Antagonisms And Interactions Among Trace Minerals

No general discussion of trace minerals would be complete without mention of mineral interactions. Numerous antagonisms and synergisms have been reported. This should be expected, because many of the trace minerals have more than one charged state and living cells have preferences with respect to these states. For example, the uptake of iron is much greater when the iron is in the ferrous (2+) state than when in the ferric (3 + ) state. Minerals that keep iron in the ferric state will interfere with its absorption and use. Minerals that do the reverse will enhance iron uptake. Such is the beneficial action of copper on iron. The copper ion (Cu2 + ) keeps the ferrous ion from losing electrons. Thus, copper prevents the conversion of the ferrous to ferric ion. The interactions of essential minerals are best illustrated in Figure 1 and listed in Table 4. Some of these interactions have important therapeutic value in

Table 4. Micronutrient Interactions

Calcium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Magnesium Zinc Iron Copper Iodine Fluorine


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