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Posted on February 1, 2017 by Deb Hart


Essential nutrients are chemical elements or compounds required by humans for normal physiologic function that cannot be synthesized by the body and must be obtained from an exogenous source i.e. diet.

Essential Nutrients

  1. 9 Amino Acids
  2. 2 Fatty Acids
  3. 13 Vitamins
  4. 15 Minerals

Minerals are essential nutrients required by humans/organisms which are chemical elements. They do not include carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, or sulfur, which are included in organic molecules (nucleic acids, fats, sugars, proteins, etc.), which are also in the family of essential nutrients.

Mineral’s are involved in multiple biological processes in the body for normal function (structure, enzymes, hormone, and cell structure).  There are two categories of minerals, Major minerals (Macrominerals), and Trace Elements (Microminerals).  The top two majors, calcium and phosphorus, along with the non-mineral elements carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen, make up 99% of the body’s mass.   The last four majors, potassium, sodium, chlorine, and magnesium make up only 0.85% of the body’s mass, for a total of 99.85% for those ten elements.  The micros make up the rest, which is about 0.15% of the bodies mass, or 10 grams of mass.

Major minerals – 6

  1. Calcium
  2. Phosphorus
  3. Potassium
  4. Sodium
  5. Chlorine
  6. Magnesium

Trace elements – 9

  1. Iron
  2. Cobalt
  3. Copper
  4. Zinc
  5. Manganese
  6. Molybdenum
  7. Iodine
  8. Selenium

Insufficiency or excess of any mineral can have detrimental effects causing disease processes.  Like the series on vitamins, the next series of articles I will discuss different minerals role in body function, and deficiency issues specific to the different types of bariatric surgery.  Part of the bariatric surgery process is to monitor any pre existing and post operative nutrient issue for a healthy lifestyle.

From the desk of Dr. Michael Bono

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Deb Hart

Deb Hart is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. For the last 28 years, she has been helping bariatric surgery patients reach their health and weight goals. She teaches people how to set up a lifestyle that supports a healthy weight. Deb set up her own lifestyle to include lots of long walks with her furry family members, workout classes at her local wellness center, meal prepping, and finding new ways to enjoy foods without added sugar.

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