Mineral (nutrient)

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In the context of nutrition, a mineral is a chemical element required as an essential nutrient by organisms to perform necessary life-sustaining functions. These inorganic substances are vital for the proper functioning of the body and must be obtained from the diet, as the body cannot produce them.

Coccolithus pelagicus

Types of Minerals[edit | edit source]

  • Minerals can be categorized into two types based on the amount required by the body: macro-minerals and trace minerals.
  • Macro-minerals: These are required in larger amounts and include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride, and sulfur.
  • Trace minerals: These are required in smaller amounts, but are still essential. They include iron, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, fluoride, and selenium.

Functions[edit | edit source]

  • Each mineral plays a unique role in the body. For example:
  • Calcium, along with phosphorus and magnesium, is necessary for bone health.
  • Potassium, sodium, and chloride are crucial for maintaining fluid balance.
  • Iron is essential for the production of red blood cells.
  • Zinc supports the immune system and wound healing.
  • Iodine is necessary for thyroid hormone production.

Sources[edit | edit source]

Minerals are found in a variety of foods. Dairy products, meat, cereals, fruits, and vegetables are all important sources of various minerals.

Deficiency and Toxicity[edit | edit source]

Both deficiency and excess of minerals can lead to health problems. For example, calcium deficiency can result in osteoporosis, while excess can cause kidney stones. Iron deficiency can lead to anemia, while iron overload can damage organs like the liver and heart.

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  • Gropper, Sareen S.; Smith, Jack L.; Groff, James L. (2009). Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism. Cengage Learning. ISBN 978-0-495-11657-8.
  • Shils, Maurice E.; Shike, Moshe; Ross, A. Catherine; Caballero, Benjamin; Cousins, Robert J. (2006). Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. ISBN 978-0-7817-4133-0.
  • Institute of Medicine (US) Panel on Micronutrients (2001). Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. National Academies Press. ISBN 978-0-309-07279-3.

External Links[edit | edit source]

Minerals: Their Functions and Sources - Michigan Medicine Minerals - American Society for Nutrition Dietary Minerals - MedlinePlus

Mineral (nutrient) Resources

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