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What are trace minerals? (Are they good for you?)

8 min read time

“You can trace every sickness, every disease, and every ailment to a mineral deficiency."  

~Dr. Linus Pauling, winner of two Nobel Prizes

Minerals are vital for good health and even life itself.

What kind of minerals?

The kind that you learned about from the periodic table of elements in your high school chemistry class, including magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, and many more.

Your body uses minerals for many different jobs, including keeping your bones, muscles, heart, brain, and organs working properly. Minerals are also essential for making enzymes and hormones, as well as playing an important role in your body’s absorption and utilization of vitamins and other nutrients.

What are trace minerals?
Trace minerals are a class of micronutrients that are present in living tissues in small but balanced quantities. There are a total of 73 different trace minerals, many of which you’re probably not aware of. Some examples of these include: boron, cobalt, lithium, manganese and vanadium.

There are actually two classes of minerals: (1) macro-minerals and (2) trace minerals. 

  • Macro minerals include calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sulfur. The body needs a substantial quantity of these minerals daily to function well.

  • Trace minerals include iron, copper, and selenium, to name just a few.  They are a class of micronutrients that are critical for good health in very small amounts. 

Trace minerals: Why they are good for you and crucial to your health

The human body needs hundreds of different nutrients in order to function including essential proteins, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. 

Among these essential nutrients are the trace minerals. But are trace minerals good for you?

Yes, trace minerals are good for you and essential to your health because they are needed to support your body’s cells and metabolic processes to maintain proper function.

Similar to the action of yeast in bread making, modern researchers have found that trace minerals function as catalysts in hundreds of enzyme systems. (10) 

For example:

Iron and copper are important to your body’s chemical reactions in order to metabolize energy. (8)

Just like iron and copper, your body needs small amounts of trace minerals to sustain all its metabolic processes. Keeping these trace minerals balanced to maintain health is a complex yet crucial task. 

Simply living your daily life requires the continual ingestion of trace minerals.

Where do trace minerals come from and how do you get them? 

For thousands of years, trace minerals were found in the earth’s mineral-rich soil, where we grew our food. 

Today most of our soil is sadly lacking in these crucial trace minerals. 

However,  because much of the world’s soil has been washed into the oceans over the centuries, trace minerals can still be found in the mineral-rich sea water that covers most of the earth.  

Remarkably, scientists have discovered that trace minerals found in the oceans are in the same natural proportions as those found in healthy humans. This means that our blood actually has almost the same mineral content as ocean water! 

So what  trace minerals does your actually body need?  

13 little-known trace minerals and why they are critical to your health:  


Boron is important because it helps your body to use calcium.


Bromine is essential for human life and important in building collagen and tissue development. (14)


Life would not be possible without carbon as it forms bonds with other atoms and is essential to human growth.


As an essential part of digestive juices, chloride helps maintain balance of body fluids. 


Cobalt is a component of vitamin B12 to support the production of red blood cells. (15)


Many studies have shown that a deficiency in lithium can lead to defects in growth and development and lead to grave psychopathological problems in humans. (16)


Manganese helps the body form connective tissue, bones, blood clotting factors, and sex hormones. (17)


Molybdenum is needed to produce enzymes which play a vital role in maintaining our bodily functions. (23)


Nickel is essential for proper functioning of the human body, as it increases hormonal activity and is involved in lipid metabolism. (18)


Silicon is an essential ingredient for strengthening connective tissues, bones, and joints as well as taking care of nails, hair and skin.


The human body needs sodium to conduct nerve impulses, contract and relax muscles, and maintain the proper balance of water and minerals. (21)


Sulfate is essential for cell growth and other important physiological processes that are critical for the life of organisms. (24)


Vanadium affects cholesterol and triglyceride metabolism and stimulates glycogen synthesis in the liver. (22)

Six common trace minerals and how they impact your health

While you may not have heard about how important the trace minerals listed above are for your health, chances are, you’ve heard about the trace minerals below.

That’s because these trace minerals also play absolutely vital roles in your body. Even in very small amounts, they broadly impact your health and well-being. 

