Topics: Aluminium, Dietary mineral, Dietary minerals Pages: 2 (589 words) Published: August 4, 2007
Minerals are elements that originate in the Earth and cannot be made by living organisms. They are natural compounds formed through geological processes and are what remains as ash when plant or animal tissue is burned or decompose completely after death. Minerals are inorganic substances which means they are not formed by living matter and contain no carbon, and can be simply defined as chemical molecules which cannot be reduced to simpler substances. To be classified as a "true" mineral, a substance must be a solid and have a crystal structure. It must also be a naturally-occurring, homogeneous substance with a defined chemical composition.

As well as existing in their inorganic form in the Earth, minerals are the basic constituents of all matter, are part of living tissue, and constitute most of what we call elements, the basic building blocks of matter. Approximately 4% to 5% of the body's weight is mineral matter, and most of this is in the skeleton. Minerals are also present in tissue protein, enzymes, blood, some vitamins, and so on. There are 92 naturally occurring elements on earth but only eight elements make over 98% of the minerals on the Earth's crust. They are, in decreasing quantity, 1 oxygen, 2 silicon, 3 aluminium, 4 iron, 5 calcium, 6 sodium, 7 potassium, 8 magnesium. Approximately 112 minerals have been identified, and are listed on chemical charts called periodic tables.

Minerals are essential for good health and for growth and just the right amounts of minerals in our diets are necessary. Various minerals play important roles within our bodies and are constituents of the bones, teeth, soft tissue, muscle, blood, and nerve cells. They also act as catalysts for many biological reactions within the body, including, muscle response, the transmission of messages through the nervous system, and the utilization of nutrients in food. Minerals used in the body are classified as macro minerals and micro minerals. Macro minerals are macronutrients...
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