Dietary mineral

Dietary mineral

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Dietary mineral'
Start a new discussion about 'Dietary mineral'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Dietary minerals are the chemical element
Chemical element
A chemical element is a pure chemical substance consisting of one type of atom distinguished by its atomic number, which is the number of protons in its nucleus. Familiar examples of elements include carbon, oxygen, aluminum, iron, copper, gold, mercury, and lead.As of November 2011, 118 elements...

s required by living organism
Organism
In biology, an organism is any contiguous living system . In at least some form, all organisms are capable of response to stimuli, reproduction, growth and development, and maintenance of homoeostasis as a stable whole.An organism may either be unicellular or, as in the case of humans, comprise...

s, other than the four elements carbon
Carbon
Carbon is the chemical element with symbol C and atomic number 6. As a member of group 14 on the periodic table, it is nonmetallic and tetravalent—making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds...

, hydrogen
Hydrogen
Hydrogen is the chemical element with atomic number 1. It is represented by the symbol H. With an average atomic weight of , hydrogen is the lightest and most abundant chemical element, constituting roughly 75% of the Universe's chemical elemental mass. Stars in the main sequence are mainly...

, nitrogen
Nitrogen
Nitrogen is a chemical element that has the symbol N, atomic number of 7 and atomic mass 14.00674 u. Elemental nitrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and mostly inert diatomic gas at standard conditions, constituting 78.08% by volume of Earth's atmosphere...

, and oxygen
Oxygen
Oxygen is the element with atomic number 8 and represented by the symbol O. Its name derives from the Greek roots ὀξύς and -γενής , because at the time of naming, it was mistakenly thought that all acids required oxygen in their composition...

 present in common organic molecules
Organic chemistry
Organic chemistry is a subdiscipline within chemistry involving the scientific study of the structure, properties, composition, reactions, and preparation of carbon-based compounds, hydrocarbons, and their derivatives...

. Examples of mineral elements include calcium
Calcium
Calcium is the chemical element with the symbol Ca and atomic number 20. It has an atomic mass of 40.078 amu. Calcium is a soft gray alkaline earth metal, and is the fifth-most-abundant element by mass in the Earth's crust...

, magnesium
Magnesium
Magnesium is a chemical element with the symbol Mg, atomic number 12, and common oxidation number +2. It is an alkaline earth metal and the eighth most abundant element in the Earth's crust and ninth in the known universe as a whole...

, potassium
Potassium
Potassium is the chemical element with the symbol K and atomic number 19. Elemental potassium is a soft silvery-white alkali metal that oxidizes rapidly in air and is very reactive with water, generating sufficient heat to ignite the hydrogen emitted in the reaction.Potassium and sodium are...

, sodium
Sodium
Sodium is a chemical element with the symbol Na and atomic number 11. It is a soft, silvery-white, highly reactive metal and is a member of the alkali metals; its only stable isotope is 23Na. It is an abundant element that exists in numerous minerals, most commonly as sodium chloride...

, zinc
Zinc
Zinc , or spelter , is a metallic chemical element; it has the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is the first element in group 12 of the periodic table. Zinc is, in some respects, chemically similar to magnesium, because its ion is of similar size and its only common oxidation state is +2...

, and iodine
Iodine
Iodine is a chemical element with the symbol I and atomic number 53. The name is pronounced , , or . The name is from the , meaning violet or purple, due to the color of elemental iodine vapor....

. Most minerals that enter into the dietary physiology
Physiology
Physiology is the science of the function of living systems. This includes how organisms, organ systems, organs, cells, and bio-molecules carry out the chemical or physical functions that exist in a living system. The highest honor awarded in physiology is the Nobel Prize in Physiology or...

 of organisms consist of simple chemical element
Chemical element
A chemical element is a pure chemical substance consisting of one type of atom distinguished by its atomic number, which is the number of protons in its nucleus. Familiar examples of elements include carbon, oxygen, aluminum, iron, copper, gold, mercury, and lead.As of November 2011, 118 elements...

s. Larger aggregates
Chemical compound
A chemical compound is a pure chemical substance consisting of two or more different chemical elements that can be separated into simpler substances by chemical reactions. Chemical compounds have a unique and defined chemical structure; they consist of a fixed ratio of atoms that are held together...

 of mineral
Mineral
A mineral is a naturally occurring solid chemical substance formed through biogeochemical processes, having characteristic chemical composition, highly ordered atomic structure, and specific physical properties. By comparison, a rock is an aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids and does not...

s need to be broken down for absorption. Bacteria play an essential role in the weathering of primary minerals that results in the release of nutrients for their own nutrition and for the nutrition of others in the ecological food chain
Food chain
A food web depicts feeding connections in an ecological community. Ecologists can broadly lump all life forms into one of two categories called trophic levels: 1) the autotrophs, and 2) the heterotrophs...

. Scientists are only recently starting to appreciate the magnitude and role that microorganisms have in the global cycling and formation of biological minerals. Plants absorb dissolved minerals in soils, which are subsequently picked up by the herbivores that eat them and so on, the minerals move up the food chain. Larger organisms may also consume soil (geophagia) and visit mineral licks
Salt lick
A mineral lick is a natural mineral deposit where animals in nutrient-poor ecosystems can obtain essential mineral nutrients...

 to obtain limiting mineral nutrients they are unable to acquire through other components of their diet.

