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Minerals and its importance for health

Study Notes of Science : "Minerals"



Minerals are inorganic substances that are found in soils and rocks .The body needs many minerals; these are called "essential minerals". A balance diet usually provides all the essential minerals.

Role of nutrition in human life:

1.Sodium:
A. Sodium is the main cation of extracellular fluids; sodium ions constituting 93% of the ions (bases) found in the blood stream. Although the main role of sodium in the animal relates to the regulation of osmotic pressure and the maintenance of acid-base balance, sodium also influences muscle irritability, and plays important role in the absorption of carbohydrate.
B. Sources- table salt, vegetables, unprocessed meat
C. Deficiency- Improper muscles contraction, nervous depression, dehydration

2.Potassium:
A. Potassium is the major cation of intracellular fluid, and regulates intracellular osmotic pressure and acid-base balance.  Potassium has a stimulating effect on muscle irritability. Potassium is also required for glycogen and protein synthesis, and the metabolic breakdown of glucose.
B. Sources- Fresh vegetables, banana, date, meat whole grain
C. Deficiency- Muscles disorder, poor muscles control

3.Calcium:
A. Major component of teeth and bones. Calcium is essential for the normal clotting of blood.
B. Calcium is an activator for several key enzymes, including pancreatic lipase, acid phosphatase, ATPase’s, and succinic dehydrogenase.
C. Through its role in enzyme activation, calcium stimulates muscle contraction (i.e. promotes muscle tone and normal heart beat) and regulates the transmission of nerve impulses from one cell to another.
D. Calcium is believed to be essential for the absorption of vitamin B12 from the gastro-intestinal tract.
E. Sources- Milk, dairy products, meat, fresh vegetables, fish, and gram etc.
F. Deficiency- Rickets, defective bones and teeth and muscles spasm

4.Phosphorous:
A. Phosphorus is an essential component of bone, cartilage etc.
B. Phosphorus is an essential component of phospholipids, nucleic acids, phosphoproteins (casein), high energy phosphate esters (ATP), hexose phosphates, and several key enzymes.
C. As a component of these important biological substances, phosphorus plays a central role in energy and cell metabolism.
D. Inorganic phosphates serve as important buffers to regulate the normal acid base balance (i.e. pH) of animal body fluids.
E. Sources- Milk, dairy products, fish, meat, and eggs etc.
F. Deficiency- Reduce growth, metabolism and causes rickets in children

5.Magnesium:
A. Magnesium is an essential component of bone and cartilage 
B. Magnesium is an activator of several key enzyme systems, including kinases, (i.e. enzymes that catalyze the transfer of the terminal phosphate of ATP to sugar or 
other acceptors)
C. Through its role in enzyme activation, magnesium (like calcium) stimulates muscle and nerve irritability (contraction), is involved in the regulation of intracellular acid-base balance, and plays an important role in carbohydrate, protein, and lipid metabolism.
D. Sources-Green leafy vegetables, soya bean
E. Deficiency- Heart and vascular irregularity, loss of muscles coordination.

6.Chlorine:
A. Chlorine is the anion of extracellular fluids; chlorine ions constituting about 65% of the total anions of blood plasma and other extracellular fluids within the body (i.e. gastric juice). Chlorine is therefore essential for the regulation of osmotic pressure and acid-base balance. Chlorine also plays important role in the transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood, and the maintenance of digestive juice pH.
B. Sources- Common salts, bread, meat, and vegetables
C. Deficiency- Vomiting and hypochloremia alkalosis

7.Sulphur:
A. Sulphur is an essential component of several key amino acids (methionine and cysteine), vitamins (thiamine and biotin), the hormone insulin
B. Several key enzyme systems such as coenzyme A and glutathione depend for their activity on free sulfhydryl (SH) groups.
C. It is essential for healthy hair, skin, and nails
D. Sources- Meat, milk products, eggs etc.

8.Cobalt:
A. Cobalt is an integral component of cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12), and as such as essential for red blood cell formation and the maintenance of nerve tissue.
B. Sources- milk, cheese, and meat
C. Deficiency-Pernicious anemia.

9.Fluorine:
A. Maintain enamel and checks dental decay
B. In excess harmful to teeth and bones, i.e. fluorosis
C. Sources-Water, sea fish and cheese
D. Deficiency- Dental caries

10.Iodine:
A. Essential for production of thyroxine hormone of thyroid glands.
B. Sources-Sea food, leafy vegetables, water, iodized salt etc.
C. Deficiency- Goiter, myxoedema

11.Iron:
A. Iron is an essential component of the respiratory pigments hemoglobin and myoglobin.
B. As a component of the respiratory pigments and enzymes concerned in tissue oxidation, iron is essential for oxygen and electron transport within the body.
C. Sources- Apple, leafy vegetables, cereals, pulses etc.
D. Deficiency- anemia, skin problem