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Dietary element

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Dietary element

Dietary elements (commonly known as dietary minerals) or mineral nutrients are the archaic, as the substances it refers to are chemical elements rather than actual minerals.

Chemical elements in order of abundance in the human body include the seven major dietary elements calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, sodium, chlorine, and magnesium. Important "trace" or minor dietary elements, necessary for mammalian life, include iron, cobalt, copper, zinc, manganese, molybdenum, iodine, bromine, and selenium.

Over twenty dietary elements are necessary for mammals, and several more for various other types of life. The total number of chemical elements that are absolutely needed is not known for any organism. Ultratrace amounts of some elements (e.g., boron, chromium) are known to clearly have a role but the exact biochemical nature is unknown, and others (e.g. arsenic, silicon) are suspected to have a role in health, but without proof.

Most geophagia) and visit salt licks to obtain limiting dietary elements they are unable to acquire through other components of their diet.

Bacteria play an essential role in the weathering of primary elements that results in the release of nutrients for their own nutrition and for the nutrition of others in the ecological biominerals.


  • Essential chemical elements for mammals 1
  • Blood concentrations of dietary elements 2
  • Dietary nutrition 3
  • Other elements 4
  • Mineral ecology 5
  • Bioavailability 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Essential chemical elements for mammals

At least twenty chemical elements are known to be required to support human biochemical processes by serving structural and functional roles as well as electrolytes.[1] However, as many as twenty-nine elements in total (including the common hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen) are suggested to be used by mammals, as a result of studies of biochemical, special uptake, and metabolic handling studies.[2] 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 * Lu Hf Ta W Re Os Ir Pt Au Hg Tl Pb Bi Po At Rn
Fr Ra ** Lr Rf Db Sg Bh Hs Mt Ds Rg Cn Uut Fl Uup Lv Uus Uuo
  * La Ce Pr Nd Pm Sm Eu Gd Tb Dy Ho Er Tm Yb
  ** Ac Th Pa U Np Pu Am Cm Bk Cf Es Fm Md No
The four organic basic elements Quantity elements Essential trace elements Possible structural or functional role in mammals

The following play important roles in biological processes:

Dietary element RDA/AI (mg) Description Category High nutrient density
dietary sources
Insufficiency Excess
Sulfur Relatively large quantities of sulfur are required, but there is no RDA,[3] as the sulfur is obtained from and used for amino acids, and therefore should be adequate in any diet containing enough protein. (primarily associated with compounds)
Potassium 04700.0004700 mg Quantity A systemic electrolyte and is essential in coregulating ATP with sodium. Legumes, potato skin, tomatoes, bananas, papayas, lentils, dry beans, whole grains, avocados, yams, soybeans, spinach, chard, sweet potato, turmeric.[4][5] hypokalemia hyperkalemia
Chlorine 02300.0002300 mg Quantity Needed for production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach and in cellular pump functions. Table salt (sodium chloride) is the main dietary source. hypochloremia hyperchloremia
Sodium 01500.0001500 mg Quantity A systemic electrolyte and is essential in coregulating ATP with potassium. Table salt (sodium chloride, the main source), sea vegetables, milk, and spinach. hyponatremia hypernatremia
Calcium 01300.0001300 mg Quantity Needed for muscle, heart and digestive system health, builds bone, supports synthesis and function of blood cells. Dairy products, eggs, canned fish with bones (salmon, sardines), green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, tofu, thyme, oregano, dill, cinnamon.[4] hypocalcaemia hypercalcaemia
Phosphorus 00700.000700 mg Quantity A component of bones (see apatite), cells, in energy processing, in DNA and ATP (as phosphate) and many other functions. Red meat, dairy foods, fish, poultry, bread, rice, oats.[6][7] In biological contexts, usually seen as phosphate.[8] hypophosphatemia hyperphosphatemia
Magnesium 00420.000420 mg Quantity Required for processing ATP and for bones. Raw nuts, soybeans, cocoa mass, spinach, chard, sea vegetables, tomatoes, halibut, beans, ginger, cumin, cloves.[9] hypomagnesemia,
magnesium deficiency
Zinc 00011.00011 mg Trace Pervasive and required for several enzymes such as carboxypeptidase, liver alcohol dehydrogenase, and carbonic anhydrase. Calf liver, eggs, dry beans, mushrooms, spinach, asparagus, scallops, red meat, green peas, yogurt, oats, seeds, miso.[4][10] zinc deficiency zinc toxicity
Iron 00018.00018 mg Trace Required for many proteins and enzymes, notably hemoglobin to prevent anemia. Red meat, fish (tuna, salmon), grains, dry beans, eggs, spinach, chard, turmeric, cumin, parsley, lentils, tofu, asparagus, leafy green vegetables, soybeans, shrimp, beans, tomatoes, olives, and dried fruit.[4][11] anemia iron overload disorder
Manganese 00002.3002.3 mg Trace A cofactor in enzyme functions. Spelt grain, brown rice, beans, spinach, pineapple, tempeh, rye, soybeans, thyme, raspberries, strawberries, garlic, squash, eggplant, cloves, cinnamon, turmeric.[12] manganese deficiency manganism
Copper 00000.9000.900 mg Trace Required component of many redox enzymes, including cytochrome c oxidase. Mushrooms, spinach, greens, seeds, raw cashews, raw walnuts, tempeh, barley.[13] copper deficiency copper toxicity
Iodine 00000.1500.150 mg Trace Required not only for the synthesis of thyroid hormones, thyroxine and triiodothyronine 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): Sea vegetables, iodized salt, eggs. Alternate but inconsistent sources of iodine: strawberries, mozzarella cheese, yogurt, milk, fish, shellfish.[14] iodine deficiency iodism
Selenium 00000.0550.055 mg Trace Essential to activity of antioxidant enzymes like glutathione peroxidase. Brazil nuts, cold water wild fish (cod, halibut, salmon), tuna, lamb, turkey, calf liver, mustard, mushrooms, barley, cheese, garlic, tofu, seeds.[15] selenium deficiency selenosis
Molybdenum 00000.0450.045 mg Trace The oxidases xanthine oxidase, aldehyde oxidase, and sulfite oxidase.[16] Tomatoes, onions, carrots.[17] molybdenum deficiency molybdenum toxicity[18]
Cobalt none Trace Cobalt is required in the synthesis of vitamin B12, but because bacteria are required to synthesize the vitamin, it is usually considered part of vitamin B12 deficiency rather than its own dietary element deficiency. Cobalt poisoning
Bromine none Trace Basement membrane architecture and tissue development.[19] bromism

