Minerals and Trace Elements
Why are electrolytes so important for the body?
Minerals and trace elements (electrolytes) perform important functions in the body. According to their concentration in human cells, a distinction is made between bulk elements (more than 50 mg/kg body weight) and trace elements (less than 50 mg/kg body weight). In total, the body of an adult contains 3 – 4 kg of minerals. Calcium accounts for about half of this amount.
Essential (vital) bulk elements that are exclusively absorbed through food include calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur and chlorine. This is also true for the trace elements iron, copper, cobalt, zinc, manganese, iodine, molybdenum, selenium, fluorine and chromium. These, too, cannot be provided by the organism itself.
WHow much of these electrolytes and trace elements do we need?
Minerals are not only important structural substances (e.g. for teeth or bones), but they are involved in almost all life processes. Permanent availability of these substances is fundamental to numerous metabolic processes (such as energy production, hormone circulation, immune system). An insufficient supply may therefore impair bodily functions and lead to deficiency symptoms. Our dietary habits (convenience products and few fresh foods) do not always ensure sufficient daily intake of these elements (see also “Recommended daily intake of selected essential bulk and trace elements”) . In addition, we lose some of these vital substances through urine, stool and sweat. Finally, there are also life circumstances that often require an increased mineral intake, such as growth, old age, pregnancy and breastfeeding, or physical exercise.
How can we ensure sufficient supply?
The absorption of minerals into the blood, which takes place through the intestinal wall, depends, among other factors, on other food components. For example, dietary fiber can bind the minerals, which can affect the usability (bioavailability) of the elements. On the other hand, certain protein carriers (amino acids such as aspartic acid or its salts, i.e. aspartates) can improve the supply of many bulk and trace elements.
Good usability of electrolytes – something we care very much about
AIt all started in the 1960s, when Dr. Franz Josef Köhler had the ingenious idea of making potassium substitution more efficient by additionally administering magnesium aspartate. As a biochemist, he knew that both magnesium and aspartic acid play a key role in energy metabolism, stimulating both glycolysis and the nitrate cycle to enhance ATP synthesis. ATP is the energy carrier that supplies energy to the Na+/K+ pump and thus counteracts intracellular potassium loss.
The experimental and clinically proven effects of this concept, first developed by Dr. Franz Josef Köhler, led to the approval of the first potassium magnesium aspartate medicine: TROPHICARD® (1960 to 2005). Numerous counterfeit medicines and comparable preparations were launched on the market by other pharmaceutical companies in the years that followed. As a result of further development, INZOLEN® was approved in 1964. When it comes to restoring homeostasis and accelerating convalescence, supplementation with trace elements (cobalt, copper, manganese, zinc) based on aspartic acid as a complexing agent is still highly valued after more than 50 years in use. Dr. Franz Köhler Chemie GmbH offers various minerals and trace elements (e. g. magnesium, zinc, potassium) – also in the form of combinations – as solutions for injection and film tablets.