How Do Other Mineral Supplements Work?

Reviewed on 2/16/2022

How do other mineral supplements work?

Mineral supplements are taken to compensate for a natural deficiency in the body or insufficiency in dietary intake of mineral nutrients required for normal body functioning. Minerals that do not fall into any specific class of nutritional substances are categorized as other mineral supplements.

Other mineral supplements include the following:

  • Boron: Boron is a natural element in the body, food, and environment, and is taken as a dietary supplement to improve bone health and muscle strength, relieve menstrual cramps, and treat vaginal yeast infections. There is, however, insufficient scientific evidence to support many of boron’s uses.
    • Boron plays a role in cellular membrane function and metabolism of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus and may increase the levels of 17B estradiol, a type of estrogen, which may help reduce bone loss in women.
  • Fluoride (sodium fluoride): Fluoride is a compound used to prevent dental cavities and as a supplement to strengthen weak and brittle bones (osteoporosis). Fluoride protects teeth from being damaged by acid, promotes remineralization in damaged enamel, and inhibits the microbial process that causes dental plaque and cavities.
  • Potassium phosphate IV: Potassium phosphate intravenous (IV) is a combination of potassium and phosphate used to treat low phosphate levels in the blood (hypophosphatemia). Phosphate, a salt of phosphorus, and potassium are both essential mineral nutrients (electrolytes) that are vital for the normal functioning of all tissues and organs in the body.
    • Phosphorus is present in every cell of the body and is essential for teeth and bone formation, metabolism, kidney function, maintaining acid-base equilibrium, and muscle and nerve function. Potassium’s functions include maintaining regular heart rhythm, regulating cellular fluid levels, and moving nutrients into the cell and the wastes out.
  • Silicon: Silicon is a mineral used as a supplement to strengthen bones and improve hair, skin, and nail health, however, there is insufficient data to support its efficacy. There is some evidence that silicon plays a role in the synthesis of collagen, an important protein that provides elasticity to the skin, and strength to bones and connective tissue.
    • Silicon is different from silicone, a plastic-like substance that contains silicon, oxygen, and other chemicals used to make many medical devices such as breast implants and medical tubing.
  • Sodium phosphate IV: Sodium phosphate intravenous (IV) is a combination of sodium and phosphate used to treat low phosphate levels in the blood (hypophosphatemia). Phosphate has many vital biochemical functions in metabolic processes, enzyme reactions, and maintenance of teeth, bone, and muscle health.
    • Sodium is the principal mineral that regulates blood volume levels and extracellular fluid levels in the body.
  • Vanadium: Vanadium is a mineral supplement used to prevent vanadium deficiency and to improve the effects of insulin in diabetic and prediabetic patients. Vanadium may increase sensitivity to insulin and may also lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure, however, there is no good scientific evidence to support its efficacy.  

What are the uses of other mineral supplements?

Most of the other mineral supplements are typically taken orally as tablets, chewable tablets, liquids, lozenges, or capsules. Potassium phosphates and sodium phosphates are administered as intravenous (IV) injections into the vein to treat deficiency in phosphates.

Uses of other mineral supplements include:

  • Boron:
    • A mineral dietary supplement to improve bone strength, muscle strength, coordination, and thinking skills, and increase testosterone 
    • Treat osteoporosis
    • Relieve menstrual cramps
    • Treat vaginal yeast infections and skin infections with local application of boric acid
    • As antiseptic eyewash
  • Fluoride (sodium fluoride):
    • Prevention of dental caries (cavities)
    • Otosclerosis is an inherited disorder that causes hearing loss (off-label)
    • Osteoporosis (off-label)
    • Potassium phosphates:
    • Hypophosphatemia
  • Silicon:
    • Supplement for osteoporosis
    • Improvement of nail, skin, and hair quality
    • Sodium phosphates:
    • Hypophosphatemia
  • Vanadium:
    • Vanadium deficiency
    • Type 1 and 2 diabetes

What are side effects of other mineral supplements?

Side effects of other mineral supplements vary with each type of mineral. A few of the most common side effects may include:

  • Boron:
    • Blue/green discoloration of feces
    • Dermatitis
    • Diarrhea
    • Epigastric pain
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Renal impairment (rare, with high dose)
  • Fluoride (sodium fluoride):
    • Nausea
    • Rash
    • Vomiting
    • Discoloration of teeth
  • Potassium phosphates:
    • Paresthesias (abnormal skin sensations) of the extremities
    • Flaccid paralysis
    • Listlessness
    • Mental confusion
    • Weakness and heaviness of legs
    • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
    • Cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heart rhythms)
    • Heart block
    • Hypocalcemic tetany (involuntary muscle contraction due to drop in calcium levels, a side effect from phosphorus)
  • Silicon:
    • No known side effects. Silicon is present in the neurofibrillary tangles (abnormal accumulation of a type of protein known as tau protein) in Alzheimer’s disease
  • Sodium phosphates:
    • Anorexia (loss of appetite)
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Fatigue and lethargy
    • Irritability
    • Confusion, stupor, coma
    • Muscle twitching, hyperreflexia (overactive reflexes), spasticity (muscle rigidity)
    • Tremor, ataxia (balance, coordination, and speech disorders)
    • Hypocalcemic tetany
  • Vanadium:

Information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these products do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.

What are names of some of the other mineral supplements?

Generic and brand names of some of the other mineral supplements include:

  • boron
  • fluoride
  • Fluoritab
  • Karidium
  • Luride
  • Pediaflor
  • potassium phosphates, IV
  • silicon
  • sodium fluoride
  • sodium phosphates, IV
  • vanadium

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