What kind of mineral is that

Mineral Products: What You Should Know

What is behind the advertising for mineral products?

It is often suggested that normal food is not enough or that stressful everyday life does not allow you to meet your mineral requirements. All possible target groups are being courted, even children. It should be particularly difficult for groups of people with an increased need. Sports enthusiasts, pregnant women, people who are on a diet or senior citizens are often addressed directly.

In fact, the vast majority of people in Germany are adequately supplied with minerals. Mineral deficiencies and the diseases caused by them are extremely rare in Germany. The only exception is iodine.

What should I look out for when using mineral products?

According to studies, magnesium, calcium and zinc in particular are consumed in high amounts in Germany, not only more than recommended, but in some cases even above the "upper level" (maximum safe amount per day). This applies in particular to people who already absorb a lot of minerals through (fortified) foods or who consume several products with the same minerals.

Too much of certain minerals can do more harm than good to the body. For example, an uncontrolled, excessive calcium intake can lead to kidney stones and impaired kidney function if the predisposition is appropriate. Metabolic cycles require certain concentrations of substances, too little but also too much of a substance can disrupt these fine control cycles. Some minerals can interact with drugs and inhibit their effects. It is therefore essential to speak to a doctor: in and / or pharmacist: in beforehand.

According to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), food supplements should not contain fluoride, sodium, chloride and phosphate for safety reasons. Boron and copper are not suitable for children and young people. With zinc, special care is needed, iron is most likely useful for women up to menopause. The intake of minerals can be increased by some

The intake of minerals can be increased by following a few tricks when preparing food:

  • Wash fruit and vegetables only briefly and do not water.
  • Only grind after washing.
  • Steam with little water, keep the cooking times as short as possible and consume the cooking water with the exception of potatoes (e.g. use to prepare the sauce).

What does the body need minerals for?

Minerals are one of the vital components of our food. They fulfill a wide variety of functions in the metabolism. They serve as building materials for our bones (for example calcium), influence muscle and nerve function (such as magnesium), and regulate the body's water balance (sodium). They are also part of hormones (iodine) and enzymes (selenium) or other biologically active compounds.

Can I cover my daily requirement with food?

A balanced diet is sufficient to supply the body with sufficient essential minerals. Anyone who knows which foods contain particularly high levels of minerals can easily adapt their eating habits accordingly. The mineral supply table helps with this; it gives an overview of the foods in which minerals occur naturally, what tasks they perform in the body and how much adults should consume every day. In some cases, fortified foods such as iodized salt can also help.

There may be exceptions (for example, the chronically ill, the elderly, vegan eaters and pregnant women) where the consumption of mineral products can be useful. The appropriate composition and dosage of the individual minerals should be discussed with the doctor and attention should be paid to possible interactions with medication.



BfR (2021): Updated maximum quantity proposals for vitamins and minerals in food supplements and fortified foods. Opinion No. 009/2021 of March 15, 2021

Consumption of minerals from dietary supplements in a German population - a nationwide survey, published online in February 2015

BFR: nutrient supply? Plates instead of tablets! Questions and answers on dietary supplements, as of December 4th, 2018

BFR: A-Z index, minerals (accessed on May 19, 2021)

BFR: Toxicological and nutritional aspects of the use of minerals and vitamins in food Part 1, January 18, 2002

BFR: Use of Minerals in Food Toxicological and Nutritional Aspects Part 2, April 2004

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