Essential minerals for children growth and the consequences of lacking them.
Minerals are inorganic solid natural substances with a defined chemical composition that are stable at room temperatures and ordered atomic arrangement. They are useful to the health, development and growth of children, therefore one ought to be cautious on the correct quantity being administered as they can also be too harmful. The essay will therefore argue the essential minerals for children growth, health, and welfare; moreover discuss the consequences of lacking them.
Minerals play two major functions in the body; those pertain to the forming of the human physique, and also in the aid of bodily operations. Macro elements are minerals that are required in large quantity whereas micro elements are those required in small quantities by the body. Calcium is an essential mineral to the growth and development of children as it is helpful in maintaining healthy teeth and strong bones, in addition it aids in nerve operation and clotting of the hemoglobin (Dibba et al., 2000). Its deficiency causes poor sleeping disorders, high blood pressure constipation and arthritis. Similarly, phosphorus is an important mineral for healthy development of children bones and teeth, the mineral is found in every body cells and reactants that balance the acid-base ratios. Its deficiency causes rickets in children.
Enzymes are essential body reactors and zinc being part of them; it is used for manufacturing body building blocks and genetic material on children. It is responsible for taste recognition, wound repair, normal growth, sexual evolution, immune system development, supports concentration, reasoning and cognition ability for brain development (Rogol, Clark, & Roemmich, 2000). Zinc is a critical piece in the development and maintenance of a strong intestinal lining, its deficiency can therefore cause the mucosal lining to lose its strength and thus becoming permeable. This can cause leaky gut syndrome to the children.
Chloride is needed for proper fluid balance and in making the stomach acid such as hydrochloric acid that is naturally produced by the stomach cells. The acid is essential to the body as it provide an optimum pH for the enzyme protease to work on, moreover, it also kill the pathogenic organisms that are found in the stomach (Rogol et al., 2000). Its deficiency reduces urinary excreation, constipation and insulin resistance.
Sodium is too an essential mineral and it is important to children healthy growth and development as it aids in proper fluid balance within the body cell, nerve transmission and muscle contraction. Good sources of sodium are large amount of processed foods and table salt. Magnesium can be found in bones; is needed for making protein, muscle contraction, proper nerve transmission, and immune system health (Dibba et al., 2000). Severe hyponatremia causes headaches, nausea and vomiting.
Iron is part of hemoglobin; a molecule found in the red blood cells responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body that is needed for metabolism and energy production, whereas potassium like sodium and chloride is needed for transmission of electrical signals between cells and nerves and for proper fluid balancing between the cells and body fluids, its deficiency results in dry skin and fatigue (Brown & Pollitt, 1996). Iron minerals imbalance either deficiency or overloaded has consequential effect to children as they will seem very tired, mouth being pale and have enlarged spleen or joint pain.
In conclusion therefore, for a child to grow healthy and have all of his or her body organs develop properly, the minimum required threshold of the essential minerals must be provided. Proper diet is hence essential as too much provision of one mineral to another might be harmful to their development.
Brown, J. L., & Pollitt, E. (1996). Malnutrition, poverty and intellectual development. Scientific American, 274(2), 38-43.
Dibba, B., Prentice, A., Ceesay, M., Stirling, D. M., Cole, T. J., & Poskitt, E. M. (2000). Effect of calcium supplementation on bone mineral accretion in Gambian children accustomed to a low-calcium diet. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 71(2), 544–549.
Rogol, A. D., Clark, P. A., & Roemmich, J. N. (2000). Growth and pubertal development in children and adolescents: effects of diet and physical activity. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 72(2), 521s–528s.