Here’s a little about some of the more well-known trace minerals and how they keep you healthy:

  1. Iron is essential for blood manufacturing and especially important during early childhood and pregnancy. Iron is also a key element of hemoglobin which plays a critical role in transporting oxygen to your cells. Iron deficiency is a primary cause of anemia. Sources of iron include enriched bread and cereals, meat, poultry, beans, whole grains, and nuts.
  2. Copper helps form strong bones and cartilage and supports the body's proper iron usage. Copper deficiency results in weak bones and cartilage. Food sources of this element include organ meats, nuts, fruits, beans, vegetables, and beef. 
  3. Zinc is a key component in various body enzymes and is critical in aiding the production of protein and genetic material. This element is also significant in wound healing, adolescent development, fetal development, and the immune system. Lack of zinc leads to the malformation of protein and genetic material. Consumption of fish, vegetables, meat, poultry, and supplements can optimize zinc levels in your body.
  4. Chromium aids in insulin regulation of blood sugar (glucose) levels. A chromium deficiency can increase blood sugar levels. The element naturally occurs in cheeses, whole grains, liver, and nuts.
  5. Selenium is an important trace mineral supporting antioxidant defense. Selenium deficiency can actually result in sudden death, and reports find that selenium deficiency results in reproductive issues, including male and female infertility. On the other hand, too much selenium can affect the central nervous system, so getting the correct amount in your diet is very important.
  6. Iodine - Iodine is an important component of thyroid hormones and is involved in regulating your metabolism. Foods grown in low-iodine soil, such as sandy areas, are deficient in iodine.  Iodine deficiency results in thyroid enlargement, low energy, and often weight gain.

Combined, both the trace minerals you have heard of as well as the more obscure trace minerals are core to your long term health, vitality and well-being. In fact, 

Many researchers claim that the absence of just one single trace mineral needed by the body can give rise to as many as 10 different disease symptoms!

And, to make matter worse, health experts estimate that 90 percent of Americans suffer from a trace mineral deficiency or imbalance.

If you are one of the many  people who is suffering from a trace mineral imbalance — whether because of stress, environmental toxins, or a diet of nutrient-deficient foods — your body will unsuccessfully attempt to correct the situation, often resulting in:

  • Food cravings
  • Loss of appetite
  • Digestive problems
  • Muscle cramps 
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Poor concentration
  • Inability to focus
  • Weakness
  • Poor sleep
  • General fatigue  

Ultimately, these symptoms can lead to problems that get far worse including a host of potentially serious diseases.

But it doesn’t have to be this way,  and you can easily get all the trace minerals needed.

How to ensure you get the trace minerals you need 

Not only is it important to get your essential trace minerals each day, but you also need to have them in optimal amounts if you want to enjoy good health and longevity.

To get your vital trace minerals, you can’t just guzzle a glass of mineral-rich sea water!

 And unfortunately,  it’s not enough to simply eat a balanced diet either.  Because of  modern farming methods that strip the ground of minerals, our soil is basically devoid of trace minerals and consequently, so are the foods grown in them.  

In addition, exposure to a toxic environment (which can leach minerals from your body) and living a stressful lifestyle may cause you to have a deficiency of the important trace minerals you need to stay healthy.  

Fortunately, there’s a simple way to ensure you get the proper amount and balance of trace minerals.  And that’s through supplementing.

But not just any supplements.

Sure, you can get Iodine, zinc and calcium in any grocery store and think you have your minerals covered.

Please don’t be fooled. You’ll be far from it, and the lack of proper mineral balance could create a chain of health issues. 

In order to avoid the dozens of potential health problems such as chronic constipation, anemia, poor immunity, low testosterone and thyroid issues that are associated with a deficiency in trace minerals . . . 

You need all the minerals mentioned above, and more, in the correct, balanced amounts. 

How you can have the confidence of knowing your body is getting all the trace minerals you need every day 

Lean Factor has made it easy for you to to get all of the trace minerals your body needs daily in their popular supplements. 

Lean Factor’s trace minerals are extracted from the most mineral-rich sea waters in the world. Combined with key adaptogen herbs including herbo-minerals which are a rich source of fulvic acid, you can easily get the trace minerals you need every day. 

