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Minerals and their Deficiency Diseases

Minerals are specific kinds of nutrients that the body needs in order to function properly. A mineral deficiency occurs when the body doesn’t obtain the required amount of a mineral. Minerals helps in building strong teeth and bones, skin, hair, proper function of nerves, muscle contraction, maintains heart functions, etc.
Some important Minerals necessary for Human Body are:

Calcium

Sources: Milk, dairy foods, cereals (Ragi), meat, vegetables, fruits (Sitaphals)
Properties: Component of bones and teeth, helps in blood clotting, Muscle contraction, Conduction of nerve impulses etc. Acts as cofactor of Myosin ATPase.
Deficiency: Defective bones and teeth, Tetany and rickets, Loss of muscle coordination


Phosphorous

Sources: Milk, dairy foods, Cereals, eggs, fish, meat etc.
Properties: Formation of bones and teeth, Component of nucleic acids, energy molecules and coenzymes
Deficiency: Poor body growth, weak bones and teeth.


Sodium

Sources: Table salt, vegetables
Properties: Maintains water balance, blood pressure and nervous system.
Deficiency: Improper muscle contraction; nervous depression; loss of Na+ in urine, dehydration


Potassium

Sources: Vegetables, molasses, banana, date etc
Properties: Osmotic balance; muscle contraction; nerve impulse conduction
Deficiency: Nervous disorder; poor muscle control leading to paralysis

Magnesium

Sources: Green leafy vegetables, soyabean etc
Properties: Cofactor for enzymes e.g. of hexokinase
Deficiency: Heart and vascular irregularities; dilated blood vessels, loss of muscle coordination.

Chlorine

Sources: Common salt
Properties: Main anion of ECF, Acid- base balance
Deficiency: Vomiting and hypochloremic alkalosis

Iron

Sources: Liver, eggs, molasses, cereals, pulses, leafy vegetables, apple, guava etc.
Properties: Formation of Hb so help in O2 transport, Component of cytochromes of ETS, Cofactor of catalase enzyme.
Deficiency: Anaemia; skin problems

Iodine

Sources: Sea foods, leafy vegetables, water, iodized salt etc.
Properties: Normal functioning of thyroid; component of thyroxin so controls BMR
Deficiency: Goiter, Cretinism, Myxoedema

Zinc

Sources: Beet, cheese
Properties: Cofactor of carbonic anhydrase so helps in CO2 transport, Vitamin A metabolism
Deficiency: Reduced respiration

Copper

Sources: Liver, spleen, kidneys, peanuts, beet etc
Properties: Cofactor for enzymes e.g. oxidases and tyrosinase, Component of haemocyanin.
Deficiency: Anaemia

Fluorine

Sources: Water, sea fish, cheese
Properties: Maintains enamel and prevents dental caries.
Deficiency: Dental caries.