Essential chemical elements


Some sources state that sixteen chemical elements are required to support human biochemical processes by serving structural and functional roles as well as electrolyte
Electrolyte
In chemistry, an electrolyte is any substance containing free ions that make the substance electrically conductive. The most typical electrolyte is an ionic solution, but molten electrolytes and solid electrolytes are also possible....

s: As many as 26 elements are suggested to be used by mammals, as a result of studies of biochemical, special uptake, and metabolic handling studies. However, many of these additional elements have no well-defined biochemical function known at present. Most of the known and suggested dietary elements are of relatively low atomic weight, and are reasonably common on land, or at least, common in the ocean (iodine, sodium):

Periodic table highlighting dietary elements
H   He
Li Be   B C N O F Ne
Na Mg   Al Si P S Cl Ar
K Ca Sc   Ti V Cr Mn Fe Co Ni Cu Zn Ga Ge As Se Br Kr
Rb Sr Y   Zr Nb Mo Tc Ru Rh Pd Ag Cd In Sn Sb Te I Xe
Cs Ba La * Hf Ta W Re Os Ir Pt Au Hg Tl Pb Bi Po At Rn
Fr Ra Ac ** Rf Db Sg Bh Hs Mt Ds Rg
 
  * Ce Pr Nd Pm Sm Eu Gd Tb Dy Ho Er Tm Yb Lu
  ** Th Pa U Np Pu Am Cm Bk Cf Es Fm Md No Lr

The four organic basic elements Quantity elements Essential trace element
Trace element
In analytical chemistry, a trace element is an element in a sample that has an average concentration of less than 100 parts per million measured in atomic count, or less than 100 micrograms per gram....

s
Suggested function from biochemistry and handling but no identified biological function in humans


The following play important roles in biological processes:
Dietary element RDA/AI Description Category Insufficiency Excess
Potassium
Potassium
Potassium is the chemical element with the symbol K and atomic number 19. Elemental potassium is a soft silvery-white alkali metal that oxidizes rapidly in air and is very reactive with water, generating sufficient heat to ignite the hydrogen emitted in the reaction.Potassium and sodium are...

4700 mg Quantity is a systemic electrolyte
Electrolyte
In chemistry, an electrolyte is any substance containing free ions that make the substance electrically conductive. The most typical electrolyte is an ionic solution, but molten electrolytes and solid electrolytes are also possible....

 and is essential in coregulating ATP
Adenosine triphosphate
Adenosine-5'-triphosphate is a multifunctional nucleoside triphosphate used in cells as a coenzyme. It is often called the "molecular unit of currency" of intracellular energy transfer. ATP transports chemical energy within cells for metabolism...

 with sodium. Dietary sources include legumes, potato skin, tomato
Tomato
The word "tomato" may refer to the plant or the edible, typically red, fruit which it bears. Originating in South America, the tomato was spread around the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas, and its many varieties are now widely grown, often in greenhouses in cooler...

es, and banana
Banana
Banana is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa and for the fruit they produce. Bananas come in a variety of sizes and colors when ripe, including yellow, purple, and red....

s.
hypokalemia
Hypokalemia
Hypokalemia or hypokalaemia , also hypopotassemia or hypopotassaemia , refers to the condition in which the concentration of potassium in the blood is low...

hyperkalemia
Hyperkalemia
Hyperkalemia refers to the condition in which the concentration of the electrolyte potassium in the blood is elevated...

Chlorine
Chlorine
Chlorine is the chemical element with atomic number 17 and symbol Cl. It is the second lightest halogen, found in the periodic table in group 17. The element forms diatomic molecules under standard conditions, called dichlorine...

2300 mg Quantity is needed for production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach and in cellular pump functions. Table salt (sodium chloride) is the main dietary source. hypochloremia
Hypochloremia
Hypochloremia is an electrolyte disturbance whereby there is an abnormally depleted level of the chloride ion in the blood.It rarely occurs in the absence of other abnormalities.It can be associated with hypoventilation....

hyperchloremia
Hyperchloremia
Hyperchloremia is an electrolyte disturbance in which there is an abnormally elevated level of the chloride ion in the blood. The normal serum range for chloride is 97 to 107 mEq/L. Hyperchloremia is defined as a chloride concentration exceeding this level....

Sodium
Sodium
Sodium is a chemical element with the symbol Na and atomic number 11. It is a soft, silvery-white, highly reactive metal and is a member of the alkali metals; its only stable isotope is 23Na. It is an abundant element that exists in numerous minerals, most commonly as sodium chloride...

1500 mg Quantity is a systemic electrolyte and is essential in coregulating ATP
Adenosine triphosphate
Adenosine-5'-triphosphate is a multifunctional nucleoside triphosphate used in cells as a coenzyme. It is often called the "molecular unit of currency" of intracellular energy transfer. ATP transports chemical energy within cells for metabolism...

 with potassium. Dietary sources include table salt (sodium chloride, the main source), sea vegetables, milk
Milk
Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many...