Here’s are some of their supplements that will provide your vital trace minerals:

EmpowHER for women --  The ultimate women’s supplement for stress relief, anti-aging, and hormone balance. Most often seen benefits from  EmpowHER include: sustained, all-day energy (without stimulants or caffeine); improved sleep, relief from PMS and menopause symptoms (including hot flashes); reduced anxiety, and better mood. For more information about EmpowerHER, go here.

Peak Male for men -- Peak Male is a Total men’ Health Supplement that addresses the two main factors that cause men’s health to decline: high stress and low testosterone.  For more information about Peak Male, go here.

Limitless Mind -- Limitless Mind is a natural nootropic supplement that boosts cognition, improves memory, focus, and concentration, reduces brain fog, and elevates mood. It's made from all-natural ingredients and provides lasting cognitive benefits. For more information about Limitless Mind, go here.


  1. Haymes, E.M. and Clarkson, P.M., 1998. Minerals and trace minerals. Nutrition for sport and exercise. https://books.google.co.ke/books?hl=en&lr=&id=iupaS5sN9-YC&oi=fnd&pg=PA77&dq=Why+are+trace+minerals+important+to+health%3F&ots=pPwxq9rjfe&sig=te_6HsXRCiI3ESIeaCzDTfpTZuo&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Why%20are%20trace%20minerals%20important%20to%20health%3F&f=false
  2. National Research Council, 1989. Diet and health: implications for reducing chronic disease risk. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=XWtsmmCks7AC&oi=fnd&pg=PR1&dq=Diet+and+Health:+Implications+for+Reducing+Chronic+Disease+Risk.&ots=0CS9P94Ceu&sig=mUhKaqm1x4_16jq_htAwEQEwAU8
  3. Tuormaa, T.E., 2000. Chromium, selenium, copper, and other trace minerals in health and reproduction. Journal of orthomolecular medicine, 15(3), pp.145-156. https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=
  4. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/InteractiveNutritionFactsLabel/assets/InteractiveNFL_Vitamins&Minerals_March2020.pdf
  5. Michelle Dudash, the author of Clean Eating for Busy Families
  6. https://medlineplus.gov/minerals.html
  7. https://www.traceminerals.com/research/why-you-need-ionic-minerals 
  8. Diet and Health: Implications for Reducing Chronic Disease Risk. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK218751/
  9. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/431021
  10. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/enzyme-system
  11. https://www.med.or.jp/english/pdf/2004_08/351_358.pdf 
  12. http://www.whale.to/v/thompson.html
  13. https://www.asi.k-state.edu/research-and-extension/swine/swinenutritionguide/traceminerals.html 
  14. Chemical element bromine is essential to life in humans and other animals, researchers discover: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140605140007.htm 
  15. Cobalt: https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/poison/cobalt-poisoning
  16. On the physiological function of lithium from a psychiatric view point: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11601880/
  17. Manganese: https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/supplement/manganese
  18. Nickel - role in human organism and toxic effects: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27591452
  19.  Phosphorus: https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/supplement/phosphorus
  20. Potassium: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/potassium
  21. Salt and Sodium: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt-and-sodium 
  22.  Is vanadium of human nutritional importance yet?: https://www.jandonline.org/article/0002-8223(94)92371-X/fulltext
  23. Molybdenum: https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/molybdenum 
  24. Sulfate: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/sulfate

Trace minerals, though required in small amounts, have a significant impact on various physiological processes and overall well-being. This comprehensive guide uncovers the vital roles played by these micro-elements, from supporting enzymatic reactions to enhancing nutrient absorption and immune function. Learn how a balanced intake of trace minerals can contribute to optimal health, and why their deficiency or imbalance can lead to health challenges. If you're seeking to understand how trace minerals fit into the broader spectrum of nutrition, this guide provides a valuable resource.

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Trace minerals, though required in small amounts, have a significant impact on various physiological processes and overall well-being. This comprehensive guide uncovers the vital roles played by these micro-elements, from supporting enzymatic reactions to enhancing nutrient absorption and immune function. Learn how a balanced intake of trace minerals can contribute to optimal health, and why their deficiency or imbalance can lead to health challenges. If you're seeking to understand how trace minerals fit into the broader spectrum of nutrition, this guide provides a valuable resource.

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