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Trace Element Deficiency

Answering Trace Element Deficiency


Due to a lack of trace elements in the soil, even in most ‘organically’ farmed soils, trace element deficiency in modern society is almost universal.  This is true even if you eat a healthy diet with plenty of organic fruit and vegetables, include raw vegetable juices in your diet or consume trace element rich superfoods such as Barley Grass Juiceand Sea Greens Pelvetia.    


This may seem strange when considering the richest source of minerals and trace elements of any food, is the seaweeds.   But when we look at the actual quantities of minerals and trace elements, and work out how much we are actually going to consume, in adds up like this: for one gram of  Sea Greens Pelvetia there is about 0.13 mgs of zinc, we need about 15 mgs daily, about ten times as much, and 0.15 mcg selenium, we need about 100mcgs daily and 200mcgs for a few months to eliminate a marked deficiency state, which is extremely common. In this situation we would have to consume about 100 grams daily of the dried Sea Greens Pelvetia. The use of quite large amounts of Sea Greens Pelvetia is an interesting subject for research, one individual who did this, consumed about 10 grams a day and experienced good progress with a serious health problem. However it will not suit every one. as the effect can be too stimulating.  


Below is listed the approximate composition for ten grams of useful full spectrum mineral supplements.    


A comparative analysis of some of the minerals and trace elements found in the useful broad-spectrum supplements listed below. Ten grams of each contains typically:    



Capra mineral whey    

Barley Grass Juice    


Pelvetia Sea Greens    

Ionic Minerals    


52 mcg    


600 mcg    

30 mcg    


156 mg    

73 mg    

200 mg    



6 mcg    





8 mcg    

50 mcg    




12 mg    

22 mg    

70 mg    

84 mg    


0.75 mcg    

1.6 mcg    

0.3 mg    



125 mcg    

83 mg    

15 mg    



442 mg    

428 mg    

250 mg    




16 mcg    

1.5 mcg    




34 mg    

350 mg    



4 mg    

0.2 mg    

1.3 mg    



Guide. 1mcg = 1 microgram= 1 millionth of a gram. 1 mg= 1Milligram= one thousandth of a gram    


So, one may reasonably ask; are the above supplements much use at all?   We should bear in mind that for Capra Mineral Whey, Barley Grass Juice powder and Ionic Minerals - 10 grams a day is the typical supplemental dose provided, so for the major minerals they can add a reasonable amount to the diet.    


The full spectrum salts, as provided by Ionic minerals and trace elements, provides effective amounts of magnesium, sodium, chlorine, and lithium, to have a wonderful balancing effect on the system, These are far more essential than generally realised, see Celtic Sea Salt    


The trace minerals and ultra trace minerals (that we know little about and occur in very small quantities) are richer in the above supplements, than in any regular food we get, and as a group have an overall health enhancing effect.   People enjoy consistent health improvements on these products.    


On the other hand, what has been repeatedly found is that the major trace elements of Selenium, Zinc, Chromium, iron, manganese, Boron etc. are required in certain quantities to optimise health.    


We each have, for inherited, constitutional and lifestyle reasons, special needs for a certain quantity of trace element (s) to achieve full health, and in many cases, to be disease free. We may do our own research, or seek clinical help to ascertain a need for particular trace minerals. In short, Zinc, Selenium and Chromium, are usually deficient to a greater or lesser extent. If you think you have identified a special need for a particular trace element, it is recommended that it be taken as well as the multi-trace element complex. This is because we are generally deficient in more than one of the trace elements, taking as a group will help to keep them all in balance, whilst increasing the level of the selected trace element.    




Soil deficiencies have reduced zinc levels available in our food supply and some zinc is removed in food processing.  Zinc deficiency is extremely widespread. It’s symptoms of deficiency are numerous and often difficult to ascertain, however white spots on nails, stretch marks, poor sense of taste are strong indications of deficiency.  Zinc is needed for a healthy sex life and for prostrate health. Lack of zinc in pregnancy can lead to poor development of the foetus, or in severe deficiency, to birth defects. All pregnant and nursing mothers would do well to take a 15 mg zinc tablet on retiring.  Alcohol consumption depletes zinc levels in the body.


Zinc is considered an essential trace mineral. It performs over 300 enzymatic functions in the body and plays a role in virtually all biochemical pathways and physiological processes. Every cell in the body needs zinc; hundreds of body processes rely upon it. Zinc is needed for normal growth and development. Zinc also has antioxidant properties, and is important to proper maintenance of Vitamin E levels in the blood. It also improves the activity of vitamin A.  Moreover, it is a constituent of the powerful antioxidant superoxide dismutase (SOD). Your body cannot store zinc but has a rapid turnover rate, which is why you need to keep supplies up.



It is essential for a healthy immune system, helps to balance blood sugars through insulin, (also chromium and vanadium) helps to maintain healthy liver function, digestion and proper metabolism of carbohydrates.    It also helps to maintain a healthy nervous system, is involved in reproductive organs, prostate gland and healthy semen.    