, and spinach
Spinach
Spinach is an edible flowering plant in the family of Amaranthaceae. It is native to central and southwestern Asia. It is an annual plant , which grows to a height of up to 30 cm. Spinach may survive over winter in temperate regions...

.
hyponatremia
Hyponatremia
Hyponatremia is an electrolyte disturbance in which the sodium concentration in the serum is lower than normal. In the vast majority of cases, hyponatremia occurs as a result of excess body water diluting the serum sodium and is not due to sodium deficiency. Sodium is the dominant extracellular...

hypernatremia
Hypernatremia
Hypernatremia or hypernatraemia is an electrolyte disturbance that is defined by an elevated sodium level in the blood. Hypernatremia is generally not caused by an excess of sodium, but rather by a relative deficit of free water in the body...

Calcium
Calcium
Calcium is the chemical element with the symbol Ca and atomic number 20. It has an atomic mass of 40.078 amu. Calcium is a soft gray alkaline earth metal, and is the fifth-most-abundant element by mass in the Earth's crust...

1300 mg Quantity is needed for muscle, heart and digestive system health, builds bone, supports synthesis and function of blood cells. Dietary sources of calcium include dairy product
Dairy product
Dairy products are generally defined as foods produced from cow's or domestic buffalo's milk. They are usually high-energy-yielding food products. A production plant for such processing is called a dairy or a dairy factory. Raw milk for processing comes mainly from cows, and, to a lesser extent,...

s, canned fish with bone
Fish (food)
Fish is a food consumed by many species, including humans. The word "fish" refers to both the animal and to the food prepared from it. Fish has been an important source of protein for humans throughout recorded history.-Terminology:...

s (salmon, sardines), green leafy vegetables, nuts
Nut (fruit)
A nut is a hard-shelled fruit of some plants having an indehiscent seed. While a wide variety of dried seeds and fruits are called nuts in English, only a certain number of them are considered by biologists to be true nuts...

 and seeds
SEEDS
SEEDS is a voluntary organisation registered under the Societies Act of India....

.
hypocalcaemia
Hypocalcaemia
In medicine, hypocalcaemia is the presence of low serum calcium levels in the blood, usually taken as less than 2.1 mmol/L or 9 mg/dl or an ionized calcium level of less than 1.1 mmol/L or 4.5 mg/dL. It is a type of electrolyte disturbance...

hypercalcaemia
Hypercalcaemia
Hypercalcaemia is an elevated calcium level in the blood. . It can be an asymptomatic laboratory finding, but because an elevated calcium level is often indicative of other diseases, a workup should be undertaken if it persists...

Phosphorus
Phosphorus
Phosphorus is the chemical element that has the symbol P and atomic number 15. A multivalent nonmetal of the nitrogen group, phosphorus as a mineral is almost always present in its maximally oxidized state, as inorganic phosphate rocks...

700 mg Quantity is a component of bones (see apatite
Apatite
Apatite is a group of phosphate minerals, usually referring to hydroxylapatite, fluorapatite, chlorapatite and bromapatite, named for high concentrations of OH−, F−, Cl− or Br− ions, respectively, in the crystal...

), cells, in energy processing and many other functions.", is found in red meat, dairy foods, fish, poultry, bread, rice, oats. In biological contexts, usually seen as phosphate
Phosphate
A phosphate, an inorganic chemical, is a salt of phosphoric acid. In organic chemistry, a phosphate, or organophosphate, is an ester of phosphoric acid. Organic phosphates are important in biochemistry and biogeochemistry or ecology. Inorganic phosphates are mined to obtain phosphorus for use in...

.
hypophosphatemia
Hypophosphatemia
Hypophosphatemia is an electrolyte disturbance in which there is an abnormally low level of phosphate in the blood. The condition has many causes, but is most commonly seen when malnourished patients are given large amounts of carbohydrates, which creates a high phosphorus demand by cells,...

hyperphosphatemia
Hyperphosphatemia
Hyperphosphatemia is an electrolyte disturbance in which there is an abnormally elevated level of phosphate in the blood. Often, calcium levels are lowered due to precipitation of phosphate with the calcium in tissues.-Signs and symptoms:...

Magnesium
Magnesium
Magnesium is a chemical element with the symbol Mg, atomic number 12, and common oxidation number +2. It is an alkaline earth metal and the eighth most abundant element in the Earth's crust and ninth in the known universe as a whole...

420 mg Quantity is required for processing ATP
Adenosine triphosphate
Adenosine-5'-triphosphate is a multifunctional nucleoside triphosphate used in cells as a coenzyme. It is often called the "molecular unit of currency" of intracellular energy transfer. ATP transports chemical energy within cells for metabolism...

 and for bones. Dietary sources include nut
Nut (fruit)
A nut is a hard-shelled fruit of some plants having an indehiscent seed. While a wide variety of dried seeds and fruits are called nuts in English, only a certain number of them are considered by biologists to be true nuts...

s, soy beans, and cocoa mass.
hypomagnesemia
Hypomagnesemia
Hypomagnesemia is an electrolyte disturbance in which there is an abnormally low level of magnesium in the blood. Usually a serum level less than 0.7 mmol/L is used as reference. The prefix hypo- means low . The middle 'magnes' refers to magnesium...

