I’ve shown you how important minerals are, yet multiple mineral deficiencies have been found in a large percentage of the world’s population. This is not too surprising when you consider our current soil quality and recall from your previous reading that our food has a number of nutrients, including minerals, processed right out of it.

Here are some of the alarming deficiencies that have shown up:

  • On average, individuals only get half the amount of cooper they need.
  • Iodine deficiency is a global public health problem that occurs in parts of the world with iodine-deficient soils and results in goiter – a relatively harmless swelling of the neck and cretinism, a severe birth defect.
  • 80% of Indian women don’t get nearly enough calcium and studies shows that women are only getting a third of the recommended levels.
  • Iron deficiency is the most common form of nutritional deficiency, especially prevalent in young children and women of childbearing age.
  • In Asia and the Pacific, there are widespread deficiencies in iron, zinc and fluoride. Most serious is the lack of iron, which causes anemia in 60% of pregnant women, 50% of reproductive-age women and infants and 40 percent of school-age children.
  • 72% of adult Indians aren’t meeting the RDA for magnesium.

If you’re concerned about getting all the nutrients you need, I recommend you take a supplement that provides you with the RDA of the minerals listed in the chart. And if you have spent time looking for just the right mineral supplement, you’ll be familiar with the word ‘chelated’. Chelation is the process by which minerals are absorbed and simply means that they are attached to a protein molecule that carries them into the bloodstream where they can be put to good use. The word ‘chelate’ comes from a Greek word that means ‘claw’. In the chelation process, the protein molecule actually surrounds the mineral like a claw and helps to make it available to the body.

Some mineral supplements cost more because they’re in chelated form. But there’s no need to pay extra. The truth is that your body automatically chelates minerals during the absorption process anyway – as long as there is also a source of protein. So take your mineral supplements with a meal that contains protein and save yourself some money.

Now let’s take a close look at the role of certain minerals in your health.