12 important functions of mineral salts

Mineral salts

Mineral salts regulate different metabolic activities of animals. The following mineral salts are important for the normal functioning of the body:

1. Calcium:

This element helps in the formation of skeleton, in clotting of blood, contraction of muscles and excitability of nerves with the help of phosphorus. Its deficiency leads to the poor development of skeleton and rickets in children. One should take 1.0 gm of calcium per day in one's diet. The chief sources of calcium are milk, cheese, vegetables, eggs, butter, orange and carrot.

2. Phosphorus:

It is also needed for the formation of skeleton, teeth, muscle and blood. The important sources of phosphorus are milk, egg yolk, cheese, meat, fish a id certain cereals and vegetables. One should take 0.88 gm of phosphorus per day in one's diet.

3. Potassium:

Potassium is very essential for growth and normal functioning of the body. Il also controls the osmotic pressure of the body. Its deficiency leads to nervous disorders, irregular heartbeats and poor muscular control.

4. Sodium:

It is a very important salt which regulates the osmotic pressure of the body. Its deficiency leads to nervous disorder. The most abundant source of sodium is sodium chloride (common salt).

5. Magnesium:

It is known as the activator of many enzymes and controls the actions of intestinal peptidase and of bone phosphatase.

6. Iron:

It is essential for the formation of haemoglobin and chromatins. Its deficiency leads to anaemia. Meat, green vegetables, etc. are the important sources of iron.

7. Sulphur:

It is an essential constituent of proteins found in amino acids such as cystine and methionine. It is generally used in the formation of feathers and eggs of birds.

8. Copper:

It is an essential constituent of haemocyanin present in the blood of arthropods and molluscs. Its deficiency causes nutritional anaemia particularly in cattle.

9. Cobalt:

It is a constituent of vitamin Bp and helps in the production of blood.

10. Zinc:

It is found in R.B.C. and converts carbonic acid into carbon dioxide and water.

11. Iodine:

Iodine is essential for the formation of thyroxine hormone. Its deficiency causes simple goitre. Drinking water and sea foods are the chief sources of iodine.

12. Chlorine:

It is found in the body as chloride ion in combination with sodium. It maintains the balance of acid, base and water in the body.