Essential Nutrient Elements and What They Do for Your Body – Part 2

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH; Justin Lam, ABAAHP, FMNM

Read Part 1 | Part 3

Vital Essential Nutrient Elements

Oxygen gets help getting into our bodies with essential nutrient elements


These essential nutrient elements play a variety of roles in our bodies. Iron is involved in helping transport oxygen in your body. The lack of iron is the most common nutrient deficiency in the U.S. The conversion of blood sugar to energy is also a vital function of iron. Enzymes needed in the production of hormones and neurotransmitters are helped by iron. In order for your immune system to work at its best, iron is needed. Iron plays a role in normal cognitive functioning in children.

What should you look for if you have a deficiency of iron?

  • Shortness of breath
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness

Signs of too much iron include:

  • Joint pain
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Irregular or no menstrual period
  • Apathy/no interest in sex
  • Adrenal function problems
  • Depression
  • Mood swings

Iron deficiency that leads to anemia also involves a great deal of fatigue. Fatigue is also a major factor in AFS. At times, physicians may mistake the fatigue as only a symptom of iron deficiency and treat the symptom alone with iron supplementation. This often is insufficient if the root cause lies in the adrenals. Because iron is an oxidant and has metabolic stimulatory properties, its use should be carefully considered.


The mechanism of function for these essential nutrient elements aren’t completely known. It appears to work in tandem with hormones, enzymes, and vitamins in your body. It’s use as a mood stabilizer has been well documented, and it is used frequently for bipolar disorders. It plays a role in the way sodium moves through nerves and muscles. There is some evidence that it bolsters your immune system, also. It prevents the overproduction of prostaglandin that can suppress your immune functioning.

Too much lithium may lead to the following symptoms:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Seizures

If you have too little lithium, the following symptoms may be seen:

  • ADD
  • Depression
  • Rages and fits
  • Reproductive failure

In conditions of AFS, your immune function and neuro-affect system may need support. Adequate levels of lithium may help bolster the immune system and stabilize the mood.


Magnesium is one of the major minerals needed by your body. These essential nutrient elements plays a role in helping regulate enzymes while they do their jobs. These enzymes help the chemical reactions needed by your body to continue while preserving your body’s organs.

Signs of low magnesium:

  • Increased calcium inside cells
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Calcium and potassium deficiencies
  • Irritability
  • Lethargy
  • Anxiety
  • Impaired memory and cognition
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Impaired coordination
  • Tremors
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Sleep problems
  • Migraines

Too much magnesium may bring the following signs and symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Deficiencies of other minerals
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Hypotension

Under stress, magnesium is lost quickly. In the early stages of AFS, more magnesium is needed to offset this loss. However, in advanced adrenal fatigue, too much magnesium can lead to lower levels of sodium that can then result in a crash. So you may end up with a cycle of stress leading to loss of magnesium, that leads to a deficit of magnesium, that then brings on more stress.

essential nutrient elements include manganese


As a trace mineral, manganese are essential nutrient elements that aids in the formation of sex hormones. It also helps in metabolism, absorption of calcium, and regulation of blood sugar. Insulin synthesis and secretion are normalized by manganese. It has antioxidant properties as well and helps in monitoring free radicals in your body. Metabolism regulation is another function of manganese.

Signs of manganese deficiency include:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart problems
  • Severe memory loss
  • Hearing problems
  • Poor eyesight
  • Tremors
  • Dizziness
  • Convulsions

Signs of too much manganese include:

  • Parkinson type symptoms
  • Psychosis
  • Mental disorders
  • Tremors

If you have liver problems, you may be more likely to get too much manganese since the liver gets it out of your system. If you’re anemic, your body tries to absorb manganese, making it easy to get an overdose. Manganese helps your body use iron; a deficiency of manganese will prevent you from using iron adequately.

Excessive levels of manganese can lead to a number of very serious conditions. Symptoms similar to Parkinson’s may be seen.


One of the trace minerals your body needs in very small amounts, these essential nutrient elements play a role as a catalyst for enzymes and in the breakdown of some amino acids. The enzymes molybdenum works to enable carbohydrate metabolism, detoxifying sulfites from the body, and in iron utilization. It also aids in the production of red blood cells and in metabolizing nitrogen.

If you have too little molybdenum, these symptoms may be seen:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Increased inflammation risk due to increased yeast toxins
  • Mouth and gum problems
  • Increased sensitivity to sulfites

It is very unusual to have an excess of molybdenum. If this should occur, dizziness, rashes, and tiredness would be common. You also may have anemia or low white cell count because molybdenum interferes with copper metabolism.

In conditions of AFS, low levels of molybdenum could lead to increased inflammation due to your body’s inability to detoxify yeast toxins that may build up under adrenal fatigue.


This major mineral is a common substance and works with calcium to strengthen your bones. Also involved in energy production, phosphorus aids in production of nucleic acids and cell membranes. It also helps filter out waste in the kidneys, aids in balancing and using other vitamins and minerals, helps balance hormones naturally, boosts energy levels, and helps balance your body’s fluid levels. Phosphorus plays a part in nearly every chemical reaction in your body because it is present in almost every cell.

Signs of too little phosphorus:

  • Weakened bones
  • Changes in appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Changes in weight
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability

Phosphorus is part of the essential nutrient elements familySigns of too much phosphorus:

  • Having too much phosphorus is more of a problem than having too little
  • Lower levels of calcium absorbed into your body
  • Vitamin D synthesis may be impaired
  • Imbalance of essential minerals that regulate blood pressure and circulation

If you have AFS, phosphorus may be necessary for balancing hormones naturally and assisting in providing energy for your body. A deficit in phosphorus with AFS would add to the cascade of hormones that can become imbalanced.


This essential nutrient element, along with sodium, helps you maintain normal blood pressure. It helps regulate nutrients getting into your cells and preserves the alkalinity of body fluids. The metabolism of proteins and carbohydrates depend on potassium. It helps regulate calcium and phosphorus in the building of healthy bones. Potassium plays a major role in converting glucose to glycogen for storage of energy.

Signs of too much potassium:

  • Fatigue/weakness
  • Numbness/tingling
  • Breathing problems
  • Chest pain
  • Irritability

Signs of too little potassium:

  • Too little potassium may be life threatening
  • Weakness
  • No energy
  • Depression
  • Glucose intolerance
  • Insomnia
  • Mental apathy

Aldosterone is a controlling hormone for sodium and thus indirectly regulates potassium because sodium and potassium are opposing nutrients. With increasing potassium levels, the adrenals secrete more aldosterone, which leads the kidneys to secrete more potassium and retain sodium. Chronically high potassium stresses the adrenals. Most with AFS already have normal or high normal potassium and low sodium level clinically though blood level may be normal.

Potassium supplements are generally not recommended.

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© Copyright 2017 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

Essential nutrient elements