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  • All Known Essential Minerals

    Minerals (nutrients) are inorganic substances (contain no carbon) that are necessary for normal body function and development.


    Macro-minerals are needed in large doses (approximate recommended daily intake, milligrams (mg) per day ): 

    1. potassium, K (3500 mg) - metal, ions are necessary for the function of all living cells; 
    2. chloride, Cl− (3400 mg) - essential electrolyte in all body fluids; 
    3. sodium, Na, natrium (2400 mg) - metal, essential for all animals and some plants;
    4. calcium, Ca (1000 mg) - metal, essential for living organisms, produced in supernova nucleosynthesis;
    5. phosphorus, P (1000 mg) - in the form of the phosphate is required for all known forms of life; 
    6. choline (425 - 550 mg) - essential vitamin-like (vitamin B4) nutrient, synthesized in human body, but not sufficiently;
    7. magnesium, Mg (350 mg) - metal, essential for all known living organisms;

    Trace Minerals

    Trace minerals are needed in very small amounts (recommended daily intake, milligrams (mg) or micrograms (mcg) per day: 

    1. iron, Fe (15 mg) - metal, found in nearly all living organisms;
    2. zinc, Zn (8 - 11 mg) - metal, essential for humans and other organisms;
    3. manganese, Mn (5 mg) - metal, toxic essential trace element;
    4. fluorineF, fluoride ion, F− (3 - 4 mg) - a beneficial poisonous element, essential for bone solidity;
    5. copper, Cu (2 mg) - metal, essential to all living organisms;
    6. iodine, I (150 mcg) - a key component of thyroid hormones;
    7. selenium, Se (35mcg) - toxic in large doses, essential micronutrient for animals;
    8. chromium, Cr (30 mcg) - chromium (III) is questionably essential for humans.

  • Vitamin C

    Vitamin C, or L-ascorbic acid, or ascorbate, is an essential nutrient for humans, a water-soluble vitamin. Humans, unlike most animals, are unable to synthesize vitamin C, so it is an essential dietary component. 

    • Vitamin C is required for the biosynthesis of collagen (an essential component of connective tissue), L-carnitine, and certain neurotransmitters, it is also involved in protein metabolism.
    • Vitamin C is also an important physiological antioxidant and has been shown to regenerate other antioxidants within the body, including alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E). Vitamin C regenerates vitamin E by reducing vitamin E radicals formed when vitamin E scavenges the oxygen radicals. 
    • Vitamin C plays an important role in immune function and improves the absorption of nonheme iron, the form of iron present in plant-based foods.

    Approximately 70%–90% of vitamin C is absorbed at moderate intakes of 30–180 mg a day. At doses above 1 g a day, absorption falls to less than 50% and absorbed, unmetabolized ascorbic acid is excreted in the urine. 

    Insufficient vitamin C intake causes scurvy, which is characterized by fatigue or lassitude, connective tissue weakness, and capillary fragility.

    Cells accumulate vitamin C. The total body content of vitamin C ranges from 300 mg (at near scurvy) to about 2 g.

    • High levels of vitamin C are maintained in cells and tissues, and are highest in leukocytes (white blood cells), eyes, adrenal glands, pituitary gland, and brain.
    • Relatively low levels of vitamin C are found in extracellular fluids, such as plasma, red blood cells, and saliva.

Charles Darwin

There is no fundamental difference between man and the higher animals in their mental faculties . . . The lower animals, like man, manifestly feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery.

Dietary Reference Intake DRI

Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) are reference values that are quantitative estimates of nutrient intakes to be used for planning and assessing diets for healthy people. They include both recommended intakes and upper intake levels.

Although the reference values are based on data, the data are often insufficient or drawn from studies that had limitations in addressing the question. Scientific judgment is required in setting the reference values. 

  • EAR - Estimated Average Requirement - a nutrient intake value that is estimated to meet the requirement of half the healthy individuals in a group.
  • RDA - Recommended Dietary Allowance - the average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirement of nearly all (97 to 98 percent) healthy individuals in a group.
  • AI - Adequate Intake: a value based on observed or experimentally determined approximations of nutrient intake by a group of healthy people.
    Used when an RDA cannot be determined.
  • UL - Tolerable Upper Intake Level - the highest level of daily nutrient intake that is likely to pose no risk of adverse health effects to almost all individuals in the general population. As intake increases above the UL, the risk of adverse effects increases. Apple