,
magnesium deficiency
Magnesium deficiency (medicine)
Magnesium deficiency refers to an intake of dietary magnesium below minimal levels, which can result in numerous symptoms and diseases. These can generally be remedied by an increase of magnesium in diet or oral supplements...

hypermagnesemia
Hypermagnesemia
Hypermagnesemia is an electrolyte disturbance in which there is an abnormally elevated level of magnesium in the blood. Usually this results in excess of magnesium in the body....

Zinc
Zinc
Zinc , or spelter , is a metallic chemical element; it has the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is the first element in group 12 of the periodic table. Zinc is, in some respects, chemically similar to magnesium, because its ion is of similar size and its only common oxidation state is +2...

11 mg Trace is pervasive and required for several enzymes such as carboxypeptidase
Carboxypeptidase
A carboxypeptidase is a protease enzyme that hydrolyzes the peptide bond of an amino acid residue at the carboxy-terminal end...

, liver alcohol dehydrogenase, and carbonic anhydrase
Carbonic anhydrase
The carbonic anhydrases form a family of enzymes that catalyze the rapid interconversion of carbon dioxide and water to bicarbonate and protons , a reversible reaction that occurs rather slowly in the absence of a catalyst...

.
zinc deficiency
Zinc deficiency
Zinc deficiency is insufficient zinc to meet the needs of biological organisms. It can occur in both plants and animals. Zinc deficient soil is soil in which there is insufficient zinc to allow plants to grow normally.-Description:...

zinc toxicity
Zinc toxicity
Even though zinc is an essential requirement for a healthy body, excess zinc can be harmful, and cause zinc toxicity. Excessive absorption of zinc can suppress copper and iron absorption. The free zinc ion in solution is highly toxic to plants, invertebrates, and even vertebrate fish...

Iron
Iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

18 mg Trace is required for many proteins and enzymes, notably hemoglobin
Hemoglobin
Hemoglobin is the iron-containing oxygen-transport metalloprotein in the red blood cells of all vertebrates, with the exception of the fish family Channichthyidae, as well as the tissues of some invertebrates...

 to prevent anemia
Anemia
Anemia is a decrease in number of red blood cells or less than the normal quantity of hemoglobin in the blood. However, it can include decreased oxygen-binding ability of each hemoglobin molecule due to deformity or lack in numerical development as in some other types of hemoglobin...

. Dietary sources include red meat
Red meat
Red meat in traditional culinary terminology is meat which is red when raw and not white when cooked. In the nutritional sciences, red meat includes all mammal meat. Red meat includes the meat of most adult mammals and some fowl ....

, leafy green vegetables, fish
Fish (food)
Fish is a food consumed by many species, including humans. The word "fish" refers to both the animal and to the food prepared from it. Fish has been an important source of protein for humans throughout recorded history.-Terminology:...

 (tuna, salmon), egg
Egg (food)
Eggs are laid by females of many different species, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, and have probably been eaten by mankind for millennia. Bird and reptile eggs consist of a protective eggshell, albumen , and vitellus , contained within various thin membranes...

s, dried fruit
Dried fruit
Dried fruit is fruit where the majority of the original water content has been removed either naturally, through sun drying, or through the use of specialized dryers or dehydrators. Dried fruit has a long tradition of use dating back to the fourth millennium BC in Mesopotamia, and is prized...

s, bean
Bean
Bean is a common name for large plant seeds of several genera of the family Fabaceae used for human food or animal feed....

s, whole grain
Whole grain
Whole grains are cereal grains that contain cereal germ, endosperm, and bran, in contrast to refined grains, which retain only the endosperm. Whole grains can generally be sprouted while refined grains generally will not sprout. Whole-meal products are made by grinding whole grains in order to make...

s, and enriched grains.
anaemia iron overload disorder
Iron overload disorder
In medicine, iron overload indicates accumulation of iron in the body from any cause. The most important causes are hereditary hemochromatosis , a genetic disease, and transfusional iron overload, which can result from repeated blood transfusion....

Manganese
Manganese
Manganese is a chemical element, designated by the symbol Mn. It has the atomic number 25. It is found as a free element in nature , and in many minerals...

2.3 mg Trace is a cofactor
Cofactor (biochemistry)
A cofactor is a non-protein chemical compound that is bound to a protein and is required for the protein's biological activity. These proteins are commonly enzymes, and cofactors can be considered "helper molecules" that assist in biochemical transformations....

 in enzyme
Enzyme
Enzymes are proteins that catalyze chemical reactions. In enzymatic reactions, the molecules at the beginning of the process, called substrates, are converted into different molecules, called products. Almost all chemical reactions in a biological cell need enzymes in order to occur at rates...

 functions.
manganese deficiency
Manganese deficiency (medicine)
Manganese deficiency in humans results in a number of medical problems. Manganese is a vital element of nutrition in very small quantities...

manganism
Manganism
Manganism or manganese poisoning is a toxic condition resulting from chronic exposure to manganese and first identified in 1837 by James Couper.- Presentation :...

Copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

 
900 µg Trace is required component of many redox enzymes, including cytochrome c oxidase
Cytochrome c oxidase
The enzyme cytochrome c oxidase or Complex IV is a large transmembrane protein complex found in bacteria and the mitochondrion.It is the last enzyme in the respiratory electron transport chain of mitochondria located in the mitochondrial membrane...

.
copper deficiency
Copper deficiency
Copper deficiency is a very rare hematological and neurological disorder. The neurodegenerative syndrome of copper deficiency has been recognized for some time in ruminant animals, in which it is commonly known as "swayback" The disease involves a nutritional deficiency in the trace element copper...

copper toxicity
Copper toxicity
Copper toxicity refers to the consequences of an excess of copper in the body. Copper toxicity can occur from eating acid food that has been cooked in un-coated copper cookware, or from exposure to excess copper in drinking water or other environmental sources....

Iodine
Iodine
Iodine is a chemical element with the symbol I and atomic number 53. The name is pronounced , , or . The name is from the , meaning violet or purple, due to the color of elemental iodine vapor....

150 µg Trace is required not only for the synthesis of thyroid hormones, thyroxine
Thyroxine
Thyroxine, or 3,5,3',5'-tetraiodothyronine , a form of thyroid hormones, is the major hormone secreted by the follicular cells of the thyroid gland.-Synthesis and regulation:...

 and triiodothyronine
Triiodothyronine
Triiodothyronine, C15H12I3NO4, also known as T3, is a thyroid hormone. It affects almost every physiological process in the body, including growth and development, metabolism, body temperature, and heart rate....

 and to prevent goiter, but also, probably as an antioxidant, for extrathyroidal organs as mammary and salivary glands and for gastric mucosa and immune system (thymus):
  • Iodine in biology
    Iodine in biology
    Iodine is an essential trace element for life, the heaviest element commonly needed by living organisms, and the second-heaviest known to be used by any form of life .-The thyroid:Iodine's main role in animal biology is as constituents of the thyroid hormones, thyroxine and...

iodine deficiency
Iodine deficiency
Iodine is an essential trace element; the thyroid hormones thyroxine and triiodotyronine contain iodine. In areas where there is little iodine in the diet—typically remote inlandareas where no marine foods are eaten—iodine deficiency gives rise to...

iodism
Selenium
Selenium
Selenium is a chemical element with atomic number 34, chemical symbol Se, and an atomic mass of 78.96. It is a nonmetal, whose properties are intermediate between those of adjacent chalcogen elements sulfur and tellurium...

55 µg Trace a cofactor essential to activity of antioxidant
Antioxidant
An antioxidant is a molecule capable of inhibiting the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that transfers electrons or hydrogen from a substance to an oxidizing agent. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals. In turn, these radicals can start chain reactions. When...

 enzymes like glutathione peroxidase
Glutathione peroxidase
Glutathione peroxidase is the general name of an enzyme family with peroxidase activity whose main biological role is to protect the organism from oxidative damage...

.
selenium deficiency
Selenium deficiency
Selenium deficiency is relatively rare in healthy well-nourished individuals. Few cases have been reported.-Causes:It can occur in patients with severely compromised intestinal function, those undergoing total parenteral nutrition, those who have had gastrointestinal bypass surgery, and also on...

selenosis
Molybdenum
Molybdenum
Molybdenum , is a Group 6 chemical element with the symbol Mo and atomic number 42. The name is from Neo-Latin Molybdaenum, from Ancient Greek , meaning lead, itself proposed as a loanword from Anatolian Luvian and Lydian languages, since its ores were confused with lead ores...

45 µg Trace the oxidase
Oxidase
An oxidase is any enzyme that catalyzes an oxidation-reduction reaction involving molecular oxygen as the electron acceptor. In these reactions, oxygen is reduced to water or hydrogen peroxide ....

s xanthine oxidase
Xanthine oxidase
Xanthine oxidase Xanthine oxidase Xanthine oxidase (XO (sometimes 'XAO'), a form of xanthine oxidoreductase that generates reactive oxygen species. Is an enzyme that catalyzes the oxidation of hypoxanthine to xanthine and can further catalyze the oxidation of xanthine to uric acid...

, aldehyde oxidase
Aldehyde oxidase
Aldehyde oxidase is an enzyme which generates carboxylic acids from aldehydes. It catalyzes the conversion of an aldehyde in the presence of oxygen and water to an acid and hydrogen peroxide.* an aldehyde + H2O + O2 a carboxylate + H2O2 + H+...

, and sulfite oxidase
Sulfite oxidase
Sulfite oxidase is an enzyme in the mitochondria of all eukaryotes. It oxidizes sulfite to sulfate and, via cytochrome c, transfers the electrons produced to the electron transport chain, allowing generation of ATP in oxidative phosphorylation...

molybdenum deficiency
Molybdenum deficiency
Molybdenum deficiency refers to the clinical consequences of inadequate supplies of molybdenum in the diet.The amount of molybdenum required is relatively small, and molybdenum deficiency usually doesn't occur in natural settings. However, it can occur in individuals receiving parenteral nutrition....


