The body elemental
Ever felt like you weren't in your element? Well...take a look at the elements in you!
Ca - Calcium, C - Carbon, Cl - Chlorine, H - Hydrogen, I - Iodine, Fe - Iron, Mg - Magnesium, Mn - Manganese, N - Nitrogen, O - Oxygen, P - Phosphorus, K - Potassium, Na - Sodium, S - Sulphur, Zn - Zinc and trace amounts of cobalt, chromium, copper and selenium, and a few others.
So, how are these elements used?
More than 80 percent of you is salty water (the main ingredient of so many other products!) (hydrogen and oxygen with dissolved sodium chloride and some potassium chloride.
Carbon, hydrogen and oxygen make up your body's carbohydrate content - sugars, starches. They are also the basic components of proteins but with nitrogen as an added ingredient and sometimes sulphur, with a phosporus additive. Fats are composed of carbon and hydrogen with a small proportion of oxygen while your genetic material - DNA and RNA are made from C, H, O, N and P. Bone is put together with calcium, phosphorus, oxygen, and hydrogen.
The remaining ingredients are there to help run enzymes and proteins forming cofactors and coenzymes for all kinds of metabolic process.
For a detailed breakdown of the percentages try - the Mad Scientist page.
Constitution of the body: Elements and humours, Barthélemy L'Anglais,
Le Livre des Propriétés des choses, France, L'Anjou 15th c., Bibliothèque Nationale de France.
Zinc photo courtesy of Scientific Photographer Dana Lipp
Click sciencebase science news to go to the sciencebase.com homepage