Essential Minerals Manganese, Copper & Cobalt

Essential Minerals in our Bodies: Part 6: Manganese, Copper, and Cobalt

Nutrients are the key to our well being. Among the collection of nutrients, minerals are one of the chief driving factors of all the chemical reactions in our body and hence facilitate the proper functioning of the machinery within our body. Essential Minerals are categorized as – Macrominerals and Microminerals.

Although in its overall relationship about 60 different minerals have been identified in the body, the 21 essential minerals listed below would make up about five pounds of the total body structure, and are vital requirements in order for the human body to function properly.  Follow the series of articles over the next few weeks to learn just how important Minerals are, especially during the early years of life.



Calcium∙ Phosphorous∙ Calcium Potassium∙ Sulphur∙ Sodium∙ Chlorine and Magnesium


Microminerals or Trace Elements

Iron∙ IodineZinc∙Selenium∙ Tin∙ Manganese∙ Copper∙ Cobalt ∙Molybdenum∙Chromium∙Flourine∙Silicon∙Vanadium∙ and Nickel 


Despite being a trace mineral, manganese plays huge roles in regulating and carrying out various biological functions. Particularly to children, manganese is essential for proper growth and development but take note, too much of it can delay motor skills and cognitive development.

Manganese works in your body, helping to form connective tissues and bones as well as regulating sex hormones, body enzymes, and synovial fluid within the joints. In chemical level, manganese assists in metabolizing fat and carbohydrate as well as calcium absorption and utilizing vitamin B1 and E.

Eat plenty of green leafy veggies, nuts, and seeds to reap the benefits of manganese but keep in mind that if you are planning to take manganese in supplement form, restrict your manganese intake to 10 milligrams a day in order to avoid possible manganese toxicity.

Lack of manganese is dangerous as it can lead to Hypertension (high blood pressure), bone malformation, infertility, and serious memory loss therefore, make sure it is not missing from your diet.  Apart from manganese found in foods, use of herbal products containing manganese such as burdock, chamomile, lemongrass, and peppermint should also be considered to maintain the benefits from this mineral.

Just a tiny amount of copper is essential for your body. Copper is needed for various body functions, enzymatic, and metabolic processes both in adult and children. Copper combines with proteins to produce enzymes that can act as a catalyst and boost biological processes. Collagen is a protein important for elastin production in connective tissues of your skin and organs. As we are aware, lack of collagen means aging, wrinkled skin; so benefits of copper include a smoother and healthier glow.

As our body is unable to synthesize copper, it is necessary that we get enough of them from our diet. Lack of copper can also make us susceptible to anemia, bone fractures, increase cholesterol levels, as well as cause irregular heartbeat. Foods with plenty of copper are mostly nuts and seeds, as well as meat and fish.

Many herbs have significant amount of copper that can be used as herbal remedies including burdock, Echinacea, and garlic.

Cobalt, the vital element of vitamin B12, is one of the essential trace elements that you need in your body and works with the vitamin to form a compound called cobalamin.

Cobalt is important to prevent anemia while assisting in red blood cell production, regulation of certain enzymes, as well as promoting a health nerve function. Your brain really needs this element as cobalamin maintains the protective ‘sheet’ covering your brain called meninges, repairing it whenever necessary.

Cobalt is found abundantly in all foods that are rich in B12 such as fish, meat, milk, and liver. As vegetables are lacking in this mineral, vegetarians may need to boost their cobalamin intake with B12 supplements. Herbs and root plants that also have cobalt are burdock, dandelion, fenugreek, ginger, and ginseng.

Lack of cobalt also means a lack of vitamin B12, which will set you up at risk to get anemia, heart disease, diarrhea, and various nerve-related dysfunctions.

Although being trace elements, we should appreciate these three minerals, alongside more well-known minerals, for their immense roles and functions in our body.

By Liya Das

Read more in the Series:

The importance of potassium & sulphur 

Essential minerals in our body

The importance of sodium, chlorine, & magnesium

The importance of iron & iodine

The importance of zinc & selenium

More Essential trace Minerals



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