Dietary nutrition


Dietitian
Dietitian
Dietitians supervise the preparation and service of food, develop modified diets, participate in research, and educate individuals and groups on good nutritional habits. The goals of dietitians are to provide medical nutritional intervention, and to obtain, safely prepare, serve and advise on...

s may recommend that dietary elements are best supplied by ingesting specific foods rich with the chemical element(s) of interest. The elements may be naturally present in the food (e.g., calcium in dairy milk) or added to the food (e.g., orange juice fortified
Food fortification
Food fortification or enrichment is the process of adding micronutrients to food. It can be purely a commercial choice to provide extra nutrients in a food, or sometimes it is a public health policy which aims to reduce numbers of people with dietary deficiencies in a population.Diets that lack...

 with calcium; iodized salt
Iodised salt
Iodised salt is table salt mixed with a minute amount of various iodine-containing salts. The ingestion of iodide prevents iodine deficiency. Worldwide, iodine deficiency affects about two billion people and is the leading preventable cause of mental retardation. It also causes thyroid gland...

, salt fortified with iodine
Iodine
Iodine is a chemical element with the symbol I and atomic number 53. The name is pronounced , , or . The name is from the , meaning violet or purple, due to the color of elemental iodine vapor....

). Dietary supplement
Dietary supplement
A dietary supplement, also known as food supplement or nutritional supplement, is a preparation intended to supplement the diet and provide nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, fatty acids, or amino acids, that may be missing or may not be consumed in sufficient quantities in a person's diet...

s can be formulated to contain several different chemical elements (as compounds), a combination of vitamin
Vitamin
A vitamin is an organic compound required as a nutrient in tiny amounts by an organism. In other words, an organic chemical compound is called a vitamin when it cannot be synthesized in sufficient quantities by an organism, and must be obtained from the diet. Thus, the term is conditional both on...

s and/or other chemical compounds, or a single element (as a compound or mixture of compounds), such as calcium
Calcium
Calcium is the chemical element with the symbol Ca and atomic number 20. It has an atomic mass of 40.078 amu. Calcium is a soft gray alkaline earth metal, and is the fifth-most-abundant element by mass in the Earth's crust...

 (as carbonate, citrate, etc.) or magnesium
Magnesium
Magnesium is a chemical element with the symbol Mg, atomic number 12, and common oxidation number +2. It is an alkaline earth metal and the eighth most abundant element in the Earth's crust and ninth in the known universe as a whole...

 (as oxide, etc.), chromium
Chromium
Chromium is a chemical element which has the symbol Cr and atomic number 24. It is the first element in Group 6. It is a steely-gray, lustrous, hard metal that takes a high polish and has a high melting point. It is also odorless, tasteless, and malleable...

 (usually as picolinate) or iron (as bis-glycinate).

The dietary focus on chemical elements derives from an interest in supporting the biochemical reaction
Chemical reaction
A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the transformation of one set of chemical substances to another. Chemical reactions can be either spontaneous, requiring no input of energy, or non-spontaneous, typically following the input of some type of energy, such as heat, light or electricity...

s of metabolism
Metabolism
Metabolism is the set of chemical reactions that happen in the cells of living organisms to sustain life. These processes allow organisms to grow and reproduce, maintain their structures, and respond to their environments. Metabolism is usually divided into two categories...

 with the required elemental components. Appropriate intake levels of certain chemical elements have been demonstrated to be required to maintain optimal health. Diet can meet all the body's chemical element requirements, although supplements can be used when some requirements (e.g., calcium, which is found mainly in dairy products) are not adequately met by the diet, or when chronic or acute deficiencies arise from pathology, injury, etc. Research has supported that altering inorganic mineral compounds (carbonates, oxides, etc.) by reacting them with organic ligands (amino acids, organic acids, etc.) improves the bioavailability of the supplemented mineral.

Other elements


Many elements have been suggested as essential, but such claims have usually not been confirmed. Definitive evidence for efficacy comes from the characterization of a biomolecule containing the element with an identifiable and testable function. One problem with identifying efficacy is that some elements are innocuous at low concentrations and are pervasive (examples: silicon and nickel in soild and dust), so proof of efficacy is lacking because deficiencies are difficult to reproduce.
Element Description Excess
Sulfur
Sulfur
Sulfur or sulphur is the chemical element with atomic number 16. In the periodic table it is represented by the symbol S. It is an abundant, multivalent non-metal. Under normal conditions, sulfur atoms form cyclic octatomic molecules with chemical formula S8. Elemental sulfur is a bright yellow...

Relatively large quantities of sulfur are required, but there is no RDA, as the sulfur is obtained from and used for amino acid
Amino acid
Amino acids are molecules containing an amine group, a carboxylic acid group and a side-chain that varies between different amino acids. The key elements of an amino acid are carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen...

s, and therefore should be adequate in any diet containing enough protein.
(primarily associated with compounds)
Cobalt
Cobalt
Cobalt is a chemical element with symbol Co and atomic number 27. It is found naturally only in chemically combined form. The free element, produced by reductive smelting, is a hard, lustrous, silver-gray metal....

Cobalt is required in the synthesis of vitamin B12
Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12, vitamin B12 or vitamin B-12, also called cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin with a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and for the formation of blood. It is one of the eight B vitamins...

