In the context of nutrition, a mineral is a chemical element required as an essential nutrient by organisms to perform functions necessary for life.Minerals originate in the earth and cannot be made by living organisms.Plants get minerals from soil.Most of the minerals in a human diet come from eating plants and animals or from drinking water.As a group, minerals are one of the four groups of essential nutrients, the others of which are vitamins, essential fatty acids, and essential amino acids.The five major minerals in the human body are calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and magnesium.All of the remaining elements in a human body are called "trace elements". The trace elements that have a specific biochemical function in the human body are sulfur, iron, chlorine, cobalt, copper, zinc, manganese, molybdenum, iodine and selenium.
One element, cobalt, is available for use by animals only after having been processed into complex molecules (e.g., vitamin B12) by bacteria.
Together these eleven chemical elements (H, C, N, O, Ca, P, K, Na, Cl, S, Mg) make up 99.85% of the body.There is not scientific consensus on whether chromium is an essential trace element. The United States and Japan designate chromium as an essential nutrient,but the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), representing the European Union, reviewed the question in 2014 and does not agree.
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