DNA Essential Elements
The relationship between humans and minerals
The body is made up of elements. Elements are also the basic substances that make up the environment in which humans exist. The stability and balance of mineral elements in the body’s internal environment are required for maintaining optimal health. There is a distinct relationship between elements and human health, disease onset, progression, prognosis, and diagnosis. Element balance and modulation are extremely significant for maintaining and promoting health and the prophylaxis or treatment of diseases.
The relationship between elements and enzymes
There are about 5,000 kinds of enzymes in the body that are most closely associated with microelements. The body’s metabolism depends on enzyme catalysis and modulation, and most enzyme activity is associated with microelements. Some microelements are the structural components and activity centers of enzymes, and some elemental ions are antagonistic and negatively affect the activity of enzymes. A depletion of microelements will directly change the structure of enzymes and cause their impairment or loss of activity. For example, if DNA polymerase activity is weakened, DNA replication and repair functions are also reduced. The activity of most ligases (synthetases) and all deoxygenases require elements, such as magnesium, manganese, and zinc.
The relationship between elements and the endocrine system
Each stage of the endocrine system in the body is affected by having a balance of microelements. Elemental changes will affect the synthesis, secretion, storage, and activity of hormones within the body. Conversely, hormones also modulate the metabolism in the body’s internal environment. For example: pituitary hormones, zinc, and growth hormones bind in a 1:1 ratio to allow for the polymerization of growth hormone 2, which becomes even more stable and less likely to lose its activity in secretion granules or plasma. Iodine absorbed by the thyroid is oxidized into atomic iodine, which binds with proteins to further synthesize monoiodine or diiodotyrosine, and synthesizing thyroxine. Zinc and trivalent chromium directly affect the synthesis, secretion, and activity of insulin. Elements also have a close relationship with sex hormones. Zinc deficiencies directly cause reduced function in the male gonads and decreased fertility in women.
The relationship between elements and metallothionein
Metallothionein (MT), also called the multipurpose protein, is a family of cysteine-rich proteins with a low molecular weight. Metallic ions, such as copper, zinc, cadmium, and mercury, can induce the synthesis of MT in many types of tissues. The induced synthesis of MT takes place because metallic ions activate the initiation factors of the MT gene, causing an increase in the transcription of the MT genes. Copper and zinc have strong abilities to induce MT synthesis. When the supply of copper and zinc is sufficient, the production of a certain amount of MT can be induced. Harmful metals, such as cadmium and mercury, lose their toxicity after binding with MT. MT can directly detoxify heavy metals such as lead, resist radiation, and also eliminate hydroxyl free radicals (OH•). Wastewater discharged from mountain mines contains large amounts of heavy metals, such as cadmium, mercury, and lead. When this water is used to irrigate farmland, it pollutes the environment and causes excessive levels of heavy metals in the feed and food, and in the humans and animals that eat them. As a result, this poses a threat to human life. Utilizing the MT-inducing characteristics of elements, such as zinc and copper, to cancel out the harmful, toxic effects of heavy metals can relieve the damages that environmental pollution causes to the body.
The relationship between elements and anti-free-radical response
Attacks by free radicals on DNA bases cause DNA base degradation or loss, hydrogen chain damage, or main chain breakage; consequently, this changes the nucleic acid structure or arrangement, damages the genetic information that is carried on, and leads to mutations. This also causes errors in protein synthesis resulting in cross-linked polypeptides, changes in structure, or damage or loss in protein activity, including enzymes. Elements, such as selenium and zinc, protect the DNA structure from damage by suppressing the free radical response, participating in the synthesis of coenzyme Q and glutathione peroxidase (GSH – Px), and eliminating the harmful products of the free radical response.
The relationship between elements and anti-aging
Abnormal or uncontrolled peroxidation and free radical responses are major factors in accelerating physical aging. They are the biochemical basis for the onset of diseases, such as cerebrovascular diseases, central nervous system diseases, bone and joint disorders, and cancer tumors. Microelements resist oxidation and the free-radical response by participating in the synthesis of antioxidants and antioxidant enzymes. Some examples include: Coenzyme Q, glutathione, cysteine, glutathione peroxidase (GSH – Px), glutathione reeducates (GSSG – R), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and hydrogen peroxidase (CAT).
Microelements are also capable of the following effects: anti-cancer, anti-inflammation, antiviral, anticoagulation, glucose reduction, detoxification, and anti-anemia.
However, it is important to note that the use of elements is not more is better. There has to be a standard for dosage amounts. Over supplementation must be prevented in order to avoid accumulation of microelements, which can lead to poisoning.