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Trace minerals are inorganic elements necessary for proper operation of the human body, yet they generally make up less than 0.005% of adult body weight.
Trace minerals are essential for normal growth and metabolism, assimilation and utilization of vitamins and other nutrients, and for making the enzymes, hormones, and other chemical messengers the human body requires.
For some trace minerals, a specific biochemical function has not been clearly defined. For others, the biochemical function is very well-known. Iodine
, for example, is needed to make thyroid hormones, which in turn control multiple important parts of human metabolism, including body weight. Iron is needed to carry oxygen through the blood, as well as being necessary for the production of other enzymes.
Additionally, some trace minerals (including selenium
) are used to make powerful natural antioxidants capable of protecting human cells from damage caused by free radicals.