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Friday, March 8, 2013

What are minerals?

Minerals are inorganic substances required by the body in minute amounts for growth, repair and regulation of body functions.

Classification of minerals

1. Major minerals: Present in the body in large amounts and their daily requirement in man to maintain optimum nutrition is appreciable. A few examples are, Ca2+, Na+, K+, Mg2+.

2. Minor elements: Also known as trace elements. They are required by the body in amounts less than few milligrams per day. A few examples are Iron, Iodine, Copper, Cobalt, Zinc, Fluorine, Molybdenum, Selenium, Chromium, Tin, Nickel, and Manganese.

Functions of minerals

1.Formation of bones and teeth
2.Contraction of muscles
3.Transmission of nerve impulse
4.Specific functions like formation of thyroid hormones by iodine
5.Maintenance of osmotic pressure of fluids.

Let's have a look at some of the most important minerals individually.