Biochemical minerals found in the body are inorganic chemical elements that contribute to various physiological processes. A lack of minerals will result in less-than-optimum growth and development of the body, as well as a decrease in the overall health of a person. Dietary preferences might result in a slight mineral deficiency that can be easily treated either through changes in the diet or the use of supplements. Several mineral deficiencies that lead to serious health disorders are rare in the industrialized world because of access to a wide variety of food.
People Most Likely To Suffer Mineral Deficiency
A problem related to a mineral deficiency is most likely to be found among certain select groups of individuals. Infants, small children and pregnant women are more apt to suffer from an iron deficiency than the rest of the population. People suffering a prolonged illness are more likely to suffer from a lack of zinc and copper.
Groups Likely to Benefit from Supplements
Certain people might benefit from changing their diet to meet recommended daily allowances of specific minerals, while others might need supplements, especially those who consume less food than usual for assorted reasons. Other groups likely to benefit from an increase in mineral intake include those over 55, breastfeeding mothers, drug and alcohol abusers, recent surgical patients, burn victims and those taking certain medications.
Specific Symptoms Related to Lack of Specific Minerals
Symptoms related to the lack of a mineral can depend on the specific mineral itself. The book "Minerals, Supplements and Vitamins" says problems with bone development and strength are associated with a lack of boron and calcium. A lack of fluoride can increase dental cavities. Low amounts of selenium might result in heart failure.
Symptoms Common to Lack of Several Minerals
Other symptoms are more broadly spread across a lack of minerals, according to the Health Supplements Nutritional Guide. A lack in several different minerals such as iodine, manganese and zinc can cause retardation of growth in children. Weakness is associated with a lack of several different minerals that include potassium, iron and chloride. Other health problems common to a lack of a number of different minerals include appetite loss, memory problems, irritability and anemia.
Natural Food Sources for Minerals
Avoiding problems associated with a lack of minerals is easily avoided in industrialized countries thanks to a wealth of food options. Specific foods are related to an adequate supply of specific minerals, but several foods contain a number of minerals and should be considered as a regular part of a healthy diet. These options include apples, fish, oysters, leafy green vegetables, organ meats and dairy products.