Vitamins and minerals - Others (2023)

Table of Contents
Beta-carotene Good sources of beta-carotene How much beta-carotene do I need? What happens if I take too much beta-carotene? What does the Department of Health and Social Care advise? Chromium How much chromium do I need? What happens if I take too much chromium? What does the Department of Health and Social Care advise? Copper Good sources of copper How much copper do I need? What happens if I take too much copper? What does the Department of Health and Social Care advise? Magnesium Good sources of magnesium How much magnesium do I need? What happens if I take too much magnesium? What does the Department of Health and Social Care advise? Manganese Good sources of manganese How much manganese do I need? What happens if I take too much manganese? What does the Department of Health and Social Care advise? Molybdenum Good sources of molybdenum How much molybdenum do I need? What happens if I take too much molybdenum? What does the Department of Health and Social Care advise? Phosphorus Good sources of phosphorus How much phosphorus do I need? What happens if I take too much phosphorus? What does the Department of Health and Social Care advise? Potassium Good sources of potassium How much potassium do I need? What happens if I take too much potassium? What does the Department of Health and Social Care advise? Selenium How much selenium do I need? What happens if I take too much selenium? What does the Department of Health and Social Care advise? Sodium chloride (salt) Sources of salt How much salt do I need? What happens if I have too much salt? What does the Department of Health and Social Care advise? Zinc Good sources of zinc How much zinc do I need? What happens if I take too much zinc? What does the Department of Health and Social Care advise? FAQs Videos

As well as vitamins and more common minerals, a healthy diet includes many other nutrients.

This section has information on:

  • beta-carotene
  • chromium
  • cobalt
  • copper
  • magnesium
  • manganese
  • molybdenum
  • phosphorus
  • potassium
  • selenium
  • sodium chloride (salt)
  • zinc

Beta-carotene

Beta-carotene gives yellow and orange fruit and vegetables their colour.It's turned intovitamin A in the body,so itcan perform the same jobs in the body as vitamin A.

Good sources of beta-carotene

The main sources of beta-carotene are:

  • yellow and green (leafy) vegetables– such as spinach, carrots and red peppers
  • yellow fruit– such as mango,papaya and apricots

How much beta-carotene do I need?

You should be able to get the amount of beta-carotene you need from your daily diet.

What happens if I take too much beta-carotene?

There's no evidence the beta-carotene we get from food is harmful.

But beta-carotene supplements have been found to increase the risk of lung cancer in people who smoke or have been heavily exposed to asbestos at work.

What does the Department of Health and Social Care advise?

You should be able to get the amount of beta-carotene you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.

If you decide to take beta-carotene supplements, it's important not to take too much as this could be harmful.

Do not take more than 7mg of beta-carotene supplements a day unless advised to by a doctor.

People who smoke or who have been exposed to asbestos are advised not to take any beta-carotene supplements.

Chromium

Good sources of chromium include:

  • meat
  • nuts
  • cereal grains

How much chromium do I need?

Around 25 micrograms of chromium a day should be enough for adults. A microgram is 1,000 times smaller than a milligram (mg).

The word microgram is sometimes written with the Greek symbol μ followed by the letter g (μg).

You should be able to get all the chromium you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.

What happens if I take too much chromium?

There's not enough evidence to know what the effects might be of taking high doses of chromium each day.

What does the Department of Health and Social Care advise?

You should be able to get all the chromium you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.

If you take chromium supplements, do not take too much as this might be harmful.

(Video) Micronutrition Pt 1 - Vitamins and Minerals

Having 10mg or less a day of chromium from food and supplements is unlikely to cause any harm.

Copper

Copper helps:

  • produce red and white blood cells
  • trigger the release of iron to form haemoglobin, the substance that carries oxygen around the body

It's also thought to be important for infant growth, brain development, the immune system and strong bones.

Good sources of copper

Good sources of copper include:

  • nuts
  • shellfish
  • offal

How much copper do I need?

Adults aged 19 to 64 need 1.2mg of copper a day.

You should be able to get all the copper you need from your daily diet.

What happens if I take too much copper?

