Inorganic compounds, minerals generally known as elements are essential for supporting the functioning of our body, such as contraction of muscles, production of hormones and transmissions of nerves. The great quantity of minerals, like magnesium and calcium that our body needs are called macro-minerals in the language of nutritionists. And those minerals needed in small quantities below 20 mg a day are known as trace minerals.
The 7 main dietary chemical elements present in greater amounts in our body are of the order, calcium, phosphorous, potassium, sulfur, sodium, chlorine, and magnesium. The most essential minor dietary elements or “trace” needed for life of mammals are cobalt, zinc, molybdenum, bromine, iron, copper, magnesium, iodine and selenium.
Calcium: Calcium whose chemical symbol is Ca and atomic No. 20 is a chemical element gray in color and soft. It is an alkaline metal of the earth, and, by mass, it is the fifth-most abundant element found in the crust of the earth.
Phosphorus: Phosphorus whose chemical symbol is P and atomic No, 15, is a chemical element that exists in two main forms – red phosphorus and white phosphorus – we do not find phosphorus on earth in the free form, because it is highly reactive.
Potassium: potassium whose chemical symbol is K and atomic No. 19, (potassium is derived from Neo-Latin “Kalium”) is an alkali metal, it is silvery-white in color, soft and rapidly gets oxidized when exposed to air. Besides, with water, it is highly reactive.
Sulphur or sulfur: Sulfur has a chemical symbol S has an atomic No. of 16. This non-metal is found in abundance and it is multivalent. Under ordinary circumstances, the atom sulfur combine to form cyclic Octatomic molecules whose symbol are S8
Sodium: Sodium whose chemical symbol is Na (derived from the Latin word Natrium) has an atomic No. of 11. Belongs to the group of alkali metals; it is a very reactive metal, silvery-white in color and soft to the touch. The only stable isotope of sodium is Na 23
Chlorine: Chlorine whose chemical symbol is Cl has an atomic No. 17. Chlorine belongs to the halogen family 17; it is the second lightest halogen after Fluorine.
Magnesium: Magnesium, whose chemical symbol is Mg, has an atomic No. 12. This solid is shiny gray in color.
Iron: Iron whose chemical symbol is Fe is derived from the Latin word “Ferrum.” It has an atomic No. of 26. The element iron is a metal; it belongs to the first series of transition elements. By mass, it is the element that is found mostly on Earth, which forms the Major part of the Earth’s inner and outer core. Among the elements in the Earth’s crust, it stands in fourth place. In the human body, it has a vital role like carrying oxygen to every cell, brain development, improving immune functions and many more. The sources are spinach, bean, seeds, meat and whole wheat products.
Cobalt: Cobalt whose chemical symbol is Co has an atomic No. 27. Similar to the element nickel, this element cobalt too is found in the Earth’s crust only in the combined, chemical form, perhaps in the meager deposits that occur in the alloys of meteoric iron found in nature.
Copper: Copper, whose chemical symbol is Cu, derived from the Latin word Cuprum, it has an atomic No. 29. This element has high electrical and thermal conductivity; this metal is ductile in nature. It helps to develop connecting tissues and hemoglobin. This element is an important part of several enzymes and helps to produce energy in the cells of the human body. Nuts, organ meats, seafoods and seeds are the best source of copper.
Zinc: Zinc whose chemical symbol is Zn has an atomic No. 30. In the periodic tables, in the Group 12, zinc is the first element. When compared to magnesium, there are similarities to zinc, where their ions are of similar size and its one and only oxidation state is +2. Zinc has five stable isotopes and in the crust of the Earth, it is the 24th most abundant element. In the human body, Zinc plays an important part in supporting enzymatic reactions, utilize food and enhance cell reproduction. It also repairs the tissues and promotes tissue growth. It is an important element to maintain a healthy body and immune system. Lack of zinc in the daily diet can cause birth defects or growth retardation in children. The Zinc is found in eggs, nuts, meat, whole-grain items, peas and seeds.
Manganese: Manganese whose chemical symbol is Mn has an atomic number 25. In nature, we do not find it as a free element; it is frequently seen combined with iron and also with several other minerals. This metal Manganese is of industrial importance in alloys of metals, especially in stainless steel. Manganese is essential in the formation of strong bones and to increase metabolism. It increases the response and working of the immune system along with forming cartilage. Fruits, lentils, vegetables and whole grain items have a good source of manganese.
