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Nutrition. Chapter 8 Minerals. What is the human body made up of. 4 elements : Oxygen Carbon Hydrogen Nitrogen All remaining elements that the body is made up of are called MINERALS. What is a mineral?. Minerals are necessary for the body to: Build tissue Regulate body fluids

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Chapter 8


What is the human body made up of

What is the human body made up of

  • 4 elements :

  • Oxygen

  • Carbon

  • Hydrogen

  • Nitrogen

  • All remaining elements that the body is made up of are called MINERALS

What is a mineral

What is a mineral?

  • Minerals are necessary for the body to:

  • Build tissue

  • Regulate body fluids

  • Contribute to the production of energy within the body

Where are minerals found

Where are minerals found?

  • In all body tissues

  • In water

  • Natural (unprocessed) foods

  • In soil

How do humans get minerals

How do humans get minerals?

  • By eating plants grown in mineral-rich soil or by eating animals that have eaten such plants

Processed foods

Processed Foods

  • Highly processed foods such as sugar or white flour contains almost NO minerals, they are added back into the food along with vitamins like Thiamine and niacin….these are called “enriched”


Most minerals in food occur as salts which are soluble in water this means…

The minerals leave the food and remain in the cooking water


How to preserve the minerals during cooking

How to preserve the minerals during cooking

  • Cook foods in as little water as possible

  • Steam food instead

  • Save all cooking liquids to be used later in soup, gravy and sauces

Minerals are divided into 2 groups

Minerals are divided into 2 groups

  • Macrominerals Microminerals

  • Required in lrg. amts Required in sm. Amts

  • Also called major mineralsalso called trace minerals

What happens when mineral salts dissolve in water

What happens when mineral salts dissolve in water?


  • They break into separate, electrically charged particles called ions

  • +charged are called cations

  • - charges are called anions

Cations anions

Cations & Anions

  • These must balance each other, that’s how your body like it to be

  • Example: if body fluids contain 200 + charges, the fluid must also contain 200- charges




  • Electrolytes are essential in maintaining the body’s fluid balance, they:

  • 1) Contribute to the body’s electrical balance

  • 2) Assist in the transmission of nerve impulses

  • 3) Assist in the transmission of muscle contraction

  • 4) Help regulate acid-base balance

Well balanced diet

Well-balanced diet

  • Usually, a well-balanced diet maintains electrolyte balance

How are electrolytes lost

How are electrolytes lost

  • Severe diarrhea

  • Vomiting

  • High fever

  • Burns

  • Medical intervention is needed in the above cases

Toxicity of minerals or electrolytes

Toxicity of minerals or electrolytes

  • They become more than the body can handle

  • Hair loss

  • Changes in the blood, hormones, bones, muscles and nearly all tissue

  • Sometimes if one mineral is taken in high amounts, it causes a deficiency in another mineral



  • Calcium Ca+

  • Phosphorus P

  • MagnesiumMg+

  • SodiumNa+

  • PotassiumK+

  • ChlorideCl+

  • SulfurS



  • IronFe+

  • CopperCu+

Macro mineral calcium


Most abundant mineral. Bone building; regulation of muscle activity; vision. Needs Vit D to be absorbed


Milk products

Don’t combine hi fiber foods with Ca+, they bind the Ca+ and its not absorbed


Low calcium

Low Calcium

  • Having a Ca+ level of < 8.5 causes a condition known as tetany

  • Muscles cramp and curl esp. in cheek and if you put a BP cuff on the arm, fingers and hand curl

Macro mineral phosphorus


Bone and teeth building; needed in cellular structure; cellular energy transfer


Lean meat, poultry, nuts, fish, milk products, whole grain cereals


Macro mineral magnesium


Bone building; glucose utilization, making of energy (ATP), transmission of nerve impulses


Nuts, avocados, milk, bananas, leafy greens, whole grains


Macro mineral sodium


Electrolyte and water balance, osmosis, regulation of nerve and muscle function. Water follows salt, salt loss=dehydration.

