Basic Science

Mineral Salts: Sources, functions and deficiencies of macronutrients

len Alfred Ajibola - Thu, 15th August, 2019 @ 2:07 PM

Topics in Basic Science

Importance of immunization Types of Carbohydrates: Monosaccharides and Polysaccharides Carbohydrates: Disaccharides and Oligosaccharides Len Academy Examination Questions for Basic Science, JSS2, 2nd Term Len Academy Examination Questions for Basic Science, JSS3, 3rd Term Len Academy Examination Questions for Basic Science, JSS3, 2nd Term Primates: Characteristics of Primates Effects of improper waste management Waste Management: Causes of waste in the society Concept of mass and weight Mineral Salts: Sources, functions and deficiencies of macronutrients Sources, functions and deficiencies of micronutrients Len Academy questions for Basic Science JSS1, second Term Len Academy mid-term test questions for Basic Science JSS1, 2nd Term Micro organisms causing food, water and air borne diseases Vector borne organisms and the diseases they cause Bones of the Human Skeleton Meaning of Drugs, Type of Drugs and Side effects of Drugs What is immunization? How immunization works and the processes involved Food: What is food?

Academic Questions in Basic Science

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Vaccination involves a process of introducing pathogens or germs into a person in order to prevent such person from the diseases they cause.

  • A. True

  • B. False

With regards to the human health, foreign bodies are best regarded as _____.

  • A. International bodies

  • B. Antilators

  • C. Antibodies

  • D. Antigens

  • E. Antibiotics

  • F. Antidotes

Disease causing organisms are termed _____.

  • A. Pests

  • B. Pathogens

  • C. Vectors

  • D. Insects

  • E. Disease carriers

  • F. All the above options are correct

____ is formed from a reaction utilizing oxygen and glucose in the mitochondria of cells.

  • A. Galactose

  • B. Fructose

  • C. Sucrose

  • D. AMP

  • E. ADP

  • F. ATP

Which of the following statement is false concerning carbohydrates?

  • A. They are composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen only

  • B. Carbon has the highest ratio of the constituent elements of carbohydrates

  • C. All carbohydrates are sugars

  • D. Fructose is a carbohydrate

  • E. Natural milk contains lactose and it's a carbohydrate

  • F. Fatty foods contains high calories of energy when compared to the same quantity of carbohydrate foods

Which of the following is a class of food?

  • A. Water

  • B. Fibre

  • C. Roughages

  • D. Latex

  • E. Tanins

  • F. Wax

Brachiation is a specialized form of movement exhibited by _____.

  • A. Human beings

  • B. Babbons

  • C. Chameleons

  • D. Toads

  • E. Millipedes

  • F. Birds

_____ is a form of locomotion whereby an organism move by means of its two hind limbs.

  • A. Pedalism

  • B. Duo Pedalism

  • C. Double Pedalism

  • D. Dual Pedalism

  • E. Bipedalism

  • F. Copedalism

What are Mineral Salts?

Mineral salts are one of the classes of food alongside carbohydrates, protein, fats and oils, vitamins and water.

Minerals are inorganic substances (that is, they don't contain carbon); and are present in every form of food chain (from the producers -> consumers -> decomposers).

As an instance, plants absorb minerals from fertilizers and soil nutrients. Animals ingest these minerals when they eat plants and other animals.

Please read more on food chain here.

It is noteworthy to state that minerals are also present in nature since they move through cycles, for instance, nitrogen cycle.

Our bodies are unable to synthesize mineral salts. As a result, we must get them from the food we eat. Interestingly, they are present in most of our food; and it is recommended we eat a varied diet in order to get all the different elements that make them up.

Mineral salts are always eliminated in metabolic waste products like sweat and urine. They are also lost in feces, although feces isn’t a metabolic waste product.

Mineral salts are essential nutrients required by organisms to function properly. In total, they account for approximately 4% - 6% of the total body mass in humans. Meanwhile, understand that calcium accounts for most of this value.

Minerals salts are generally classified into two types based on the amount required by the body (on a daily basis). These are:

  • Macronutrients: They are also referred to as macro elements.
  • Macronutrients are needed in a relatively large amount (more than 100mg per day).

    Examples of macronutrients are calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chlorine, phosphorus and sulphur.

  • Micronutrients: They are also referred to as micro elements or trace elements.
  • The micronutrients are needed in small to moderate amounts (less than 100mg per day).

    Examples of micronutrients are iodine, iron, zinc, copper, fluorine, selenium, manganese, chromium, molybdenum and cobalt.

    Please read on the sources, functions and deficiencies of micronutrients here

Plants and animals require mineral salts for the proper functioning of their internal systems.

Animals are required to take some of these mineral salts in minute or small quantities via various food substances or even as drugs, although a few can be eaten directly; for instance iron and sodium chloride (common salt).

Lack of mineral salts in the body system will lead to deficiency diseases. A deficiency disease is a disease caused by the lack of an element in the diet; usually relating to a vitamin or mineral.

Examples of deficiency diseases include scurvy, beriberi, rickets, osteomalacia, pellagra, xerophthalmia and hypocalcemia.


Sources, Functions and Deficiency Symptoms of Macronutrients

Below are the macronutrients, their sources, functions and deficiency symptoms:


  • Calcium

Sources: Bones, milk, cheese, egg, fish, vegetables, carrot, orange and dairy products.


Deficiency Symptoms:

  1. Rickets (improper bone formation).
  2. Osteoporosis (weakness and brittleness of bones).
  3. Osteomalacia (soft bones).
    Please read on the types of bone here.
  4. Tooth Decay.


