|MadSci Network: Anatomy|
Dear Kevin, The human body is composed of: 96.2% of body weight comes from "organic elements" present in many different forms. DNA, RNA proteins, lipids and sugars are all composed of primarily O, C, H and N. Also, Water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2)as well as other small molecules involve these elements. Oxygen (65.0%) Carbon (18.5%) Hydogen (9.5%) Nitrogen (3.2%) 3.9% of body weight comes from elements present in the form of salts. Don't be fooled by their minute quantities, they are very important for the maintenance of homeostasis (meaning "well balanced organism"). Calcium is a major component of bones and teeth. Iron is necessary for oxygen transport by red blood cells. Sulfur is present in most proteins and potassium keeps your heart beating smoothly and regularly. Calcium (1.5%) Phosphorus (1.0%) Potassium (0.4%) Sulfur (0.3%) Sodium (0.2% Chlorine (0.2%) Magnesium (0.1%) Iodine (0.1%) Iron (0.1%) The trace elements compose less than 0.5% of total body weight but then again, they are essential for homeostasis. Some of these elements are cofactors of critical enzymes in the body (meaning that without them, enzyme cannot work at all and that even low concentrations of them can make the enzyme work very well.) Chromium (trace) Cobalt (trace) Copper (trace) Fluorine (trace) Manganese (trace) Molybdenum (trace) Selenium (trace) Tin (trace) Vanadium (trace) Zinc (trace) As for vitamins and minerals, they are important but normally, if you eat well (with lots of vegetables and fruits) you don't need to take extra vitamins (e.g. Flinstones). BUT! If you don't eat so well and you are still growing (I don't know your age, sorry), then it's not so bad to take these vitamins after all. I hope this answers your question, and that it is not too complicated for you to understand. If it is too complicated, ASK QUESTIONS! This is the BEST way to lean... Ciao! Michel
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