you are suffering from fatigue, your copper to zinc ratios may be off. Check into Gittleman’s book. Copper free multis are available.
IODINE (I): The primary use of iodine is in the production of thyroid hormones. The hormones control metabolic rate and body temperature. Plus, iodine is crucial for brain development in children, making its deficiency the number one cause of preventable mental retardation worldwide.
Abundant in seawater but rare in soil, goiter and mental retardation are the major iodine deficiency diseases.
In 1924, iodine was added to table salt to remediate iodine deficiency in the US. This made salt the number one source of iodine. However, according to the Salt Institute, iodine intake in the US is down nearly 40 percent; plus, an estimated 74 percent of “healthy” adults may no longer be getting adequate iodine, bringing us to the brink of an iodine deficiency epidemic. Writing for Life Extension, Nancy Piccone calls this “The Silent Epidemic”.
The major reasons for the decrease in iodized salt intake are: 1) Less iodine in table salt. A study analyzing 88 salt samples showed only half contained sufficient iodine.
2) There is no iodized salt in restaurant and processed foods.
3) People are limiting their salt intake for health reasons. 4) Perchlorate contamination inhibits the thyroid’s ability to utilize iodine.
There are two adverse thyroid conditions; overactive and underactive. Overactive thyroid production causes hyperthyroidism. Conversely, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition in which swelling (inflammation) of the thyroid gland can result in reduced thyroid function (hypothyroidism). Oddly, iodine may induce or exacerbate thyroiditis.
RDA: 150-290 mcg for adults and 70-150 mcg for children were established only to prevent goiter. In comparison, the average daily Japanese consumption of iodine ranges from 5,280 to 13,800 mcg with no harmful effects and a host of benefits. Iodine can be supplemented.
Sources: Sea salt and sea foods, such as kelp, contain iodine naturally as do foods grown in soils with sufficient iodine and milk when cows are fed iodine enriched feed.

(Continued next week)
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