  • Sodium

Sources: Table salt, fish, sea foods and fruits.


Deficiency Symptoms:

  1. Dehydration and excessive water loss.
  2. Muscle cramps.


  • Potassium

Sources: Tomatoes, avocados, dried apricots and meat.


  • Proper functioning of the muscles (muscular contractions).
  • Controls blood osmotic pressure.
  • Transmission of nervous impulses.

Deficiency Symptoms:

  1. Muscle paralysis and stiffness.
  2. Nervous disorders.
    Please read on the uniqueness of man here.
  3. Heart palpitations.
  4. Difficulty in breathing.
  5. Digestive problems.


  • Phosphorus

Sources: Egg, wheat, cheese, milk, fish and diets high in protein.


Deficiency Symptoms:

  1. Rickets (improper bone formation).
  2. Osteoporosis (weakness and brittleness of bones).
  3. Osteomalacia (soft bones).
  4. Tooth Decay.


  • Magnesium

Sources: Green vegetables, dairy products, whole grains cereals, and meat.


  • Muscle contraction.
  • Catalyst for the utilization of iron.
  • Needed in teeth and bone formation.

Deficiency Symptoms:

  1. Nervous disorder.
  2. Improper muscle contractions.


  • Sulphur

Sources: Meat, milk and egg.


Deficiency Symptoms:

  1. Cell damage.
  2. Joint pains.
  3. Reduced protein synthesis.


  • Chlorine

Sources: Table salt, fish and fruits.


  • Transmission of nerve impulses.
  • Maintenance of the osmotic balance in the body fluids. (Blood pressure and pH control).

Deficiency Symptoms:

  1. Dehydration, diarrhea and vomiting.
  2. Muscle cramps.

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Amazing facts in Basic Science

Antibiotics fights and kills bacteria. However, they do nothing to a virus

All insects have six legs. However, dragonfly has six legs but can't walk

The chin is defined as the protruding part of the face below the mouth, formed by the apex of the lower lip. It is shown below:

Chin - Len Academy

Interestingly, humans are the only animals with chin

Cranberries - Len Academy

Ripe cranberries will bounce like a ball. For this reason, they are nicknamed 'bounceberries'. They will also float in water

Tomatoes and Avocados are fruits, not vegetables

Sweat in itself doesn't smell. The smell that accompanies sweat is actually caused by the presence of bacteria on your skin. This bacteria breaks the sweat coming out of your sweat pores down into acids, thus making it smell.

Deodorants contains alcohol and are antibacterial. They work by killing the bacteria that makes sweat smell

Chewing aspirin during a heart attack may be a life saver. This is true because the drug inhibits platelets from forming a clot that can block an artery of the heart, thus stopping a heart attack

The kneecaps of newly born babies are not made of bone. Rather, they are little bits of cartilage which ossifies (turns from cartilages to bone) from age 2 to 6

Ice cubes - Len Academy

Ice cubes made with fresh water are white in color while those made with boiled water are crystal clear

Cats are unable to taste sweet things


Waste Management can be defined as the process of collecting, processing, recycling and controlling any material considered as waste.

Improperly disposed waste litters on road sides, in land fills, gutters and ditches. They are generally bad for the following reasons:

Wastes can be classified into various types. These are:

  • Biodegradable waste

  • Non-Biodegradable waste

  • Refuse

  • Sewage

  • Recyclable waste

  • Electronic waste

  • Green waste

  • Biomedical waste

  • Metabolic waste

  • Radioactive waste

  • Chemical waste

  • Animal product waste

Please read the explanations on the classification of wastes here

The African Star Apple is a seasonal fruit that grows abundantly in Nigeria and other West African Countries. It's fondly called African Cherry, Agbalumo or Udara in some parts of Nigeria.

African Star Apple, Cherry, Agbalumo, Udara - Len Academy

Below are some benefits of the African Star Apple:

  • It contains high amount of vitamin C

  • It contains a high amount of calcium

  • It contains high amount of potassium

  • It is a powerful antioxidant

  • It aids in weight reduction

  • It contains a high amount of iron

  • Its leaves, fruits and seeds are medicinal

  • It aids digestion and prevents vomiting

Please read more on the african star apple here

Disaccharides are composed of two monosaccharides joined together; thus are also referred to as double sugars.

Disaccharides are often added as sweeteners to food; for instance, the table sugar called sucrose is a disaccharide often used by us to sweeten our tea.

Maltose is another disaccharide used as an ingredient for making malt drinks, chocolates and candies.

The breast milk contains the disaccharide -> lactose.

Lactose is very vital for the normal growth and development of infants.

In adults, disaccharides are non essential nutrients. This implies that we can live without them as adults.

Below is a summary of monosaccharides that make up disaccharides (double sugars).

  • Maltose = Glucose + Glucose

  • Lactose = Glucose + Galactose

  • Sucrose = Glucose + Fructose

Other examples of disaccharides include trehalulose and isomaltulose

Polysaccharides are complex sugars. These are what we often eat whenever we eat carbohydrates.

We have four types of polysaccharides namely:

  1. Starch

  2. Glycogen

  3. Chitin

  4. Cellulose

Starchy foods include rice, cassava and yam.

Glycogen is stored in the human liver; as a result of the joining of many glucose molecules.

Chitin is a major component of insect and anthropod's skeleton.

Cellulose is a major component of a plant's cell wall. They cannot be digested when eaten by humans; hence they function as roughages.

Roughages are not classified as one the classes of food in humans. This is due to the fact that they aren't digested. They will rather facilitate the movement of bowels in the large intestine (colon). For this reason, they can be very useful in treating constipation.

Please read more on carbohydrates here