Essential Minerals for the body






Here we are going to give you some idea about the essential minerals for the body, their sources, daily requirement for the human body, physiological functions and also the symptoms of deficiency and excess.

MACRO-ELEMENTS

Now we shall discuss some of the important microelements.

Sodium (Na)

It is one of the Essential Minerals for the body.

Daily requirements:

Adults — 1 100-2000 mg.
Children — 350-800 mg.

Sources

Table salt, salted fish or meat, pickles, salted nuts, butter, cheese. Vegetables and drinking water also contain some amount.

Physiological Function:

Maintains —[1] excitability of tissues ; [2] extracellular fluid (ECF) balance; [3]osmosis-regulation; [4] blood pressure ; [5] composition of digestive juices and [6] glucose absorption from intestine.

Deficiency and Excess Symptom

Deficiency —Dehydration, fall of ECF volume and blood pressure, loss of body weight.
Excess — Rise in ECF volume and blood pressure.



Potassium (K)

Potassium is one of the Essential Minerals for the body.

Daily requirements:

Adults — 1400-2000 mg.
Children — 500-1000 mg.

Sources

Beef, pork, chicken, unrefined salt, dates, pineapple, orange, banana, molasses.

Physiological Function:

Maintains — [1] excitability of tissues ; [2] intra-cellular fluid balance ; [3] acid base balance ; [4] action of certain enzymes as cofactors and [5] O2 and CO2 carriage by blood.

Deficiency and Excess Symptom

Deficiency — Increased heart rate, renal damage, polyuria, muscular weakness and paralysis.
Excess — Slowing of heart, fall of blood pressure, muscular weakness and depression of nervous system.

Chlorine (Cl)

It is one of the Essential Minerals for the body.

Daily requirements:

Adults — 1500-5000 mg.
Children — 500-4000 mg.

Sources

It is the same as that for Na and K, because Cl remains as NaCl and KC1 in these materials.

Physiological Function:

Maintains —
[1] Osmotic pressure and fluid balance; [2] blood pressure; [3] formation of gastric HC1 ; [4] action of certain enzymes as cofactor .



Deficiency and Excess Symptom

Deficiency:
(generally associated with Na deficiency)
Excessive:
Vomiting may deplete Cl~ with gastric contents leading to alkalosis due to accumulation of more HCCT.

Calcium (Ca)

Daily Requirment

Adults — 500 mg.
Pregnant/Lactating woman —
1000-1200 mg.
Children— 400-700 mg.

Sources

The source of this essential materials for the body are Milk, cheese, curd, hard water, lime, dark green leaves.
carrot, cabbage, pulses etc.

Physiological Function:

[1] Formation of bones and teeth. [2] Growth. [3] Coagulation. [4] Enzyme action. [5] Muscle contraction. [6] Neuromuscular transmission. [7] Membrane permeability.

Deficiency and Excess Symptom

Deficiency — Rickets and osteomalacia, tetany(neuromuscular hyperexcitability, muscle spasm, pares- thesia), dental decay.
Excess — Hypotonia of muscles, fatigue. anorexia, constipation etc.

Phosphorus (P)

Daily Requirment

Adults— 800 mg.
Pregnant/Lactating woman — 1200 mg.
Children— 500-700 mg.

Sources

The source of this essential materials for the body are Same as Ca ; protein rich food e.g., meat, fish, egg etc.

Physiological Function:

Formation of — [1] bones & teeth ; [2] phospholipids ; [3] nucleoproteins ; [4] coenzymes (e.g. NAD, NADP, FAD etc.) ; [5] phosphate buffers (for acid base balance) ; [6] high energy compounds e.g., ATP (for active processes).

Deficiency and Excess Symptom

Deficiency — Malformation of bones & teeth ; rickets ; poor growth.



Magnesium (Mg)

Magnesium is another of the important and essential minerals for the body.

Daily Requirment

Adults— 350 mg.
Pregnant/Lactating woman — 500 mg.
Children— 150-250 mg.

Sources

Vegetables, cereals, meat, nuts, dry peas, beans etc.

