Like vitamins, minerals are found in most supplements, as they play essential and varied roles in the body. Unlike vitamins and most nutrients, however, they are not complex chemicals. They are metallic elements that you can find on the periodic table. Those simple elements are then put to use by your body in complex ways.

Minerals can be broken up into two groups: trace minerals, and major minerals. Trace minerals are needed only very trace amounts. While some have significant health benefits, such as Selenium, Zinc, Chomium, and Iron, most trace mineral benefits are speculative, and some have been proven to be inert or even harmful.

Major minerals, on the other hand, are needed in much larger quantities; amounts even greater than what you require from vitamins. The good news is that most are available in even an unhealthy diet. They include Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium, Chloride, and Phosphorous. Most diets contain plenty of sodium, in the form of table salt; often too much sodium, if we're honest. That salt also provides your body with the chloride that it needs since table salt is the chemical sodium chloride. Phosphorous is even easier to obtain. Since it's a building block for all life, everything you eat contains it (assuming, of course, that you're ingesting edible substances). Potassium is a bit trickier. It's abundant in foods like spinach, bananas, avocados, and sweet potatoes, but if you're not eating a well-rounded diet, you may become deficient. The downside is that supplementing with potassium can be dangerous, due to its roles in regulating your heart rate and blood pressure. For this reason, it is best to supplement potassium only under a doctor's supervision.

Then we have Calcium and Magnesium, two vital minerals that tend to go hand in hand. Despite common belief, calcium and magnesium supplementation in seniors is not very practical. As we get older, bone loss occurs at a much faster rate than calcium and magnesium can be replaced. Even after they're in the body, they must be processed by the liver and kidneys. This is why it is critical that children, teens, and even people in their early twenties, especially women, eat foods high in or fortified with calcium and magnesium. By getting these minerals from foods rather than supplements, you ensure that they'll be absorbed by the body and processed by the liver and kidneys at a much faster rate. VitaMist does offer a product called Osteo-CalMag, but this product is designed to aid in the absorption of dietary calcium and magnesium, not to replace it in your diet. If you have been advised to take a calcium or magnesium supplement, we strongly recommend using a drink mix over a tablet for more natural absorption.

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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.