Basic Science

Sources, Functions and Deficiencies of Mineral Salts (Macro-nutrients)

len Alfred Ajibola - Thu, 15th August, 2019 @ 14:07: PM

Topics in Basic Science

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Academic Questions in Basic Science

Please check out our Test Your Knowledge page to see all Questions and Answers

Which of the following statement is FALSE concerning mass and weight?

  • A. Mass is the amount of matter in a body

  • B. The element hydrogen has the smallest mass

  • C. You will weigh more on planet jupiter than earth

  • D. Weight is a function of gravity

  • E. Mass and Weight have different Standard International (S.I) Units

  • F. None of the above

Which of the following statement is FALSE concerning matter?

  • A. Anything considered as matter must either have mass or occupy space

  • B. Air is an example of matter

  • C. Plasma is a state of matter

  • D. Chemistry is considered as the study of matter and the changes they undergo

  • E. Vacuum is a space completely void of matter

  • F. Matter will always take up space no matter how small or invincible it is to the eyes

Which of the following is NOT matter?

  • A. Atom

  • B. Molecule

  • C. Ion

  • D. Bacterium

  • E. Virus

  • F. None of the above

The ultimate source of energy is _____.

  1. Plant
  2. Sun
  3. Food
  4. Water
  5. Air
  6. Earth

The speed of wind is measured with a wind vane.

TRUE or FALSE

The nutrient majorly found in the liver is _____.

  • A. Carbohydrate
  • B. Starch
  • C. Protein
  • D. Fats
  • E. Oil
  • F. Lipids

A body at rest possess _____ energy.

  • A. Kinetic
  • B. Potential
  • C. Mechanical
  • D. Chemical

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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, Food Wen and Food Pyramid here.

Note: Minerals are also present in nature as 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 so as 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 if they are to function properly.

In total, they account for approximately 4% - 6% of the total body mass in humans. (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 their various food substances, 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 Macro-nutrients, their Sources, Functions and Deficiency Symptoms:

 

1. CALCIUM

Sources: Bones, Milk, Cheese, Egg, Fish, Vegetables, Carrot, Orange and Dairy products.

Functions

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.

 

2. SODIUM

Sources: Table Salt, Fish, Sea foods and Fruits.

Functions

Deficiency Symptoms

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

 

3. POTASSIUM

Sources: Tomatoes, Avocados, Dried apricots and Meat.

Functions

  • 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 (Brain) here.
  3. Heart palpitations.
  4. Difficulty in breathing.
  5. Digestive problems.

 

4. PHOSPHORUS

Sources: Egg, Wheat,  Cheese, Milk, Fish and Diets high in protein.

Functions

Deficiency Symptoms

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

 

5. MAGNESIUM

Sources: Green vegetables, Dairy products, Whole grains cereals, and Meat.

Functions

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

Deficiency Symptoms

  1. Nervous disorder.
  2. Improper muscle contractions.

 

6. SULPHUR

Sources: Meat, Milk and Egg.

Functions

Deficiency Symptoms

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

 

7. CHLORINE

Sources: Table Salt, Fish and Fruits.

Functions

  • 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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Alfred Ajibola is a Medical Biochemist, a passionate Academician with over 7 years of experience, a Versatile Writer, a Web Developer, a Cisco Certified Network Associate and a Cisco CyberOps Associate.


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Rain water contains vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 is an important nutrient that keeps the blood cells and neurones healthy. It also assist in building the DNA (a genetic material present in the cell's nucleus). Vitamin B12 also aid in the prevention of megaloblastic anemia which makes people weak and tired

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Think of the pupil as a hole located in the centre of the iris within of the eye.

Note: To get an idea of an iris; 'when one is said to have blue eyes', it's because the iris is blue

Among all land animals, 🐘 Elephants 🐘 have the longest gestation period.

They stay pregnant for 22 months before giving birth to their young

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NOTABLE POINTS IN Basic Science

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); and for this reason, they can be very useful in treating constipation.

Please read more on carbohydrates here

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Under the classification of living organisms, humans belong to an order termed primates and thus share the same characteristics (as primates). In addition to these features, they also have their unique characteristics.

Please read on man's uniqueness here

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Eyebrows perform two main functions:

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Eye Brow - Len Academy

Eyebrow modified in the form of Nike logo.

Note: Eyebrows can also be modified to enhance beauty.

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There is nothing like a naturally occurring seedless fruit. Even banana, coconut and pineapple have all got seeds.