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Trace Elements: What They Do and Where to Get Them
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Trace Elements: What They Do and Where to Get Them

Trace Element

Needed For

Good Sources


Use of sugar in the body

Whole grains, spices, meats, brewer's yeast


Hemoglobin synthesis and function; production of collagen, elastin, neurotransmitters; melanin formation

Organ meats, shellfish, nuts, fruits


Binding calcium in bones and teeth

Fluoridated water


Production of energy (as part of thyroid hormones)

Seafood, iodized salt


Hemoglobin synthesis and function; enzyme actions in energy production; production of collagen, elastin, neurotransmitters

Organ meats, meat, poultry, fish


Functions not entirely understood, but needed for optimal health

Whole grains, nuts


Functions not entirely understood, but needed for optimal health; detoxification of hazardous substances

Organ meats, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, milk, beans


Functions not entirely understood, but necessary for optimal health

Broccoli, cabbage, celery, onions, garlic, whole grains, brewer's yeast, organ meats


Immunity and healing, good eyesight, hundreds of enzyme activities

Whole grains, brewer's yeast, fish, meats

See on other sites:

National Institutes of Health
Office of Dietary Supplements
Vitamin and Mineral Supplement Fact Sheets (including selected trace elements)

Updated August 2016
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