Blood concentrations of dietary elements

Dietary elements are present in a healthy human being's blood at certain mass and molar concentrations. The figure below presents the concentrations of each of the dietary elements discussed in this article, from center-right to the right. Depending on the concentrations, some are in upper part of the picture, while others are in the lower part. The figure includes the relative values of other constituents of blood such as hormones. In the figure, dietary elements are color highlighted in purple.

Reference ranges for blood tests, sorted logarithmically by mass above the scale and by molarity below.

Dietary nutrition

Dietitians 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 with calcium; iodized salt, salt fortified with iodine). Dietary supplements can be formulated to contain several different chemical elements (as compounds), a combination of vitamins and/or other chemical compounds, or a single element (as a compound or mixture of compounds), such as calcium (as carbonate, citrate, etc.) or magnesium (as oxide, etc.), chromium (usually as picolinate) or iron (as bis-glycinate).

The dietary focus on chemical elements derives from an interest in supporting the

  • Metals in Nutrition
  • Concept of a nutritious food: toward a nutrient density score

External links

  1. ^ Nelson, David L.; Michael M. Cox (2000-02-15). Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry, Third Edition (3 Har/Com ed.). W. H. Freeman. p. 1200.  
  2. ^ a b Ultratrace minerals. Authors: Nielsen, Forrest H. USDA, ARS Source: Modern nutrition in health and disease / editors, Maurice E. Shils ... et al.. Baltimore : Williams & Wilkins, c1999., p. 283-303. Issue Date: 1999 URI: [2]
  3. ^ "NSC 101 Chapter 8 Content". Archived from the original on October 14, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-02. 
  4. ^ a b c d Adam Drewnowski (2010). "The Nutrient Rich Foods Index helps to identify healthy, affordable foods" (PDF). The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 91(suppl): 1095S–1101S. 
  5. ^ "Human Nutrition: Potassium". George Mateljan Foundation. 2009. 
  6. ^ "NHS Choices:Vitamins and minerals – Others". Retrieved November 8, 2011. 
  7. ^ Corbridge, D. E. C. (1995-02-01). Phosphorus: An Outline of Its Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Technology (5th ed.). Amsterdam: Elsevier Science Pub Co. p. 1220.  
  8. ^ "Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University". Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  9. ^ "Human Nutrition: Magnesium". George Mateljan Foundation. 2009. 
  10. ^ "Human Nutrition: Zinc". George Mateljan Foundation. 2009. 
  11. ^ "Human Nutrition: Iron". George Mateljan Foundation. 2009. 
  12. ^ "Human Nutrition: Manganese". George Mateljan Foundation. 2009. 
  13. ^ "Human Nutrition: Copper". George Mateljan Foundation. 2009. 
  14. ^ "Human Nutrition: Iodine". George Mateljan Foundation. 2009. 
  15. ^ "Human Nutrition: Selenium". George Mateljan Foundation. 2009. 
  16. ^ Sardesai VM (December 1993). "Molybdenum: an essential trace element". Nutr Clin Pract 8 (6): 277–81.  
  17. ^ "Human Nutrition: Selenium". George Mateljan Foundation. 2009. 
  18. ^ Momcilović, B. (September 1999). "A case report of acute human molybdenum toxicity from a dietary molybdenum supplement—a new member of the "Lucor metallicum" family.". Archives of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology (De Gruyter) 50 (3): 289–97.  
  19. ^ A. Scott McCall, Christopher F. Cummings, Gautam Bhave, Roberto Vanacore, Andrea Page-McCaw, Billy G. Hudson (5 June 2014). "Bromine Is an Essential Trace Element for Assembly of Collagen IV Scaffolds in Tissue Development and Architecture". Cell 157 (6): 1380–1392.  
  20. ^ a b Lippard, Stephen J.; Jeremy M. Berg (1994). Principles of Bioinorganic Chemistry. Mill Valley, CA: University Science Books. p. 411.  
  21. ^ Ashmead, H. DeWayne (1993). The Roles of Amino Acid Chelates in Animal Nutrition. Westwood: Noyes Publications. 
  22. ^ "USDA Table of Nutrient Retention Factors, Release 6" (PDF). USDA. USDA. Dec 2007. 
