Table 1.

Mineral score components, rationale for their inclusion, and common dietary sources

ComponentRationale for inclusionCommon dietary sources
Possibly predominately colon anticarcinogenic
CalciumBinds to bile acids and free fatty acids; modulation of the APC colon carcinogenesis pathway through mediating E-cadherin and β-catenin expression via the calcium-sensing receptor; inhibition of proliferation and inducing terminal differentiation (4, 5)Dairy products, grains, supplements (6)
MagnesiumReduces oxidative stress by improving insulin sensitivity, maintaining genome stability, and preventing mutations in colonic epithelial cells; competes with calcium for intestinal absorption and transport (7–9)Seafood, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, supplements (10)
ManganeseEssential component of manganese SOD, an antioxidant enzyme that protects mitochondria from oxygen radical damage (11)Whole grains, leafy vegetables, supplements (12)
ZincInhibits NADPH oxidases and suppresses the proliferation of colorectal cancer cells through activation of extracellular signal regulated kinases; essential component of the antioxidant enzyme, Cu/Zn-SOD (13, 14)Red meat, poultry, oysters, supplements (15)
SeleniumDecreases RONS induced by androgens, aging, or microbial gut flora; essential component of glutathione peroxidase, an antioxidant enzyme that catalyzes the breakdown of hydrogen peroxide to water, and organic hydroxyperoxides to alcohol (16)Supplements, seafood, organ meats (17)
PotassiumVoltage-gated potassium channels inhibit proliferation in many cell types; voltage-gated channel conductance activates T-lymphocytes; central regulators for cell volume by governing potassium ion flow and intracellular osmolarity that drives obligatory water flow across cell membrane (18, 19)Legumes, potatoes, meat, nuts (20)
IodineActs as an electron donor and reduces free radicals; indirectly renders amino acids, such as tyrosine and histidine, and fatty acids, such as arachidonic acid, less oxidized through iodination (21)Supplements, dairy products, eggs, table salt additive (22)
Possibly predominately colon procarcinogenic
IronPrimarily available from red meat; preferentially catalyzes oxidative reactions through production of free radicals, resulting in lipid, protein, and DNA and other nucleic acid damage; increases cell proliferation in the mucosa through lipoperoxidation and/or cytotoxicity of fecal water (14)Red meat, grains, supplements (23)
CopperAntioxidant and prooxidant properties; binds to proteins; involved in structural and catalytic properties of enzymes in oxidation processes; generates RONS by Fenton reaction; chronic copper overload leads to oxidative stress conditions; essential component of the antioxidant enzyme, Cu/Zn-SOD (13, 24, 25)Shellfish, organ meats, whole grains, supplements (26)
PhosphorusRapidly absorbed as hormonal mechanisms attempt to maintain the serum inorganic phosphate concentration within narrow limits; exposure of cells to a brief high-serum inorganic phosphorus concentration potentially signals alterations in cell functions that lead to deleterious effects; phosphate binds calcium, thus preventing calcium from binding to bile acids (27, 28)Grains, meat, milk (29)
SodiumDecreases 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 activity in the colonic epithelium, slowing down cortisol catabolism (19, 30, 31); may impair immune defenses in the colon epitheliumProcessed foods, salt added to foods (32)
  • Abbreviations: APC, adenomatous polyposis coli; Cu/Zn, copper-zinc; SOD, superoxide dismutase; NADPH, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate; RONS, reactive oxygen and nitrogen species.