, but because bacteria
Bacteria
Bacteria are a large domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typically a few micrometres in length, bacteria have a wide range of shapes, ranging from spheres to rods and spirals...

 are required to synthesize the vitamin
Vitamin
A vitamin is an organic compound required as a nutrient in tiny amounts by an organism. In other words, an organic chemical compound is called a vitamin when it cannot be synthesized in sufficient quantities by an organism, and must be obtained from the diet. Thus, the term is conditional both on...

, it is usually considered part of vitamin B12 deficiency
Vitamin B12 deficiency
Vitamin B12 deficiency or hypocobalaminemia is a low blood level of vitamin B12, it can cause permanent damage to nervous tissue as a long term effect. Vitamin B12 was discovered from its relationship to the disease pernicious anemia, which is an autoimmune disease that destroys parietal cells in...

 rather than its own dietary element deficiency.
Cobalt poisoning
Cobalt poisoning
Cobalt poisoning is intoxication caused by excessive levels of cobalt in the body. Cobalt is an essential element for health in animals in minute amounts as a component of Vitamin B12. A deficiency of cobalt, which is very rare, is also potentially lethal, leading to pernicious anemia. However in...

Nickel
Nickel
Nickel is a chemical element with the chemical symbol Ni and atomic number 28. It is a silvery-white lustrous metal with a slight golden tinge. Nickel belongs to the transition metals and is hard and ductile...

There have been occasional studies asserting the essentiality of nickel, but it currently has no RDA. Nickel toxicity
Chromium
Chromium
Chromium is a chemical element which has the symbol Cr and atomic number 24. It is the first element in Group 6. It is a steely-gray, lustrous, hard metal that takes a high polish and has a high melting point. It is also odorless, tasteless, and malleable...

Chromium has been described as nonessential to mammals, with some role in sugar metabolism in humans. Despite a market for the supplement chromium picolinate, definitive biochemical evidence for a physiological function is lacking. Chromium toxicity
Chromium toxicity
Chromium toxicity refers to the toxic effects of chromium.Water insoluble chromium compounds and chromium metal are not considered a health hazard, while the toxicity and carcinogenic properties of chromium have been known for a long time...

Fluorine
Fluorine
Fluorine is the chemical element with atomic number 9, represented by the symbol F. It is the lightest element of the halogen column of the periodic table and has a single stable isotope, fluorine-19. At standard pressure and temperature, fluorine is a pale yellow gas composed of diatomic...

Fluorine (as Fluoride) is not generally considered an essential mineral element because humans do not require it for growth or to sustain life. However, if one considers the prevention of dental caries an important criterion in determining essentiality, then fluoride might well be considered an essential trace element. However, recent research indicates that the primary action of fluoride occurs topically (at the surface). Fluoride poisoning
Fluoride poisoning
In high concentrations, soluble fluoride salts are toxic and skin or eye contact with high concentrations of many fluoride salts is dangerous. Referring to a common salt of fluoride, sodium fluoride , the lethal dose for most adult humans is estimated at 5 to 10 g...

Boron
Boron
Boron is the chemical element with atomic number 5 and the chemical symbol B. Boron is a metalloid. Because boron is not produced by stellar nucleosynthesis, it is a low-abundance element in both the solar system and the Earth's crust. However, boron is concentrated on Earth by the...

Boron has been found to be essential for the utilization of vitamin D and calcium in the body.
Strontium
Strontium
Strontium is a chemical element with the symbol Sr and the atomic number 38. An alkaline earth metal, strontium is a soft silver-white or yellowish metallic element that is highly reactive chemically. The metal turns yellow when exposed to air. It occurs naturally in the minerals celestine and...

Strontium has been found to be involved in the utilization of calcium in the body. It has promoting action on calcium uptake into bone at moderate dietary strontium levels, but a rachitogenic (rickets-producing) action at higher dietary levels. Rachitogenic
Other Arsenic
Arsenic
Arsenic is a chemical element with the symbol As, atomic number 33 and relative atomic mass 74.92. Arsenic occurs in many minerals, usually in conjunction with sulfur and metals, and also as a pure elemental crystal. It was first documented by Albertus Magnus in 1250.Arsenic is a metalloid...

, silicon
Silicon
Silicon is a chemical element with the symbol Si and atomic number 14. A tetravalent metalloid, it is less reactive than its chemical analog carbon, the nonmetal directly above it in the periodic table, but more reactive than germanium, the metalloid directly below it in the table...

, and vanadium
Vanadium
Vanadium is a chemical element with the symbol V and atomic number 23. It is a hard, silvery gray, ductile and malleable transition metal. The formation of an oxide layer stabilizes the metal against oxidation. The element is found only in chemically combined form in nature...

 have established, albeit specialized, biochemical roles as structural or functional cofactors in other organisms, and are possibly, even probably, used by mammals (including humans). By contrast, tungsten
Tungsten
Tungsten , also known as wolfram , is a chemical element with the chemical symbol W and atomic number 74.A hard, rare metal under standard conditions when uncombined, tungsten is found naturally on Earth only in chemical compounds. It was identified as a new element in 1781, and first isolated as...

, bromine
Bromine
Bromine ") is a chemical element with the symbol Br, an atomic number of 35, and an atomic mass of 79.904. It is in the halogen element group. The element was isolated independently by two chemists, Carl Jacob Löwig and Antoine Jerome Balard, in 1825–1826...

