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Science & Technology

HUMAN BODY AND ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS

It is necessary to take sufficient diet to keep in balanced state of the body.

By Dr. S.M. ALAM
NIA, Tandojam.
Oct 08 - 14, 2001

The human body is usually built up of different organic components and some of these are proteins, lipids, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, etc. Further, these macromolecules are composed of elements like carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, sulphur and phosphorus. There are other elements, which form part of the human and such elements are iron, manganese, zinc, copper, boron, molybdenum, cobalt, chorine, iodine, lithium, nickle, selenium, tin, vanadium, arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, aluminium, barium, and silicon.

Many enzymes are associated these elements and such elements are as iron (cytochrome C, reductase, succinic dehydrogenase, cytochrome oxidase, glutamic isomerase, liver transmethylase, peroxidase, lactic dehydrogenase, aldehyde oxidase dglycero phsophate, NADH); manganese (nitritereductase, pyruvate carboxylase, NADH reductase, superoxide dismutase); zinc (I) -lactic cyoto chrome reductase, carbonic anhydrase, carboxypeptidase, alkaline phosphatase, lactic dehydrogenase, lutamic dehydrogenase); copper (cytochrome oxidase, laccase, uricase, tyrosinase, monoamine oxidase, ascorbic acid oxidase, galactose oxidase); molybdenum (aldehyde dehydrogenase, nitrogenase, xanthine oxidase, formate dehydrogenase); cobalt (acid phosphomonoestrase, amino polypeptidase, arginine desiomidase, glycylglycine dipeptidase) and liver transmethylase), selenium (formic phosphotransferase, decarboxydase, acyltransferase); sodium (adenosine triphosphatase); potassium (proteinase, pyruvate kinase); calcium (cholinesterase, apyrase); magnesium (hexokinase, fructokinase, pyruvic carboxylase, phosphorylase); sulphur (NADP, NADPH); iodine (tyrosinase, dehydrogenase); lithium (acid phosphomutase, cholinesterase).

Functions of elements involved in human body's development:

Phosphorus: Phosphorus is involved in protein, fat, carbohydrates and muscle energy metabolism. ATP and ADP energy materials are directly involved in the transfer of energy in the body. Calcium, sulphur and magnesium are required by body for cell development and transfer of ATP to ADP in the human body. The source of P are milk, egg, yolk, lentils, meat, cheese, butter, chicken and grain.

Iron: Iron has been known to be an essential element for human body. Its daily requirement is about 15 mg, which is stored in liver and spleen. It is present as hemoglobin. Its deficiency causes hemolytic anemia, stomatities, palpitation, exertion and reduce physical activity.

Manganese: It is distributed in all tissues and organs. It acts as cofactor in many enzymes. The body contains 10-20 mg of Mn and its deficiency results in growth inhibition, abnormalities, depressed reproduction and lipid metabolism. The sources of Fe are liver, egg, yolk, wheat, meat, heart, shell fish, peaches, apples.

Zinc: Human body contains about 2-3 mg of zinc, which is mainly concentrated in the liver, prostrate, muscles, bone. Daily requirement is about 10-15 mg. Zinc deficiency result is retarded growth and many abnormalities in human body. The sources of zinc are oysters, cheese, meat, shell fish.

Copper: Copper is concentrated in brain and liver. It is component of many enzymes. The requirement of copper is 2-5 mg and its deficiency leads to cause iron metabolism impairment. Wilson's disease is associated with copper deficiency in the body. Copper toxicity leads to vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, etc. The sources of copper are beverages, shell fish, yeast, nuts, almonds.

Boron: The human body contains very small amount of boron, which is present in liver, blood, kidney, brain, muscles, lungs and dental enamel. Its requirement is about 2.1 mg. The excessive use of boric acid in the treatment of burn may increase the level of boron, which may cause gastrointestinal disorder. Its source is cereal, citrus fruit, etc.

Molybdenum: It is present in tissues, blood, dental enamel, and with many enzymes. Its daily requirement is about 1.5 mg.

Cobalt: The human body contains about 1.2 mg of cobalt mainly stored in bones and muscles. It is an integral part of vitamin B1. The daily intake of this element is about 0.140.16 mg. Cobalt chloride is used for treatment of hypertension as it lowers the blood pressure to normal level, its source is tea, bean and peas.

Iodine: The. body contains 15-20 mg of iodine, which is mainly concentrated in the thyroid gland and is used in the formation of thyroid hormones. The suggested intake of iodine is 100-200 mg/day. The deficiency of iodine causes thyroid gland disease. Iodine is obtained from sea food, vegetable, water.

Nickle: Nickle, which was recognized as an essential element in 1970 is present in human tissues, hair, and dental enamel. It influences milk production. Many abnormalities in plasma cholesterol level, liver glycogen. Nickle is a part of nickelplasmin, a metal protein present in blood. Its daily uptake is about 400 mg. Higher amounts of Ni accumulate in lungs and become toxic above 2-7 mg/day, which cause respiratory tract infection. Nickle main source is from vegetables, fruits and species.

Fluorine: Fluorine, which is present in the body as fluoride ion was recognized as an essential element in 1930. It is required for the growth of skeleton and teeth. The suitable daily intake is in the range of 0.5-1.5 mg/day. Fluoride ion deficiency results in dental disease. Its main source is potato, salmon, sardine, etc.

Selenium: It is mainly concentrated in the liver, skin, muscles and kidney. Selenium forms complexes with As, Cd, Hg, Ni. An average daily intake in the range of 130-200 ug, whereas a higher amount above 225 ug produces toxic effects. It is present in liver, skin, muscles and kidney. Its main source is cereal products, meat and fish.

Silicon: Silicon is present in all body tissues, but higher concentrations are present in skin and appendages It is present in meat, cereals and spices. Daily intake varies from 1-1.2 g. A constant Si level in blood is maintained and the excess amount excreted through urine. Its main source is cereal, wheat, maize, sugar, leguminous, plants and water.

There are other elements, which are needed by human body in minor amount, but are essentials and these elements are: chlorine, chromium, stannous, cadmium, arsenic, mercury, aluminum and barium. A shortage of any of these elements adversely effects the growth and development of human body.

Conclusion: The inorganic elements present in the body are essential to the body system. These described elements are involved in proteins, fats, carbohydrates and vitamins. Their shortage in human body generally affects the normal health of a man. Therefore, it is necessary to take sufficient diet to keep in balanced state of the body.