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Where do excess minerals go?

Dior's Question:

What happens to minerals that are not quickly used up by the body?

Suzy's Answer:

Hi, Dior,

This is a great question with a fairly simple answer. The minerals in both the foods you eat and the supplements you take are either (1) used right away, (2) stored for future use or (3) excreted from the body.

However, keep in mind that although your body can handle a certain amount of excess, if you consume higher doses of minerals, they may become toxic and could even be fatal. This is less likely to happen if you get all of your minerals from food, so be cautious when taking supplements that contain minerals.

This is also why you should keep vitamins away from young children, especially if they contain iron and look like candy!

Minerals are inorganic elements found in your body that must be supplied by your diet for good health. They cannot be manufactured by your body and therefore must be obtained from the food you eat.

Plants obtain minerals from the soil in which they grow and you get them from the plant foods you eat. You can also get minerals from animal foods, because the animal has eaten the plants and stored the nutrients in its body. Another source of minerals is the water you drink, with the type and amount depending on your particular water supply.

Your body works hard to maintain a balance of all of the nutrients it needs and minerals are no exception. Too little of any mineral will cause health issues and too much may also be a problem. Your body also has an amazing ability to regulate and conserve the nutrients it needs.

For example, when red blood cells are broken down, your body will reuse the iron that they contain to form new ones.

In addition, the calcium stored in your bones is movable and can be used, when necessary, for one of the many other functions of calcium throughout your body.

Each of us is a unique individual, and the availability of nutrients from the foods we eat, or even from a pill will vary based on individual factors. The amount you absorb can be affected by your age, your overall health and your nutritional status. It can also be affected by the source of the nutrient and by foods you eat at the same time.

I hope this helps! Thank you for visiting our healthy eating website and for your interest in eating healthy.

Warmest regards,

Suzy Staywell

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