Excess of Na+(hypernatremia) = edema, seen in HTN and CHF. Found in extracellular fluid


Table salt, beef, eggs, poultry, milk, cheese




Low levels of sodium in the blood, causes nausea, exhaustion, muscle cramps


High levels of sodium in the blood, causes HTN, edema


Macro mineral potassium


Found in intracellular fluid

Electrolyte balance


Transmission of nerve impulses and for muscle contraction


Bananas, Citrus, potatoes, vegetables, milk, cereals, meat




Low levels of K+ in the blood

Caused by:

Vomiting, diarrhea, DKA, malnutrition, diuretics, tachycardia

Causes – muscle weakness, confusion, abnormal HRT beat


High levels of K+ in the blood

Caused by:

Dehydration, Na+ and K+ shift, renal failure, excessive intake,

Causes irregular HRT beat, confusion, cardiac failure


Macro mineral chloride


Electrolyte balance – osmosis, contributes to gastric acidity, it helps the blood carry carbon dioxide to the lungs during immune responses


Table salt


Macro mineral sulfur


Joint lubrication (in body-synthesized amino acids); allergic inflammation

The amount of Sulfur the body needs is unknown


Meat, fish, milk products




Micro mineral trace mineral iron


Primary role of iron is to deliver oxygen to body tissues. Iron is a component of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin allows RBC’s to combine with O2 in the lungs and carry it to body tissues


Red meats, fish, poultry, shellfish, eggs, legumes, dried fruits

Micro-Mineral (Trace mineral)Iron



  • Iron exists in 2 forms: ferric and ferrous

  • Iron is needed in the blood, it is part of hemoglobin and transports oxygen

  • For iron to be absorbed into the body, it must be changed from ferric to ferrous iron. This change occurs in the stomach with the help of HCL acid

  • Women require more iron than men from age 11 through childbearing years, then women’s intake = men’s intake in menopause

Increase need for iron

Increase need for iron

  • Infants – have iron stores at birth, once they use it up, they need extra iron in food as supplements

  • Adolescents- especially girls for menstruation

  • Pregnancy- d/t new tissue formation and blood volume

Iron deficiency

Iron Deficiency

  • Causes a decrease in hemoglobin or O2

  • People c/o:

  • S.O.B.

  • Dizziness

  • Pallor

  • Fatigue

Micro mineral iodine


Needed for normal functioning of the thyroid gland which determines the rate of metabolism


Iodized (Table) salt, Seafood, bread, dairy products




  • Is needed to make T3 and T4 in the thyroid gland.

  • People in 3rd world countries don’t eat table salt. The hypothalamus tells the pituitary to send a messenger called TSH thyroid stimulating hormone to make T3 and T4. When there is no T3 and T4 d/t no salt, the hypothalamus keeps sending a message to the pituitary and TSH is cont’d to be made. This overproduction of TSH makes a goiter form in the neck, it’s a big mass. Some countries find this to be prestigious.

Thyroid levels

Thyroid levels

  • If a pt has hypothyroidism called “Myxedema” their labs would look like this:

  • ↑ TSH – thyroid stimulating hormone – this is the thing that turns on the thyroid in order to make T3 and T4

  • ↓T3

  • ↓ T4

Thyroid levels1

Thyroid levels

  • If a pt has Graves disease, their labs would look like this:

  • ↓ TSH – because there is just too much T3 and T4, they don’t even need to be stimulated to come out, they just come out full blown

  • ↑ T3

  • ↑ T4

Micro mineral copper


  • Copper is found in all tissues but it’s most concentrated in the liver, kidneys, muscles and brain

  • Copper helps:

  • 1. the formation of hemoglobin

  • 2. Aids in the transport of iron to bone marrow

  • for the formation of RBC’s

  • 3. Participates in energy production

In review

In Review

  • *Minerals are important to promote growth and regulate body processes

  • *Deficiencies can result in anemia, rickets, goiter

  • *Excessive amts of minerals cause hair loss and changes in nearly all body tissues

The end

The End

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