, and cadmium
Cadmium
Cadmium is a chemical element with the symbol Cd and atomic number 48. This soft, bluish-white metal is chemically similar to the two other stable metals in group 12, zinc and mercury. Similar to zinc, it prefers oxidation state +2 in most of its compounds and similar to mercury it shows a low...

 have specialized biochemical uses in certain lower organisms, but these elements appear not to be utilized by humans.
Multiple

Mineral ecology


Recent studies have shown a tight linkage between living organisms and minerals on this planet. This has let to the redefinition of minerals as "an element or compound, amorphous or crystalline, formed through 'biogeochemical' processes. The addition of `bio' reflects a greater appreciation, although an incomplete understanding, of the processes of mineral formation by living forms." Biologists and geologists have only recently started to appreciate the magnitude of mineral biogeoengineering
Biological engineering
Biological engineering, biotechnological engineering or bioengineering is the application of concepts and methods of biology to solve problems in life sciences, using engineering's own analytical and synthetic methodologies and also its traditional...

. Bacteria have contributed to the formation of minerals for billions of years and critically define the biogeochemical mineral cycles on this planet. Microorganisms can precipitate metals from solution contributing to the formation of ore deposits in addition to their ability to catalyze mineral dissolution, to respire, precipitate, and form minerals.

Most minerals are inorganic in nature. Mineral nutrients refers to the smaller class of minerals that are metabolized
Metabolism
Metabolism is the set of chemical reactions that happen in the cells of living organisms to sustain life. These processes allow organisms to grow and reproduce, maintain their structures, and respond to their environments. Metabolism is usually divided into two categories...

 for growth, development, and vitality of living organisms. Mineral nutrients are recycled by bacteria
Bacteria
Bacteria are a large domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typically a few micrometres in length, bacteria have a wide range of shapes, ranging from spheres to rods and spirals...

 that are freely suspended in the vast water columns of the worlds oceans. They absorb dissolved organic matter containing mineral nutrients as they scavenge through the dying individuals that fall out of large phytoplankton blooms. Flagellates are effective bacteriovores
Bacterivore
Bacterivores are free-living, generally heterotrophic organisms, exclusively microscopic, which obtain energy and nutrients primarily or entirely from the consumption of bacteria. Many species of amoeba are bacterivores, as well as other types of protozoans. In common all species of bacteria will...

 and are also commonly found in the marine water column. The flagellates are preyed upon by zooplankton
Plankton
Plankton are any drifting organisms that inhabit the pelagic zone of oceans, seas, or bodies of fresh water. That is, plankton are defined by their ecological niche rather than phylogenetic or taxonomic classification...

 while the phytoplankton
Phytoplankton
Phytoplankton are the autotrophic component of the plankton community. The name comes from the Greek words φυτόν , meaning "plant", and πλαγκτός , meaning "wanderer" or "drifter". Most phytoplankton are too small to be individually seen with the unaided eye...

 concentrates on the larger particulate matter
Particle (ecology)
In marine and freshwater ecology, a particle is a small object. Particles can remain in suspension in the ocean or freshwater, however they eventually settle and accumulate as sediment. Some can enter the atmosphere through wave action where they can act as cloud condensation nuclei...

 that is suspended in the water column as they are consumed
Consumer
Consumer is a broad label for any individuals or households that use goods generated within the economy. The concept of a consumer occurs in different contexts, so that the usage and significance of the term may vary.-Economics and marketing:...

 by larger zooplankton, with fish as the top predator. Mineral nutrients cycle through this marine food chain
Food chain
A food web depicts feeding connections in an ecological community. Ecologists can broadly lump all life forms into one of two categories called trophic levels: 1) the autotrophs, and 2) the heterotrophs...

, from bacteria and phytoplankton to flagellates and zooplankton who are then eaten by fish. The bacteria are important in this chain because only they have the physiological ability to absorb the dissolved mineral nutrients from the sea. These recycling principals from marine environments apply to many soil and freshwater ecosystems as well.

See also


  • Macronutrient
  • Essential nutrient
    Essential nutrient
    An essential nutrient is a nutrient required for normal body functioning that either cannot be synthesized by the body at all, or cannot be synthesized in amounts adequate for good health , and thus must be obtained from a dietary source...

  • Micronutrient deficiency
    Micronutrient deficiency
    A micronutrient deficiency is a physiological plant disorder which occurs when a micronutrient is deficient in the soil in which a plant grows. Micronutrients are distinguished from macronutrients by the relatively low quantities needed by the plant...

  • Health food
    Health food
    The term health food is generally used to describe foods that are considered to be beneficial to health, beyond a normal healthy diet required for human nutrition. However, the term is not precisely defined by national regulatory agencies such as the U.S...

  • Biochemic cell salts
    Biochemic Cell Salts
    Biochemic cell salts aka Tissue Salts or Cell Salts are alternative remedies based on inorganic salts elaborated by Wilhelm Heinrich Schüßler . Although moderately diluted , they are not classed as homeopathic, because they are not purported to act according to the "like cures like" principle of...


External links