Monday, August 30, 2010

Metalloproteins - essential to your health

Found a new word today: Metalloproteins. No prizes for guessing what they are. Yup they are proteins that have a metal atom (ion) as an essential part of them. The one most commonly known would be hemoglobin. It is a protein that contains iron, hence it is technically a metalloprotein.

The cool thing is any metalloproteinou should be able to determine the optimal / maximum level rather simply. You either keep increasing the metal dose until the enzyme production no longer increases, or enzyme activation levels off. Either way it is great to know in theory we can maximize our own personal enzyme production. This is because of the difficulties that most trace elements pose to the nutritionist / wellness person. Not only to minerals interact with each other, the trace elements which are essential to life, in excess are dangerous to life. Selenium is the obvious one. Most people know that we need it and some people know that if you have to much you poison yourself. This is why it took so long for selenium to be acknowledged as a essential trace element.

I knew trace elements and minerals were essential to life. However I didn't know how much the body relies on them. Apparently:
Almost half of all enzymes require the presence of a metal atom to function. 
This basically means that half of all your body functions need the presence of a mineral to work! Wow this makes minerals really important.

Reference: Joshua Finkelstein Metalloproteins Nature 460, 813 (13 August 2009) doi:10.1038/460813

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