Minerals can help you stay healthy, prevent and even treat some diseases, according to a new study.
In a new article published online Monday in the American Journal of Public Health, the authors found that people who were able to absorb as many minerals as they could from their diet had a 50 percent reduced risk of developing some type of cancer.
Researchers say the findings may provide clues as to why some people who are on a high-carb diet may not develop cancer.
The study found that a person’s mineral intake also had an effect on their cancer risk.
For example, those who had a higher intake of potassium — the third most common mineral in the body — had a 15 percent reduced rate of developing cancer.
The authors suggest that because of their role in regulating blood sugar levels, some people on a low-carb, low-fat diet may be more susceptible to some cancers than others.
For the study, researchers from the University of Washington looked at data from a large database of people who had undergone a colonoscopy.
They also used data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which includes questions about blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.
The authors found there was an association between a person who had been tested for certain types of cancers — especially colon cancer — and their mineral intake.
In other words, people who ate the most minerals had a lower risk of colon cancer.
A second study, by researchers from Harvard Medical School, looked at a database of about 30,000 people who underwent colonoscopies between 2003 and 2008.
This time, researchers looked at their mineral intakes, blood pressure and their blood sugar, all of which correlated with their risk of cancer later in life.
People who ate more minerals tended to have lower rates of colorectal cancer.
But people who also ate more saturated fats and sugar also had lower risk.
People on diets that included a lot of carbohydrates had a 20 percent increased risk of colitis and colon cancer, while people on low- or moderate-carb diets had a 19 percent increased rate.
But there was no association between mineral intake and the rate of colision or colon cancer in either study.
For example, people on the Atkins diet, which is low in carbohydrate and fat, had a significantly higher risk of all cancers except colorerectal cancer, according the authors.
The researchers also looked at how many minerals a person ate per day and their risk for certain cancers.
The number of minerals a dieter was consuming was linked to their risk, too, with people who reported eating a lot fewer than 50 milligrams of calcium or magnesium a day having a 19-percent increased risk.
People on the Mediterranean diet, a low fat diet, also had a 13 percent increased chance of colon and rectal cancer and a 25-percent higher risk for lung cancer.
While the study authors say their findings are preliminary, they said the results do suggest that certain minerals are more important than others for people’s health.
They added that it’s important to be aware of your mineral intake as a whole and to follow a healthy eating plan.
“Minerals play a critical role in the normal functioning of our body,” the researchers wrote.
“We need to be mindful of what we eat and when we eat it.”