What is Minerals

What is Minerals

Minerals constitute 4% of the total body weight. Its elements are inorganic substances found in body tissues and fluids. They occur in foods as salts e.g. calcium , phosphorus , potassium , sodium , iodine , iron ,copper , molybdenum, sulphur , chlorine , magnesium , manganese.

Minerals helps to build tissues , regulate body fluids or assist in various body functions.

Unlike carbohydrates , fats and proteins , they do not furnish energy. They too like the vitamins are required in small quantities and are vital to body.

They may be present in the body as organic compounds such as phosphoproteins , phospholipids , hemoglobin , thyroxine , calcium phosphate and as free ions.

They should be supplied daily as they are excreted through the kidney the bowel and the skin. Sodium is the main electrolyte in the extracellular fluid and potassium is the main electrolyte in the intra cellular fluid.

These elements are not destroyed by heat , oxidation , acid and alkali. Since they are soluble in water , some loss occurs due to leaching when cooking water is discarded.

Classification of Minerals

Major Mineral :

Seven Mineral are required in large amounts of over 100 mg/day. Calcium , phosphorus , sodium , chlorine , potassium , magnesium and sulphur.

Minor Mineral :

Minor Mineral are required in small quantities less than 100 mg/day. Iron , and manganese.

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Trace elements :

A few micro grams to a few milligrams are required per day. Iodine , fluorine , zinc and molybdenum. Several other trace minerals are required by humans in at least trace amounts , but normal diets generally provide these.

Thus manganese is needed for normal bone structure  and functioning of the central nervous system. Chromium is required for normal glucose metabolism.

Molybdenum is involved in protein metabolism and oxidation reactions. Requirements also have been demonstrated in experimental animals for selenium , tin , vanadium and silicon but their roles in human nutrition remain to be determined.

Iodine :-

Iodine is part of the thyroid hormone and is essential for the prevention of goiter in humans. There is never a shortage of iodine where saltwater fish are eaten. Today the common use of iodized salt prevents deficiency and there is concern that iodine levels not become excessive.

Sources :-

Sea foods like fish , shellfish , fish liver oils are the richest sources. the iodine content of vegetables , fruits and cereals depends upon the iodine of the soil.

Functions :-

  1. Iodine plays an important role as it is incorporated into thyroxine hormone. its is responsible for the rate of oxidation with in the cells and in doing so determines the rate of metabolism.
  2. Thyroxine is related with the tissues of nerves and muscles.
  3. It helps in increasing heart rate.
  4. Iodine helps in converting glycogen to glucose.In this way it increase blood sugar level.

Fluorine :-

The Fluoride ion is required for the development of sound teeth with resistance to tooth decay. Diets of growing children appear to be low in fluorine since supplementation of water with about 1 ppm reduces incidence of tooth decay.

Zine :-

Zine is an essential constituent of enzymes involved in carbohydrate and protein metabolism and nucleic-acid synthesis. Its deficiency results in impaired growth and development, skin lesions and low of appetite.

Functions

  1. Minerals is the structural components of bones , teeth , soft tissues , blood and muscles, blood and nerve cells.
  2. Minerals are  act as enzyme activators.
  3. They regulate cellular oxidation.
  4. Necessary for clotting of blood.
  5. Maintain acid-base balance of body fluids.
  6. They regulate activity of nerves with regard to stimuli and contraction of muscles.
  7. They are constituents of vitamins.
  8. They help to utilize food by helping in the process of digestion.
  9. They control water balance by means of osmotic pressure and permeability of cell membranes. Sodium and potassium.
  10. They are part of the molecules of hormones and enzymes.
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