Molybdenum: Molybdenum, whose chemical symbol is Mo has an atomic No. of 42. It works with iron to produce red blood cells in the human bodies. Molybdenum is found in the diary and grain products.
Iodine: Whose chemical symbol is 1, has an atomic No. 53. This element derived its name from the Greek word “ioeidēs” which means purple or violet, on account of iodine vapor in the element.
Bromine: Bromine whose chemical symbol is Br has an atomic No. 35. This element derived its name from the Greek word brómos which means “smelling-strong” or “stench”.
Selenium: whose chemical symbol is Se, has an atomic No. 34. This element is a non-metal.
How Trace Minerals are Inspected in the Body
“Inductivity coupled plasma mass spectrometry” is a recent technology. This test is exceptionally accurate and of high sensitivity, with regards to the body’s balance of minerals. This is named a Tissue Mineral Analysis (TMA), otherwise called Minerogram. It is regarded as the gold standard test, which is practiced all over the world for monitoring the biological trace elements and heavy metals that are toxic. In the field of forensic investigation and for environmental purposes, this test is applied to both animals and human beings.
It was in the 1960’s that this science was developed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), this was quartered by a team of multi-disciplinary professionals in Australia at the Vienna International Centre, and by supported staff comprising of over 90 countries hailing from the disciplines of technical, scientific and professional areas.
The whole body’s necessary minerals do not undergo testing by blood analysis in parts per million, which is essential for estimating one’s balance of trace mineral. The crucial test that is carried out in determining one’s mineral balance is the Minerogram test.
The provision of vital minerals required by animals for the functioning of the metabolism like development and growth, reproduction and immunity is obtained from the trace minerals. Even a slight lack of these trace minerals negatively acts on the functions of the animal. Much more information of the diverse functions of every trace mineral, and the indications of deficiency of these trace minerals are as follows”
Trace Mineral Function Trace Mineral Deficiency
Epithelial tissue integrity
Vitamin A utilization
Issues related to Fertility
Poor healing of wounds
Issues related to joints and bones
Strange hooves and skin
Abnormal skin and hooves
Manganese Response to Immunity
Synthesis of Bone and cartilage
Abnormalities in hooves, hair and skin
Impaired ability to repair or make joint cartilage
Abnormal development in joint and bones
Copper Immune response
Maturation of Red blood cells
Function of Enzyme
Maintenance and collagen synthesis
Immune response ⦁ Inadequate growth
Reduced coat color
Issues related to ligament and tendon
Disease related to joint and bones
Early embryonic losses
Cobalt Fiber fermentation by bacteria
Required by ruminants for synthesis of Vitamin B12 by bacteria in the gut
Low body conditions
Lack of Vitamin B12 level
Iron Oxygen transport in hemoglobin ⦁ Possible by loss of blood
Anemia is the final stage of iron deficiency
Selenium Response to Immune
Thyroid hormone metabolism
Component of Glutathione Peroxidase
Deficiency in tolerating
Thyroid hormone synthesis
Thermoregulation Loss of hair and scaly and dry skin
Enlarged thyroid gland; goiter
Micronutrients in Plants
Plants require in little amounts seven nutrients that are necessary for their health and growth. Even though these nutrients are in little amounts, each of them is essential.
Boron: this is alleged to engage in the transportation of carbohydrate in plants; in addition it helps in regulating metabolism. Bud dieback frequently occurs where there is a deficiency in boron.
Chlorine: for ionic and osmosis balance Chlorine is essential; it also performs photosynthesis.
Copper: for the component of certain enzymes Copper is essential; browning of the tips of the leaves and chlorosis are the symptoms where copper is deficient
Iron: Iron is necessary for the synthesis of chlorophyll; chlorosis is the result of deficiency of iron.
Manganese: Manganese plays a role in activating certain vital enzymes to form chlorophyll.
Molybdenum: For the health of plants, molybdenum is necessary. Plants use molybdenum in reducing nitrates into the forms that are usable.
Zinc: zinc takes part in the formation of chlorophyll, in addition it activates lots of enzymes. Stunted growth and chlorosis are affected on account of signs of deficiency in zinc.