Taking high doses of copper could cause:

  • stomach pain
  • sickness
  • diarrhoea
  • damage to the liver and kidneys (if taken for a long time)

What does the Department of Health and Social Care advise?

You should be able to get all the copper you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.

If you take copper supplements, do not take too much as this could be harmful.

Having 10mg or less a day of copper supplements is unlikely to cause any harm.

Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that helps:

  • turn the food we eat into energy
  • make sure the parathyroid glands, which produce hormones important for bone health, work normally

Good sources of magnesium

Magnesium is found in a wide variety of foods, including:

  • spinach
  • nuts
  • wholemeal bread

How much magnesium do I need?

The amount of magnesium you need is:

  • 300mg a day for men (19 to 64 years)
  • 270mg a day for women (19 to 64 years)

What happens if I take too much magnesium?

Taking high doses of magnesium (more than 400mg) for a short time can cause diarrhoea.

There's not enough evidence to say what the effects might be of taking high doses of magnesium for a long time.

What does the Department of Health and Social Care advise?

You should be able to get all the magnesium you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.

If you take magnesium supplements, do not take too much as this could be harmful.

Having 400mg or less a day of magnesium from supplements is unlikely to cause any harm.

Manganese

Manganese helps make and activate some of the enzymes in the body. Enzymes are proteins that help the body carry out chemical reactions, such as breaking down food.

(Video) Introduction to vitamins and minerals | Biology foundations | High school biology | Khan Academy

Good sources of manganese

Manganese is found in a variety of foods, including:

  • bread
  • nuts
  • breakfast cereals (especially wholegrain)
  • green vegetables – such as peas

How much manganese do I need?

You should be able to get all the manganese you need from your daily diet.

What happens if I take too much manganese?

Taking high doses of manganese for long periods of time might cause muscle pain, nerve damage and other symptoms, such as fatigue and depression.

What does the Department of Health and Social Care advise?

You should be able to get all the manganese you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.

If you take manganese supplements, do not take too much as this could be harmful.

For most people, taking 4mg or less of manganese supplements a day is unlikely to cause any harm.

For older people, who may be more sensitive to manganese, taking 0.5mg or less of manganese supplements a day is unlikely to cause any harm.

Molybdenum

Molybdenum helps make and activate some of the proteins involved in chemical reactions (enzymes) that help with repairing and making genetic material.

Good sources of molybdenum

Molybdenum is found in a wide variety of foods. Foods that grow above ground tend to be higher in molybdenum than foods that grow below the ground, such as potatoes or carrots.

How much molybdenum do I need?

You should be able to get all the molybdenum you need from your daily diet.

What happens if I take too much molybdenum?

There's some evidence to suggest taking molybdenum supplements might cause joint pain.

What does the Department of Health and Social Care advise?

You should be able to get all the molybdenum you need by eating a varied and balanced diet. The molybdenum we get from food is not likely to be harmful.

Phosphorus

Phosphorus is a mineral that helps build strong bones and teeth, and helps release energy from food.

Good sources of phosphorus

Phosphorus is found in many foods.

Good sources include:

  • red meat
  • dairy foods
  • fish
  • poultry
  • bread
  • brown rice
  • oats

How much phosphorus do I need?

Adults need 550mg of phosphorus a day.

You should be able to get all the phosphorus you need from your daily diet.

What happens if I take too much phosphorus?

Taking high doses of phosphorus supplements for a short time can cause diarrhoea or stomach pain.

Taking high doses for a long time can reduce the amount of calcium in the body, which means bones are more likely to fracture.

(Video) 3 Minerals that People over 50 Need to Supplement With

What does the Department of Health and Social Care advise?

You should be able to get all the phosphorus you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.

If you take phosphorus supplements, it's important not to take too much as this could be harmful.

Taking 250mg or less a day of phosphorus supplements on top of the phosphorous you get from your diet is unlikely to cause any harm.

Potassium

Potassium is a mineral that helps control the balance of fluids in the body, and also helps the heart muscle work properly.

Good sources of potassium

Potassium is found in most types of food.

