The musculoskeletal system is composed of bones, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and connective tissue. This system supports movement and body weight and provides the framework to which soft tissues like muscles, blood vessels, and organs attach. Proper nutrition, exercise, and a healthy weight are required to maintain a healthy musculoskeletal system.
Proper nutrition, especially mineral support, is essential for a properly functioning musculoskeletal system; after all, bones are composed of minerals - calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium - and muscle contractions are controlled by calcium and magnesium.
While diet plays the largest role, it does not always provide the necessary amounts and quality of minerals required for an optimally functioning musculoskeletal system. Therefore, a mineral dietary supplement may be needed, especially in cases of skeletal or muscular injury, disease, or even congenital anomalies.
Minerals are those chemical elements found in foods that our bodies use as nutrients for optimal development and function. Calcium, magnesium, zinc, sulfur, and potassium are a few of the essential minerals required by the body. Minerals can be broken down into two categories, macrominerals and trace minerals.
Macrominerals are minerals of which our bodies require more than 100 milligrams per day and include: calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium, chloride, and sulfur, among others.
Conversely, trace minerals are minerals needed in smaller amounts and include iron, copper, iodine, zinc, selenium, fluoride, cobalt, and manganese.
Although we need smaller amounts of trace minerals, they are no less important, and both categories are essential for good health and proper function of the brain, the heart, muscles, and bones. That is because minerals are required for much more than just bone health. They contribute to the health of the nervous system by maintaining healthy nerve function and the cardiovascular system by controlling inflammation and regulating muscle tone.
Minerals are amazing - they support normal electrolyte levels, an optimal energy level, fluid balance, and the metabolic pathways. Minerals are also required for the production of hundreds of enzymes and hormones in the body. As a result, a mineral deficiency may be hazardous to your health in more ways than just contributing to low bone density. This is why it is important to ensure you receive and absorb the proper amount of minerals each day.
Ingesting the suggested daily value of minerals may not be enough to ensure proper musculoskeletal health because other nutrients and even certain foods may limit or suppress the absorption of minerals as they compete for the same pathways in the body.
For example, foods high in oxalic acid (oxalates), including spinach, rhubarb, and beet greens, may block calcium absorption. Additionally, foods high in sodium and phytic acids, such as beans, Brazil nuts, and hazelnuts, may also block the absorption of calcium.
Combining vitamins and minerals is a great way to combat this problem and may increase the absorption of minerals by the body. For example, when calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D are taken together, they can increase the amount of calcium absorbed by the body.
Minerals and Musculoskeletal Health
Most people don't give much thought to their musculoskeletal health until they are in their later years. And unfortunately, most usually wait until a problem arises before they begin to consider the health of their musculoskeletal system. For example, many individuals assume they are ingesting enough calcium, but it isn't until the diagnosis of osteoporosis or osteopenia that bone density and calcium absorption become a priority.
Men and women over 50 should consider taking mineral supplements due to the risk of osteoporosis. Optimal nutrition could delay or prevent osteoporosis. Health guidelines also recommend that all women over 65 and men over 70 discuss osteoporosis screening with their doctor.
It is important to remember minerals are not only some of the best supplements for bone health but are also essential for the proper function of muscles, the brain, and the cardiovascular system. As a result, all adults and children could consider adding mineral supplements to their daily regimen.
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