Minerals, also known as dietary elements or mineral nutrients, are chemical elements that are vital for living organisms. Minerals that are metabolized for the growth, development, and vitality of living organisms are referred to as Mineral nutrients. Minerals relate outside of the elements of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen. There are seven main minerals and nine minor dietary elements. The main minerals include calcium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, sulfur, magnesium, and chlorine. The minor dietary elements include copper, cobalt, iron, iodine, molybdenum, manganese, selenium, zinc and bromine. Mammals require twenty known minerals that are necessary for growth and development. Ecology of Minerals
In recent years, due to scientific exploration of the relationship between chemical elements and organisms, the term ‘mineral’ has been redefined as “an amorphous or crystalline element or compound, which is produced through a ‘biogeochemical’ process.” This new definition accommodates the important biological relationship between mineral and organism. The majority of minerals occur inorganically in nature. Bacteria are vital in the process of mineral formation and biogeochemical mineral cycles on Earth. Dietary Nutrition
In order for the body to sustain good health and to continue to grow and develop, proper consumption of particular dietary minerals is essential. The best recommended way for the human body to receive these important dietary minerals is through the ingestion of particular foods from a balanced diet that carry an abundance of specific chemical elements, which may either be naturally occurring or formulated with added chemical elements. A human requires twenty chemical elements in order to support vital biochemical processes within the body. A human's diet can meet all of these requirements, however, supplements may be taken in order to attain the amount the body needs when the body experiences a deficiency due to health related problems or an inadequate diet.
Revised August 30th, 2015
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