There are various reasons why many people either choose to use or have to use powder vitamins for their daily vitamin and nutritional needs. Some people have difficulty swallowing tablets or capsules for purely psychological reasons. They have no physical reason why it’s a challenge for them to swallow. This author fits into that category.

When I was a teenager, I once swallowed approximately 20 vitamins in one swallow, to make a long story short, I was at camp and had gotten behind on my vitamins. I could not bring myself to throw them away, (also I wanted to be able to say that I had taken them), and I couldn’t bring them home, how disappointing for mom.

Anyway, now I find myself gagging sometimes when I try to take even two. I have no physical limitations, I just have a heightened gag reflex and it’s likely all in my head, but I’d also bet there are many people just like me.

In addition to psychological reasons, there are physical reasons why some people need to use powder vitamins instead of tablets or capsules. Older and elderly people sometimes develop difficulty swallowing, called dysphagia as they age.

There are also many conditions that can cause dysphagia like a stroke, and brain or spinal injury. Some have problems with the nervous system such as achalasia, post-polio syndrome, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Parkinson’s disease.

An immune system problem can cause swelling, inflammation or weakness. The muscles of the esophagus may spasm. Some have Scleroderma, Gastroesophageal reflux disease, ulcers in the esophagus, Barrett’s esophagus, esophageal webs, Diverticula, esophageal tumors, masses on the outside of the esophagus like lymph nodes, tumor and bone spurs, or even just an allergic reaction. This is not an exhaustive list, but you can see many many people can have difficulty with swallowing. And, anyone who is having any of these issues is likely in desperate need of good nutrition!

One other physical limitation has been on the rise for the last few years. These people may very well have the ability to swallow, no psychological or physical reason they can’t swallow, but their physical reason is why they shouldn’t swallow. These are the people who have under gone or are going to under go some form of stomach reduction surgery for weight loss. When you stomach is the size of a peanut, swallowing even one tablet could be bad news.

The challenge for all the people who cannot use tablets or capsules for whatever reason, is to find an alternative. The alternative they need to look for should have all the vitamins, minerals and more, which are necessary for optimal nutrition. Most people who are “swallow challenged” actually can have a greater need for solid nutrition, and their answer is in supplements or powder vitamins.

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The three main functions of minerals are: components of the skeleton, helping to create the framework of the body, as soluble salts which help control the makeup of body fluids, and as essential supports to the action of many enzymes and other proteins. Minerals are the inorganic substance that occurs naturally in rocks and in the ground and has its own characteristic appearance and chemical composition. There are many different types of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, selenium, and zinc.

Calcium is a major mineral essential for healthy and strong bones and teeth. It is also ensures the proper functioning of muscles and nerves and even helps your blood clot. It is of very much importance for the growing children.

The sources of calcium are milk, cheese, eggs, dairy products, fruits, green vegetables, almonds, seaweeds (such as kelp, wakame and hijiki), nuts, beans and pulses, breads and fish.

The deficiency of calcium can affect bone and teeth formation, while its excess can lead to kidney stones.

Magnesium is an important mineral that helps the body to maintain muscles, nerves, and bones. It is also used in heart rhythm, energy metabolism and protein synthesis.

The major sources of magnesium are spinach, nuts, seeds, whole grains, water, fruits and vegetables.

The deficiency of magnesium can cause sensitiveness to noise, nervousness, irritability, mental depression, confusion, twitching, trembling, apprehension, insomnia, muscle weakness and cramps in the toes, feet, legs, or fingers.

Potassium is a mineral that serves as an electrolyte and is involved in the balance of fluid within the body. It is important in controlling the activity of the heart, muscles, nervous system and just about every cell in the body. It regulates the water balance and acid-base balance in the blood and tissues. Our bodies contain more than twice as much potassium as sodium (typically nine ounces versus four ounces).

The major sources of potassium are bananas and orange juice. Some other sources include breads, cereals and other grain products.

The deficiency of potassium can cause your muscles not to work properly and you will feel weak. The excess of potassium can cause an irregular heart beat.

Selenium is an essential mineral that functions largely in the form of proteins, called seleno-proteins, which act as enzymes and help prevent damage to cells in the body by oxidants in the environment or those produced by normal metabolism.

The sources of selenium are seafood, some meats (such as kidney and liver), and some grains and seeds.

The deficiency of selenium causes “Keshan” disease, a fatal form of cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease). While its excess can cause reversible balding and brittle nails, give a garlic odor to the breath, and cause intestinal distress, weakness and slowed mental functioning.

Zinc is an essential mineral which is involved in the manufacture of protein and in cell division. It is also a constituent of insulin, and is concerned with the sense of smell.

The sources of zinc are eggs, cereal grains, meat, liver, seafood and nuts.

The deficiency of zinc can cause short stature, anemia, increased pigmentation of skin, enlarged liver and spleen (hepatosplenomegaly), impaired gonadal function, impaired wound healing, and immune deficiency. The excess of zinc can cause gastrointestinal irritation (upset stomach) and cause copper deficiency.

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