mineral, dietary

mineral, dietary,

any of a group of inorganic elements that are essential to humans and animals for normal body function. In nutrition, minerals are those elements for which the body's requirement is at least 100 mg per day, and trace minerals are those elements that are needed in smaller amounts. Dietary minerals are derived from the earth's crust. Plants extract the minerals from the soil, and humans and animals, in their turn, consume the plants. There are seven major minerals. Calciumcalcium
[Lat.,=lime], metallic chemical element; symbol Ca; at. no. 20; at. wt. 40.078; m.p. about 839°C;; b.p. 1,484°C;; sp. gr. 1.55 at 20°C;; valence +2. Calcium is a malleable, ductile, silver-white, relatively soft metal with face-centered, cubic crystalline
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 occurs mainly in the teeth and bones, but a small amount is found in blood plasma and other body fluids, where it influences nerve transmission, blood clotting, and muscle contraction. Dairy products and green leafy vegetables are dietary sources of calcium, and an adequate intake of vitamin D is required for calcium absorption. Phosphorusphosphorus
[Gr.,=light-bearing], nonmetallic chemical element; symbol P; at. no. 15; at. wt. 30.97376; m.p. 44.1°C;; b.p. about 280°C;; sp. gr. 1.82 at 20°C;; valence −3, +3, or +5.
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, also found in dairy products, is closely allied to calcium in bone and tooth formation and its association with vitamin D. It is present in every cell in compounds such as nucleic acidsnucleic acid,
any of a group of organic substances found in the chromosomes of living cells and viruses that play a central role in the storage and replication of hereditary information and in the expression of this information through protein synthesis.
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 and adenosine triphosphateadenosine triphosphate
(ATP) , organic compound composed of adenine, the sugar ribose, and three phosphate groups. ATP serves as the major energy source within the cell to drive a number of biological processes such as photosynthesis, muscle contraction, and the synthesis of
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. Magnesiummagnesium
, metallic chemical element; symbol Mg; at. no. 12; at. wt. 24.3050; m.p. about 648.8°C;; b.p. about 1,090°C;; sp. gr. 1.738 at 20°C;; valence +2. In 1808, Sir Humphry Davy discovered magnesium in its oxide, although it is not certain that he isolated the
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, also present in every cell, is necessary for carbohydrate and protein metabolism, cell reproduction, and smooth muscle action. Dietary sources include nuts, soy beans, and cocoa. Sodiumsodium,
a metallic chemical element; symbol Na [Lat. natrium]; at. no. 11; at. wt. 22.98977; m.p. 97.81°C;; b.p. 892.9°C;; sp. gr. 0.971 at 20°C;; valence +1. Sodium is a soft, silver-white metal.
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 is in the skeleton and extracellular fluids and is necessary for fluid and acid-base balance, cell permeability, and muscle function. It occurs in table salt (sodium chloridesodium chloride,
NaCl, common salt. Properties

Sodium chloride is readily soluble in water and insoluble or only slightly soluble in most other liquids. It forms small, transparent, colorless to white cubic crystals.
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, the main source) and such foods as milk and spinach. Potassiumpotassium
, a metallic chemical element; symbol K [Lat. kalium=alkali]; at. no. 19; at. wt. 39.0983; m.p. 63.25°C;; b.p. 760°C;; sp. gr. .862 at 20°C;; valence +1.