  23. ^ Anke M. Arsenic. In: Mertz W. ed., Trace elements in human and Animal Nutrition, 5th ed. Orlando, FL: Academic Press, 1986, 347–372; Uthus E.O., Evidency for arsenical essentiality, Environ. Geochem. Health, 1992, 14:54–56; Uthus E.O., Arsenic essentiality and factors affecting its importance. In: Chappell W.R, Abernathy C.O, Cothern C.R. eds., Arsenic Exposure and Health. Northwood, UK: Science and Technology Letters, 1994, 199–208.
  24. ^ Anke M, Groppel B, Kronemann H, Grün M (1984). "Nickel—an essential element". IARC Sci. Publ. (53): 339–65.  
  25. ^ Bona K. R. Di, Love S., Rhodes N. R., McAdory D., Sinha S. H., Kern N., Kent J., Strickland J., Wilson A., Beaird J., Ramage J., Rasco J. F., Vincent J. B. (2011). "Chromium is not an essential trace element for mammals: effects of a "low-chromium" diet". Journal Biological Inorganic Chemistry 16 (3): 381–90.  
  26. ^ Eastmond DA, Macgregor JT, Slesinski RS (2008). "Trivalent chromium: assessing the genotoxic risk of an essential trace element and widely used human and animal nutritional supplement". Crit. Rev. Toxicol. 38 (3): 173–90.  
  27. ^ John B. Vincent "Chromium: celebrating 50 years as an essential element?" Dalton Transactions 2010; pp. 3787–3794. doi:10.1039/B920480F PMID 20372701
  28. ^ Stearns DM (2000). "Is chromium a trace essential metal?". BioFactors 11 (3): 149–62.  
  29. ^ Cerklewski FL (May 1998). "Fluoride—essential or just beneficial". Nutrition 14 (5): 475–6.  
  30. ^ "Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University". Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  31. ^ Mahler, R. L. "Essential Plant Micronutrients. Boron in Idaho" (PDF). University of Idaho. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  32. ^ "Functions of Boron in Plant Nutrition" (PDF). U.S. Borax Inc. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 March 2009. 
  33. ^ Blevins, Dale G.; Lukaszewski, KM (1998). "Functions of Boron in Plant Nutrition". Annual Review of Plant Physiology and Plant Molecular Biology 49 (1): 481–500.  
  34. ^ "Boron in human and animal nutrition". Retrieved 2010-10-06. 
  35. ^ "Boron". PDRhealth. Archived from the original on 24 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-18. 
  36. ^ "Some Facts about Lithium". ENC Labs. Retrieved 2010-10-15. 
  37. ^ Schrauzer, GN (2002). "Lithium: Occurrence, dietary intakes, nutritional essentiality". Journal of the American College of Nutrition 21 (1): 14–21.  
  38. ^ Zarse, Kim; Terao, Takeshi; Tian, Jing; Iwata, Noboru; Ishii, Nobuyoshi; Ristow, Michael (2011). "Low-dose lithium uptake promotes longevity in humans and metazoans". European Journal of Nutrition 50 (5): 387–9.  
  39. ^ "The biological role of strontium". Retrieved 2010-10-06. 
  40. ^ a b Skinner, H. C. W. (2005). "Biominerals". Mineralogical Magazine 69 (5): 621–641.  
  41. ^ Newman, D. K.; Banfield, J. F. (2002). "Geomicrobiology: How Molecular-Scale Interactions Underpin Biogeochemical Systems". Science 296 (5570): 1071–7.  
  42. ^ Warren, L. A.; Kauffman, M. E. (2003). "Microbial geoengineers". Science 299 (5609): 1027–9.  
  43. ^ González-Muñoz, M. T.; Rodriguez-Navarro, C.; Martinez-Ruiz, F.; Arias, J. M.; Merroun, M. L.; Rodriguez-Gallego, M. (2010). "Bacterial biomineralization: new insights from Myxococcus-induced mineral precipitation". Geological Society, London, Special Publications 336 (1): 31–50.  
  44. ^ Kirkby, H.; Kirkby, E. A.; Cakmak, I. (1996). "Effect of mineral nutritional status on shoot-root partitioning of photoassimilates and cycling of mineral nutrients" (PDF). Journal of Experimental Biology 47 (S1255): 1255.  
  45. ^ Adame, L. (2002). "Leaf absorption of mineral nutrients in carnivorous plants stimulates root nutrient uptake" (PDF). New Phytologist 155: 89–100.  
  46. ^ Azam, F.; Fenchel, T.; Field, J. G.; Gray, J. S.; Meyer-Reil, L. A.; Thingstad, F. (1983). "The ecological role of water-column microbes in the sea" (PDF). Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 10: 257–263.  
  47. ^ Uroz, S.; Calvaruso, C.; Turpault, M.; Frey-Klett, Pascale (2009). "Mineral weathering by bacteria: ecology, actors and mechanisms" (PDF). Trends in Microbiology 17 (8): 378–87.  


