Table 1 is a summary of recent research on mineral nutrition. The amount of research devoted to magnesium and zinc has increased over the last two years, and the findings show the great importance of both these minerals in the maintenance and enhancement of health. In reviewing these findings, the critical importance of all minerals in the maintenance of human health comes through quite dramatically.
Each mineral can impact a variety of biochemical and physiological systems. Magnesium and zinc appear to have the widest ranges of impact, and there is much interplay among the minerals in several systems. Although the summaries of mineral research in Minerals in the News do not represent all of the research reported on minerals over the last few years, they do reflect what is happening in the field of mineral nutrition. There are some minerals which are not mentioned in Table 1, such as potassium, molybdenum, manganese, and chromium. All of these are necessary for various bodily needs, which is why they are noted as nutritional requirements.
Their absence from Table 1 is just a reflection of the relative amount of research that we came across in our searches. In reviewing the findings from studies that we have reported on over the last two years, one can see common areas or biological systems (hematological, neurological, immune, etc.) in which there is interplay of more than one mineral. In some cases, a mineral that one would not associate with the proper function of a particular system is, in fact, a key factor. Here are some of these biological systems and the minerals that have had a demonstrated impact over the last two years. These are things to keep in mind when formulating effective, state of the art dietary supplements and functional foods.