Potassium is a soft, silver-white metal.
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, which is found in intra- and extracellular fluid, plays a major role in fluid and electrolyte balance and in heart muscle activity, and is also required for carbohydrate metabolism and protein synthesis. Its sources include legumes, whole grains, and bananas. Chlorinechlorine
[Gr.,=green], gaseous chemical element; symbol Cl; at. no. 17; interval in which at. wt. ranges 35.446–35.457; m.p. −100.98°C;; b.p. −34.6°C;; density 3.2 grams per liter at STP; valence −1, +1, +3, +5, +7.
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 is found in extracellular fluid, where it helps maintain normal fluid-electrolyte and acid-base balance, and in the stomach, where it helps provide the acidic environment necessary for digestion. Table salt is its main dietary source. Sulfursulfur
or sulphur
, nonmetallic chemical element; symbol S; at. no. 16; interval in which at. wt. ranges 32.059–32.076; m.p. 112.8°C; (rhombic), 119.0°C; (monoclinic), about 120°C; (amorphous); b.p. 444.674°C;; sp. gr. at 20°C;, 2.07 (rhombic), 1.
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, which is important to the structure of proteins, is also necessary for energy metabolism, enzyme function, and detoxification. Sulfur is obtained from protein foods, such as meat, eggs, and legumes. Some trace minerals are considered "essential" in human nutrition. The essential trace minerals include ironiron,
metallic chemical element; symbol Fe [Lat. ferrum]; at. no. 26; at. wt. 55.845; m.p. about 1,535°C;; b.p. about 2,750°C;; sp. gr. 7.87 at 20°C;; valence +2, +3, +4, or +6. Iron is biologically significant.
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, which is a constituent of hemoglobinhemoglobin
, respiratory protein found in the red blood cells (erythrocytes) of all vertebrates and some invertebrates. A hemoglobin molecule is composed of a protein group, known as globin, and four heme groups, each associated with an iron atom.
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; iodineiodine
[Gr.,=violet], nonmetallic chemical element; symbol I; at. no. 53; at. wt. 126.90447; m.p. 113.5°C;; b.p. 184.35°C;; sp. gr. 4.93 at 20°C;; valence −1, +1, +3, +5, or +7.
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, which is necessary for thyroxinethyroxine
, substance secreted by the thyroid gland. The hormone thyroxine forms by combining the amino acid tyrosine with iodine. Complexed to a protein, it is stored in the follicle stems between thyroid cells.
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 synthesis; and cobaltcobalt,
metallic chemical element; symbol Co; at. no. 27; at. wt. 58.9332; m.p. 1,495°C;; b.p. about 2,870°C;; sp. gr. 8.9 at 20°C;; valence +2 or +3. Cobalt is a silver-white, lustrous, hard, brittle metal. It is a member of Group 9 of the periodic table.
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, which is a component of vitaminvitamin,
group of organic substances that are required in the diet of humans and animals for normal growth, maintenance of life, and normal reproduction. Vitamins act as catalysts; very often either the vitamins themselves are coenzymes, or they form integral parts of coenzymes.
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 B12. Other essential trace minerals are chromiumchromium
[Gr.,=color], metallic chemical element; symbol Cr; at. no. 24; at. wt. 51.9961; m.p. about 1,857°C;; b.p. 2,672°C;; sp. gr. about 7.2 at 20°C;; valence +2, +3, +6. Chromium is a silver-gray, lustrous, brittle, hard metal that can be highly polished.
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, coppercopper,
metallic chemical element; symbol Cu [Lat. cuprum=copper]; at. no. 29; at. wt. 63.546; m.p. 1,083.4°C;; b.p. 2,567°C;; sp. gr. 8.96 at 20°C;; valence +1 or +2. Copper and some of its alloys have been used by humanity since the Bronze Age.
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, fluorinefluorine
, gaseous chemical element; symbol F; at. no. 9; at. wt. 18.9984; m.p. −219.6°C;; b.p. −188.14°C;; density 1.696 grams per liter at STP; valence −1. Fluorine is a yellowish, poisonous, highly corrosive gas.
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, manganesemanganese
[Lat.,=magnet], metallic chemical element; symbol Mn; at. no. 25; at. wt. 54.93805; m.p. about 1,244°C;; b.p. about 1,962°C;; sp. gr. 7.2 to 7.45, depending on form; valence principally +2, +4, or +7.

Manganese is a pinkish-gray, chemically active metal.
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, molybdenummolybdenum
[Gr.,=leadlike], metallic chemical element; symbol Mo; at. no. 42; at. wt. 95.96; m.p. about 2,617°C;; b.p. about 4,612°C;; sp. gr. 10.22 at 20°C;; valence +2, +3, +4, +5, or +6.
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, seleniumselenium
, nonmetallic chemical element; symbol Se; at. no. 34; at. wt. 78.96; m.p. 217°C;; b.p. about 685°C;; sp. gr. 4.81 at 20°C;; valence −2, +4, or +6. Selenium is directly below sulfur in Group 16 of the periodic table.
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, and zinczinc,
metallic chemical element; symbol Zn; at. no. 30; at. wt. 65.38; m.p. 419.58°C;; b.p. 907°C;; sp. gr. 7.133 at 25°C;; valence +2. Zinc is a lustrous bluish-white metal. It is found in Group 12 of the periodic table.
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