How does taking a mineral in .2% of daily value help?
November 2, 2013 9:48 PM   Subscribe

I bought this product "Multiple Minerals" because I was trying to follow a particular healthy skin diet. I read that I should take Maganese, Silica and a few other things this product had but I just noticed the amounts are around .2 % of the daily allowance average. I'm confused as to how this would benefit me. Is this product a total rip off?
posted by JJkiss to Health & Fitness (10 answers total)
Seems like a ripoff to me, you could get those minerals for free from dirt.
posted by oceanjesse at 9:56 PM on November 2, 2013

Silica (otherwise known as silicon dioxide, or more usually, as sand) isn't particularly necessary in human nutrition. And a little bit of manganese, and most other minerals, goes a long way, so long as you get a bit, now and then, by gnawing bones, and eating plants and some meat. Human kidneys are pretty good about dumping water, sodium and potassium as necessary, while conserving things like calcium and other mineral compounds, until things get way, way out of hand.

If they weren't, we, as a dumb pre-scientific nutritional information challenged hairless ape species, would probably never have made it out of Africa. Save your money, and love your kidneys.
posted by paulsc at 10:02 PM on November 2, 2013 [7 favorites]

Silica is not a nutrient. It is often used as the inert component of pills, to give them bulk. There is absolutely no reason to consume silica by itself.
posted by Nomyte at 10:09 PM on November 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

These are all things that are naturally occurring (for the amounts we need, which is very little) in our food.

Eat food and you're probably getting all the manganese you need.

There is no such thing as a "healthy skin diet". Get plenty of sleep and fluids. Eat well.
posted by Sara C. at 10:13 PM on November 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Just looking at their home page for 30 seconds tells me these guys are full of woo. They're claiming that because of their precise ratios designed for maximum absorption, uh, something magic happens. Given that very selective ion channels are, in fact, a thing, that you can crank out a couple million of them in a matter of seconds if you think your body thinks you need to and the real world dietary issues of every generation who couldn't measure the ionic concentration of their food to three decimal places that paulsc cites, I think you can give this one a wide berth.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 10:13 PM on November 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

Seconding everything said above, plus: whoever advocated you "take minerals for your skin" is blowing snake oil up your ass. Your skin has no especial "extra mineral needs".
posted by IAmBroom at 11:41 PM on November 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

The product in question may be "full of woo," but supplements can indeed be helpful for problem skin. For instance, The Clear Skin Diet presents strong evidence that supplements such as turmeric, zinc, and fish oil can help reduce acne-related inflammation, and that has certainly been the case in my own personal experience.
posted by désoeuvrée at 4:32 AM on November 3, 2013 [4 favorites]

To be sure nutrition plays a part in health (zinc deficiencies manifest themselves in the fingernails, among other places and vitamin C deficiencies will cause old wounds to reopen) but if you're eating relatively diverse diet and don't have some other medical issue, you probably don't have to worry too much about the trace minerals or, if your not eating as well as you should, would probably be better served by a cheaper multi-vitamin supplement.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 7:31 AM on November 3, 2013

In health food circles, silica is touted as a building block of healthy hair and nails, so it's recommended if you have brittle hair/nails.
I have no opinion on the validity of this; I've heard both success and failure stories from clients on that front.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 8:51 AM on November 3, 2013

Eat lots of vegetables (especially legumes like green beans and chickpeas); whole grains like barley and seafood; and drink a beer every day or two, and you'll probably get all the bioavailable silica you need. Silica is a major trace mineral in the body, and may play an important role in bone formation and tissue connectivity. This has not been established though, so generally speaking, if you are eating well, silicon supplements are a waste of money.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:10 AM on November 3, 2013

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