An essential nutrient. Naturally occurring, inorganic homogeneous substances.
Inorganic substances that are basic components of the earth’s crust; they are also found in the human body. Humans constantly replenish their mineral supply with food and water. Minerals are crucial for a wide variety of bodily functions, including enzyme synthesis, regulation of the heart rhythm, bone formation, and digestion.
An inorganic, fundamental substance found naturally in the soil with specific chemical and structural characteristics.
Inorganic, crystalline chemicals that perform vital functions in the body including controlling water balance, regulating acid-base balance, acting as catalysts for a variety of body functions, and becoming integral components of body structures, such as bones, teeth, enzymes, hormones, and blood. Some are needed in relatively large amounts and are called macrominerals; others are needed in small trace amounts and are called microminerals.
Inorganic substances required for the functioning of the body, such as iron, calcium, phosphorus and iodine.
Inorganic substances needed in tiny amounts in the diet to maintain bodily functions and preserve the vigour of the heart, brain, and muscle and nerve systems.
Minerals are essential for the growth and maintenance of cells and metabolic systems. They are divided into three categories: (1) macrominerals (calcium, phosphorus, sodium, chlorine, and magnesium), (2) microminerals (iron, zinc, and copper), and (3) the ultratrace minerals (chromium, fluorine, silicon, arsenic, boron, vanadium, nickel, cadmium, lithium, lead, selenium, iodine, molybdenum, manganese, and cobalt). Some of the ultratrace minerals are very toxic, that is arsenic, cadmium, and lead. Almost all of the minerals can be toxic if consumed in large amounts. However, many are poorly absorbed and this protects the body somewhat from toxic intakes. Sodium and potassium salts are readily soluble in water and thus available for uptake from the intestine. Several other elements, such as iron, calcium, and phosphorus, are present in complex salts that are relatively insoluble. These elements are not easily absorbed from the gut. After intake, the major part of insoluble salts appears in the feces. Minerals are important constituents of bones and teeth. Minerals may be integral parts of biologically important compounds such as hemoglobin and cytochromes. Minerals also serve as required cofactors for enzymatic reactions. Minerals may be divided into two groups based on the levels at which they occur in the body: (1) elements that are present in considerable amounts (e.g., iron, calcium, sodium, potassium, chlorine, magnesium, and phosphorus; combined mass: ±3 kg), and (2) elements that are required in very small amounts only, the so-called trace elements (e.g., zinc, iodine, selenium, copper, manganese, fluorine, chromium, and molybdenum; combined mass: ±30 g). Mineral-mineral interactions occur that can reduce or increase availability. An example of positive interactions is that of calcium and phosphorus. When present in equal amounts both are better absorbed than when one is present in great excess of the other. Example of negative effects is the negative effect of copper on zinc absorption. The individual minerals are described next.
From a nutritional perspective, minerals are inorganic elements that are required for normal growth and metabolism. Minerals required in large amounts are referred to as macrominerals, while those required in only small amounts are considered microminerals. Some experts refer to microminerals as trace or ultratrace minerals or elements depending upon their level of requirement. The functions of minerals vary, but typically include forming an important part of a chemical structure or participating as a cofactor for biochemical reactions.
Elements that must be in the diet for the proper health and functioning of the body. At least 13 of them have been identified as necessary. Those needed in relatively large amounts are called macronutrients or macrominerals, including calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, chloride, phosphorus, and sulfur. Those needed in relatively small amounts are called microminerals or micronutrients, including iron, copper, iodine, zinc, and fluoride.
In nutrition, inorganic substance, such as copper, zinc, or magnesium needed in small amounts by the body for normal growth and function.