Skip to main content
Medicine LibreTexts

8: Water and Minerals

  • Page ID
    8767
  • [ "article:topic-guide" ]

    Drinking water, also known as potable water or improved drinking water, is water safe enough for drinking and food preparation. Globally, in 2012, 89% of people had access to water suitable for drinking. Nearly 4 billion had access to tap water while another 2.3 billion had access to wells or public taps. 1.8 billion people still use an unsafe drinking water source which may be contaminated by feces. This can result in infectious diarrhea such as cholera and typhoid among others. We will also discuss the category of essential nutrients called Minerals, also known as  Dietary elements or mineral nutrients. Minerals are naturally occurring chemical elements required by living organisms for survival.  Many of the minerals we need are plentiful in a typical scoop of dirt! 

    • 8.1: Water
      Drinking water, also known as potable water or improved drinking water, is water safe enough for drinking and food preparation. Globally, in 2012, 89% of people had access to water suitable for drinking. Nearly 4 billion had access to tap water while another 2.3 billion had access to wells or public taps. 1.8 billion people still use an unsafe drinking water source which may be contaminated by feces.This can result in infectious diarrhea such as cholera and typhoid among others.
    • 8.2: Minerals: basic Concepts
      We previously discussed the six classes of essential nutrients: Carbohydrates, Lipids, Proteins, Vitamins, Minerals and Water., which can not be made by the human body, or can not be made in sufficient amounts, therefore we must take them in from the outside world. Here, we will discuss the category of essential nutrients called Minerals, also known as Dietary elements or mineral nutrients. Minerals are naturally occurring chemical elements required by living organisms for survival.
    • 8.3: Major Minerals
      Major minerals are needed in amounts greater than 100 mg per day. Major minerals are present in the body in amounts greater than 5 grams. The major minerals are: calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, sodium, chlorine, and magnesium.
    • 8.4: Trace Minerals
      Trace minerals are needed in amounts less than 100 mg per day and they are present in the body in amounts less than 5 grams. Important trace minerals include: iron, cobalt, copper, zinc, manganese, molybdenum, iodine, bromine, and selenium. These are also called minor minerals, with "minor" referring to their amount, as opposed to their importance.
    • 8.5: Minerals we know much less about
      Over twenty dietary elements are necessary for mammals, and several more for various other types of life. The total number of chemical elements that are absolutely needed is not known for any organism. Ultratrace amounts of some elements (e.g., boron, chromium) are known to clearly have a role but the exact biochemical nature is unknown, and others (e.g. arsenic, silicon) are suspected to have a role in health, but without proof.