See also


Most minerals are inorganic in nature. Mineral nutrients refers to the smaller class of Flagellates are effective bacteriovores and are also commonly found in the marine water column. The flagellates are preyed upon by zooplankton while the phytoplankton concentrates on the larger particulate matter that is suspended in the water column as they are consumed by larger zooplankton, with fish as the top predator. Mineral nutrients cycle through this marine food chain, 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.[46][47]

[43][42][41] Biologists and geologists have only recently started to appreciate the magnitude of mineral :621[40] Recent studies have shown a tight linkage between living organisms and chemical elements on this planet. This led 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."

Mineral ecology

Element Description Excess
Arsenic Essential in rat, hamster, goat and chicken models, but no biochemical mechanism known in humans.[23] arsenic poisoning
Nickel There have been occasional studies asserting the essentiality of nickel,[24] but it currently has no RDA. Nickel toxicity
Chromium Chromium has been described as nonessential to mammals.[25][26] Some role in sugar metabolism in humans has been invoked, but evidence is lacking,[27][28] despite a market for the supplement chromium picolinate. Chromium toxicity
Fluorine Fluorine (as fluoride) is not generally considered an essential element because humans do not require it for growth or to sustain life. However, if one considers the prevention of dental cavities 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).[29][30] Fluoride poisoning
Boron Boron is an essential plant nutrient, required primarily for maintaining the integrity of cell walls.[31][32][33] In animals, supplemental boron has been shown to reduce calcium excretion and activate vitamin D.[34] However, whether these effects were conventionally nutritional, or medicinal, could not be determined.[35]
Lithium It is not known whether lithium has a physiological role in any species,[36] but nutritional studies in mammals have indicated its importance to health, leading to a suggestion that it be classed as an essential trace element with an RDA of 1 mg/day.[37] Observational studies in Japan, reported in 2011, suggested that naturally occurring lithium in drinking water may increase human lifespan.[38]
Strontium 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.[39] Rachitogenic
Other [2] Multiple

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 solid and dust), so proof of efficacy is lacking because deficiencies are difficult to reproduce.[20]

Other elements


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