Note: t = increase; 1 = decrease; a = absroption; m = metabolism.

Figure 1. Toxicity and trace mineral interactions. Minerals that are important environmental toxins are in boxes. Abbreviations used: S, sulfur; Se, selenium; I, iodide; Ag, mercury; Mg, magnesium; Zn, zinc; Cu, copper; Pb, lead; Co, cobalt; Fe, iron; Mn, manganese; Cd, cadmium; Mo, molybdenum.

the treatment of inadvertent and toxic exposure to a single mineral. For example, lead toxicity can be minimized by consumption of a diet rich in calcium and phosphorus. The transport proteins of the enterocytes prefer calcium to lead. If the enterocytes are saturated with calcium, the lead will not be absorbed and will pass out of the body in the feces. A similar situation exists with iron and lead. Mineral interactions need to be recognized in the manufacture of special diets. Sometimes, so-called purified ingredients contain mineral contaminants. This is especially a problem in the protein portion of the diet. Proteins can bind minerals, and these minerals can be found in the food proteins. Soybean protein can contain phytate-bound phosphorus and magnesium; casein and lactalbumin, depending on origin, contain variable amounts of calcium, magnesium, and selenium. Unless the investigator determines the mineral content of the diet ingredients, an unexpected mineral imbalance could potentially occur, and this imbalance could affect the nutritional value of the product.

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