Any discussion of whether or not mineral supplements is of any value to one's health is possibly going to become heated.
In this respect, I guess, it is like many other topics, with one side believing that mineral supplements are acceptable substitutes for those who don't consume nutritionally-balanced meals and an equally voluminous and voluble side feeling very strongly that mineral supplements should be available...if at all...only by prescription, like so many other drugs.
The Real Question: Do We Need to Take Minerals in the Form of Supplements?
Many minerals, which may also be available from many food sources, are considered to be "essential minerals". This is because they are essential to maintaining human health. Major minerals and many 'trace' minerals, i.e. those needed only in very small quantities, help the body perform many important bodily functions.
Calcium and magnesium, for example, are known by most well-informed people as minerals which help build strong bones and teeth. However, not so many know that these two minerals also help regulate the beat of your heart and can help in maintaining heart health.
Another well known mineral, iron, is needed to produce red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body. Still other minerals are needed to assist with the production of hormones, proteins and amino acids. The hair, fingernails, nerves, skin, muscles and all the major organs count on these essential minerals to help them do their jobs.
Unlike most of the better-known and recognized vitamins, many of which are water-soluble, meaning that excessive amounts not used by the body are easily and regularly eliminated from the body via the urine or sweat, there can be real dangers associated with consuming excessive amounts of some minerals. Those individuals who regularly consume a diet that is full of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, lean meats, 'good' fats and low-fat dairy products usually get the recommended daily allowances of most vitamins and minerals and will not need mineral supplements.
Sadly, however, most people, including the two of us, don't eat that way. Instead, we typically eat fast food, skip meals, and dine on either pre-packaged microwave meals or restaurant food (notorious for extra large portions and high calorie content). Our homes are full of high-fat snack food, rather than nutritious options, which is the norm rather than the exception for most people. Vegetarians may also need to rely on mineral supplements for their mineral needs. By restricting meat and sometimes dairy from their diets, their bodies may be severely lacking.
In such cases (unfortunately a large percentage of the population), it may make sense to take a mineral supplement. Before doing so, however, take some time to speak with your medical provider. Talk about your typical diet, any known medical conditions you may have, and any prescriptions you're currently taking. After that, you will both be able to make a more informed decision about whether or not to make use of mineral supplements.
Should the decision to proceed with mineral supplements be made, keep the following in mind:
Select your mineral supplement with care. Go with a name brand supplement which can be trusted or that you're familiar with. Price should never be the main consideration. It's okay to purchase online, but research your source first.
For the most benefit, look for a daily multivitamin supplement which contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Be sure to take whatever product you choose only as required...and per instructions. Taking more than has been instructed won't necessarily double or triple your health benefits. In fact, the opposite may happen.
Warning: Excessive amounts of some minerals can have toxic effects.
Finally, and although I endorse vitamin and mineral supplements and use them myself, don't rely on vitamin or mineral supplements to provide your body with the nutrients it needs. Make the time and make the effort to get nutritional foods into your diet.
Snack on fruits rather than chips. Consume red meat and dairy in moderation. Add a vegetable to each meal. Something as simple as a side salad (using leafy green lettuce...WITHOUT a high fat dressing) can make a huge difference!
Last, but not least, educate yourself on the minerals you should be taking, where you can get them in natural foods, and what they can do for you. Once you have done that, read the nutrition labels. They will give you a vast amount of nutritional information that will allow you to make wise choices of foods which can help you acquire the minerals your body needs for health.