Physiological Function:

[1] Required for bone growth and enzyme actions. [2] Reduces neuro-muscular irritability.

Deficiency and Excess Symptom

Deficiency — Neuromuscular hyperexcitability (tetany like); cardiac arrythmia.
Excess — Paralysis, insomnia, unconsciousness etc.

Sulpher (S)

Daily Requirment

Adequate protein intake fulfils the requirement of Sulphur.

Sources

The source of this essential materials for the body are Protein rich food e.g., meat, fish, egg, pulses, soyabeane/c., (because all proteins contain S containing amino acids which are the main source of S). Inorganic.
sulphates present in food are not utilised in animal body.

Physiological Function:

Formation of — [1] body proteins e.g., (a) enzymes. (b) hormones (insulin, ADH etc.), (c) keratin of nail
and hair, (d) chondroitin sulphate of cartilage, bone & tendon, (e) heparin ; [2] sulpholipids of brain ; [3] coenzymes (glutathione. coenzyme A) and [4] sulphates for detoxication.

Deficiency and Excess Symptom

Deficiency — does not occur unless there is a deficiency of protein in diet.

MICROELEMENTS

Iron (Fe)

Iron is the most important and Essential Minerals for the body as microelement.

Daily Requirment

Adult man — 25 mg. Adult woman — 35 mg. Pregnant woman — 40 mg. Children— 15-20mg.

Sources

Liver, meat, egg yolk, fish, flour, green leafy vegetables, date, fig, legumes, nuts, molasses etc.. (Milk is a poor source).

Physiological Function:

Helps in carriage of O2 and oxidation reactions by forming heme compounds e.g.. hemoglobin, myoglobin and oxidative enzymes (cytochromes etc).

Deficiency and Excess Symptom

Deficiency — Hypochromic microcytic anemia (low hemoglobin content of blood with smaller red cells).
Excess — Hemochromatosis (an excess iron accumulation in tissues, bronze skin, diabetes mellitus).

Copper (Cu)

It is another of the Essential Minerals for the body as microelement.

Daily Requirment

Adult — 3 mg. Pregnant woman — 3.5 mg. Children— 1.5-2.5 mg.

Sources

Green leafy vegetables, nuts, dry legumes, Ir.xr, fr,h etc.

Physiological Function:

Takes part in the — [1] action of some enzymes ; [2] utilisation of Fe for hemoglobin synthesis ; [3] formation of hemocyanin (respiratory pigment of prawn etc.).

Deficiency and Excess Symptom

Deficiency (rare in adults; may occur in infants, because milk lacks Cu) — Anemia and depigmentation of hair and skin.

Iodine (I)

Iodine is one of the very Essential Minerals for the body as microelement.

Daily Requirment

Adults — 150 ng. Pregnant woman — 175 ug. Children — 70-120 ng.

Sources

Sea fishes, iodized salt.

Physiological Function:

Synthesis of thyroid hormones is its function.

Deficiency Symptom

Deficiency causes Hypothyroidism with goitre (enlarged thyroid).

Manganese (Mn)

Daily Requirment

Adults — 5 mg. Children— 0.5-3 mg.

Sources

Whole grain cereals legumes, green leaf) vegetables, tea, livei etc.

Physiological Function:

Helps in — [1] reproduction ; [2] action of some enzymes ; [3] bone and blood formation.

Deficiency and Excess Symptom

Deficiency (very rare) — Impaired reproduction & bone growth. Excess (in mine workers) — psychotic symptoms.



Zinc (Zn)

Zink also has importance as one of the Essential Minerals for the body as microelement.

Daily Requirment

Adults — 15mg. Pregnant and lactating woman — 20-25mg. Children— 3-10 mg.

Sources

Unmilled cereals, legumes, maize, spinach, lettuce and many vegetables, fish, liver etc.

Physiological Function:

Helps in — [1] action of some enzymes and hormones ; [2] reproduction ; [3] growth and health of skin.

Deficiency Symptom

Deficiency (rare) — defects in growth and reproduction.