Good sources of potassium include:

  • bananas
  • some vegetables – such as broccoli, parsnips and brussels sprouts
  • beans and pulses
  • nuts and seeds
  • fish
  • beef
  • chicken
  • turkey

How much potassium do I need?

Adults (19 to 64 years) need 3,500mg of potassium a day. You should be able to get all the potassium you need from your daily diet.

What happens if I take too much potassium?

Taking too much potassium can cause stomach pain, feeling sick and diarrhoea.

What does the Department of Health and Social Care advise?

You should be able to get all the potassium you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.

If you take potassium supplements, do not take too much as this could be harmful.

Taking 3,700mg or less of potassium supplements a day is unlikely to have obvious harmful effects.

But older people may be more at risk of harm from potassium because their kidneys may be less able to remove potassium from the blood.

Older people should not take potassium supplements unless advised to by a doctor.

Selenium

Selenium helps the immune system work properly, as well as in reproduction. It also helps prevent damage to cells and tissues.

Good sources of selenium include:

  • brazil nuts
  • fish
  • meat
  • eggs

How much selenium do I need?

The amount of selenium you need is:

  • 75μg a day for men (19 to 64 years)
  • 60μg a day for women (19 to 64 years)

If you eat meat, fish or nuts, you should be able to get all the selenium you need from your daily diet.

What happens if I take too much selenium?

Too much selenium causes selenosis, a condition that, in its mildest form, can lead to loss of hair and nails.

What does the Department of Health and Social Care advise?

You should be able to get all the selenium you need by eating a varied and balanced diet that includes meat, fish or nuts.

(Video) How do vitamins work? - Ginnie Trinh Nguyen

If you take selenium supplements, it's important not to take too much as this could be harmful.

Taking 350μg or less a day of selenium supplements is unlikely to cause any harm.

Sodium chloride (salt)

Sodium chloride is commonly known as salt.

Sodium and chloride are minerals needed by the body in small amounts to help keep the level of fluids in the body balanced. Chloride also helps the body digest food.

Sources of salt

Salt is found naturally at low levels in all foods, but some salt is added to many processed foods, such as:

  • ready meals
  • meat products – such as bacon
  • some breakfast cereals
  • cheese
  • tinned vegetables with added salt
  • some bread
  • savoury snacks

How much salt do I need?

You should have no more than 6g of salt (2.4g of sodium) a day.

But, on average, people in the UK eat approximately 8g of salt (about 3.2g of sodium) a day, which is much more than the body needs.

A few practical tips for cutting down on salt include:

  • check food labels and choose foods with less salt – where colour-coded labels are used, try to pick products with more greens and ambers, and fewer reds, for a healthier choice
  • choose tinned vegetables and pulses with no added salt
  • choose tinned fish in spring water rather than brine
  • only use sauces like soy sauce, brown sauce, ketchup and mayonnaise sparingly, as these are often high in salt
  • eat fewer salty snacks, such as crisps, salted nuts, and salty foods such as bacon, cheese, pickles and smoked fish
  • add less or no salt when cooking – use herbs and spices for flavour instead
  • choose low-salt stock cubes, or make your own stock without added salt
  • taste your food first, and do not automatically add extra salt

Read more facts about salt, cutting down on salt and how much salt is good for me?

You can also download the Change4Life Be Food Smart app, which allows you to scan food barcodes to check the salt content.

What happens if I have too much salt?

Having too much salt is linked to high blood pressure, which raises your risk of serious problems like strokes and heart attacks.

What does the Department of Health and Social Care advise?

Adults should eat no more than 6g of salt a day – that's around 1 teaspoon. On average, we eat 2.1g more salt than we should each day.

The Department of Health and Social Care advises that people cut down on salt and says sodium chloride should not be used in supplements.

Zinc

Zinc helps with:

  • making new cells and enzymes
  • processing carbohydrate, fat and protein in food
  • wound healing

Good sources of zinc

Good sources of zinc include:

  • meat
  • shellfish
  • dairy foods – such as cheese
  • bread
  • cereal products – such as wheatgerm

How much zinc do I need?