Zinc Dose Requirements


Taking a zinc supplement of 15 mgs a day on an empty stomach (or as part of a multi trace element supplement with iron excluded) is just about enough to eliminate a zinc deficiency status in the long term, there will be cases where more is needed on a long term basis, such as increased physical activity (e.g. those on athletic training), mal-absorption conditions, and regular sexual activity (especially males).      


To overcome a zinc deficiency in a reasonable length of time – perhaps a few weeks extra zinc is required e.g. 30 mgs daily. A sensible protocol would be to take a multi-trace element supplement including zinc any time of day on an empty stomach and isolated zinc (plus a little copper in the correct ratio) on retiring at a dose of 30 mgs for a few weeks. There after reductions in dose can be maintained and eventually, depending on the person, a multi trace element formulae that includes 7 mgs daily of food state zinc may be taken on retiring, or immediately on waking. The absorption of zinc is reduced by iron, and therefore if you take an iron supplement take it at the opposite end of the day to zinc, or at least a few hours apart.  For some with higher zinc needs or mal-absorption, food state zinc with copper should be taken on its own on retiring (15 mg tablets) with a multi-trace supplement at another time in the day.    




Selenium is especially needed for the immune system including cancer mitigation. Recent research in Africa has shown that supplementation with selenium plus certain amino acids has dramatically helped AIDS cases - it has been found that there is a close correlation between the occurrence of AIDS and the amount of selenium in the soil.   This may well be the case with other infectious diseases.   So, if you have a propensity to low immune system or cancer then supplemental use of selenium at 200mcg a day would be sensible.  Statistically most people are receiving 30mcg - 60mcg from diet of selenium, we need 2mcg per kilo body weight, so 150mcg - 200mcg is an optimal dose. However, since food state selenium is better absorbed and assimilated, 100 mcg a day in this form, may be optimal, although double this dose could be taken for a few weeks. Experiment, individual needs vary.    


It is a powerful antioxidant; it works synergistically with vitamin E. It assists in keeping blood vessels healthy (Along with chromium) In males, selenium is concentrated in the male testes and seminal glands and is lost in the semen. (As is Zinc)  Soil deficiencies are widespread. The consumption of tea, coffee or alcohol can cause selenium to be excreted from the body. Deficiency is widespread.    




Chromium is indicated for arteriosclerosis, it helps keep blood vessels clean (along with Serrapeptase) and blood sugar problems, from low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia / carbohydrate craving and possible associations with easy weight gain) high blood sugar/ blood sugar instability right through to Diabetes, (please read the article).   If you have any of these problems then supplemental chromium is sensible at 200 mcgs daily. Most people receive 30mcg of chromium from their diet, well below the optimum dose of 200mcg. Please note that there is often little relationship between RDA and optimum levels, and a lot of sickness can occur at levels above the RDA of any nutrient.   However, since food state chromium is better absorbed and assimilated, 100 mcg a day in this form, may be optimal, although double this dose could be taken for a few weeks. Experiment, individual needs vary.    


Chromium is the essential part of Glucose Tolerance Factor (GTF) and has a vital role to play in the following; carbohydrate metabolism, Insulin metabolism and balance, enzyme activity related to the metabolism of glucose and the synthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol, transport of protein to where it's needed.

It may help to regulate blood pressure and cholesterol, especially if you consume a diet high in refined and processed foods. Essential for arterial health. Soil deficiencies of chromium are widespread.    




Vanadium is a trace mineral that was discovered to be essential to human nutrition in the 1970's. Recently, it has gained attention because it may support blood sugar balance. Research indicates that it may possess insulin-like properties. Vanadium may also play a role in building bones and teeth, and it may support healthy cholesterol levels. It is contained in the Food State Multi-Trace element complex    


Iron and Major Mineral Supplementation


As Iron competes with zinc for absorption, if you feel or know you have need for more iron, this should be taken several hours apart from your multi-trace element supplement.   We recommend a heaped teaspoon (or dessertspoon if you can stomach it) of molasses, preferably taken dissolved in a cup of hot water, although it can be taken straight from the spoon.    


Molasses contain a rich source of all the minerals and trace elements including iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, silicon and sulphur and would, by way of the major minerals be the ideal complement to a multi-trace element formula.   See Dietary Guidelines for more information on Molasses.


Disclaimer: Regenerative Nutrition advocates a holistic approach to natural health and wellbeing.   The body's ability and power to heal depends upon the totality of diet, nutrition, lifestyle and environmental factors.  No claims for the cure of any disease is intended, or implied.  Always consult a health care practitioner when combating disease states.   The statements in this article have not been approved by the FDA.


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Disclaimer: Regenerative Nutrition advocates a holistic approach to natural health and wellbeing. The body's ability and power to heal depends upon the totality of diet, nutrition, lifestyle and environmental factors. The information provided in our article is for information purposes only, it in no way constitutes a medical consultation, or medical advice, nor is it intended to be taken as a solicitation to purchase our products.

Always consult a health care practitioner when combating disease states.

No claim for the cure of any disease is intended, or implied nor do we claim that our products will treat, cure or prevent any disease.