Why does the body require minerals? The body cannot make minerals, so it relies on dietary or supplemental sources. Minerals work with vitamins, enzymes, and hormones to keep the body healthy. Minerals can either work together to enhance their functions or against each other by competing for absorption. The 20 minerals the body requires are divided into two classes: major and trace. The major minerals are calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulfur. Trace minerals include boron, chromium, cobalt, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, silicon, vanadium, and zinc. Trace minerals affect every body function. For instance, zinc is needed for a strong immune system, chromium helps regulate blood sugar and insulin, and selenium is needed in the antioxidant defense system.