The amount of zinc you need is about:

  • 9.5mg a day for men (aged 19 to 64 years)
  • 7mg a day for women

You should be able to get all the zinc you need from your daily diet.

What happens if I take too much zinc?

Taking high doses of zinc reduces the amount of copper the body can absorb. This can lead to anaemia and weakening of the bones.

What does the Department of Health and Social Care advise?

You should be able to get all the zinc you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.

(Video) Should You Take A Multi Vitamin or Individual Vitamins/Minerals? | #AskWardee 092

If you take zinc supplements, do not take too much as this could be harmful.

Do not take more than 25mg of zinc supplements a day unless advised to by a doctor.

Page last reviewed: 03 August 2020
Next review due: 03 August 2023

FAQs

What are vitamins and minerals answer? ›

Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients that your body needs in small amounts to work properly. Most people should be able to get all the nutrients they need by eating a varied and balanced diet. If you choose to take vitamin and mineral supplements, seek advice where appropriate.

Why is it important to get enough vitamins and minerals? ›

Vitamins and minerals are essential for bodily functions such as helping to fight infection, wound healing, making our bones strong and regulating hormones. Vitamins and minerals can cause toxicity if consumed in large amounts.

How many times should I take vitamin and mineral supplements answer? ›

A multivitamin is usually taken just once a day, but talk to your doctor about the best type of multivitamin for you, and the best time of day to take it. Most multivitamins contain close to the recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) for many vitamins and minerals.

What are vitamins very short answer? ›

Vitamins are substances that our bodies need to develop and function normally. They include vitamins A, C, D, E, and K, choline, and the B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folate/folic acid).

How many vitamins and minerals are in the human body? ›

There are 13 essential vitamins — vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, B6, B12, and folate). Vitamins have different jobs to help keep the body working properly.

What is the importance of vitamins? ›

Vitamins are vital for good health, but needed in much smaller amounts than macro-nutrients, like carbs and fats. They're important for many daily bodily functions, such as cell reproduction and growth, but most importantly for the processing of energy in cells.

What are vitamins and minerals Class 2? ›

Vitamins and minerals are substances that are found in foods we eat.
...
For example:
  • Vitamin D in milk helps your bones.
  • Vitamin A in carrots helps you see at night.
  • Vitamin C in oranges helps your body heal if you get a cut.
  • B vitamins in whole grains help your body make energy from food.

What are vitamins and minerals in biology? ›

Vitamins and minerals are also nutrients. They do not provide energy, but they are needed for good health.

What are 3 vitamins and minerals? ›

Overview Vitamins and minerals
  • vitamin A.
  • B vitamins and folic acid.
  • vitamin C.
  • vitamin D.
  • vitamin E.
  • vitamin K.
  • calcium.
  • iodine.

What are vitamins and minerals kids? ›

Vitamins and minerals are compounds necessary for the healthy functioning of our bodies. We need vitamins and minerals to help us grow, to see correctly, to form bones, muscles, skin and organs, as well as to help us battle infections. Deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals can lead to severe problems.

Videos

1. The First Sign of KIDNEY DISEASE is ...
(Dr. Eric Berg DC)
2. Vitamins & Minerals at Walmart - What to Get and AVOID
(Thomas DeLauer)
3. Nutrition 2 - Water, Vitamins, Minerals and Fiber
(Health Literacy)
4. The Disturbing Truth about Vitamin Supplements - Sharp Science
(Mashable)
5. Are Vitamins And Supplements Beneficial? What A New Study Shows
(TODAY)
6. Food and Vitamins and Supplements! Oh My! — Longwood Seminar
(Harvard Medical School)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Frankie Dare

Last Updated: 12/02/2022

Views: 5919

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (53 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Frankie Dare

Birthday: 2000-01-27

Address: Suite 313 45115 Caridad Freeway, Port Barabaraville, MS 66713

Phone: +3769542039359

Job: Sales Manager

Hobby: Baton twirling, Stand-up comedy, Leather crafting, Rugby, tabletop games, Jigsaw puzzles, Air sports

Introduction: My name is Frankie Dare, I am a funny, beautiful, proud, fair, pleasant, cheerful, enthusiastic person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.