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Minerals and trace elements 

Minerals and trace elements
Chapter:
Minerals and trace elements
Author(s):

Katherine Younger

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0220
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date: 25 February 2021

The essential minerals, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur, sodium, chlorine, and magnesium (macrominerals) and trace elements chromium, copper, fluorine, iodine, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc, have diverse and critical functions in human metabolism. Dietary sources and the intake requirements for macrominerals and trace elements for optimal physiological well-being have been established, and the upper range of intake has been also been set so that unwanted or even toxic effects can be avoided. Deficiency of certain trace elements contributes importantly to the global burden of illness and mortality, especially in infants under the age of five years. An up-to-date familiarity with the scientific basis of mineral and trace element physiology is therefore critical for maintaining good standards of clinical practice and to inform the best standards of nutritional advice, especially in the treatment of severe illnesses associated with deficiency or toxic excess of one or more macrominerals or trace elements.

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