Which metals are good for the body?
Though metals can be used to make everyday objects like kitchen or household appliances, they also play an important role in our bodies. They have been known to cure various diseases, heal wounds and add supplemental value to our diets. From creating new blood cells to activating enzymes, we need metals to survive and function.
So which metals are good for the body?
Whether we use it to treat a headache or back pain, metal complexes in both conventional and alternative medicines present a wide range of benefits for our bodies. Here’s a list of metals used in over the counter (OTC) drugs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen:
How transition metals are used in medicine
Transition metals are a group of chemical elements found between columns three through twelve on the periodic table. Together, they make up the largest section of the periodic table as it includes metals like copper, gold, and titanium.
Transition group metals also have been used to treat several diseases for thousands of years. In fact, Egyptians were one of the first known civilizations to use iron to cure malaria during mid 15th century BC. However, today’s developments in medicine have allowed us to support life-threatening conditions, improve cancer medications and control red blood cell production.
These three metals are used in modern medicine:
Iron is one of the most vital minerals in our bodies, and medical applications are mined from iron ore. Although the average person consumes between 8-18 milligrams of iron per day, there are certain cases where it may be necessary to add in more iron to your diet. For example, iron supplements are used to treat low blood levels–which is caused by pregnancy, poor diet, blood loss or the inability to absorb iron.
Zinc is a metal found in every tissue of the body. It is often called a “trace element,” because very small amounts of zinc are needed to support a healthy lifestyle. Zinc can be used to treat a number of severe medical conditions, such as:
- Crohn’s disease
- Down syndrome
- Hansen’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis or inflammatory bowel disease
- Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Hypogeusia (or a reduced ability to taste things like sweet, sour, bitter, or salty substances)
Research also suggests that zinc stimulates the activity of at least 100 different enzymes in the human body, which can prevent further risks related to these diseases.
Platinum is a precious metal that has been used in a variety of medications and tools since the early 1970s. Its dense, malleable properties are essential to the production of pacemakers, catheters, stents and even cancer therapies.
According to the International Journal of Cancer Research and Treatment, platinum-based agents are used in more than 50 percent of the world’s anticancer drugs. Cisplatin–along with its successor drug, carboplatin–also use platinum complexes in the treatment of common tumors, such as breast, ovarian and lung cancer.
Although these healthy metals made remarkable improvements in the field of medicine, there’s still a greater demand for its applications in other industries.
Learn more about metals and their everyday uses by reading these articles below: