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Mineral Nutrients


  • Macronutrients
  • Micronutrient
  • Trace elements

Definition of Mineral Nutrient

Naturally occurring inorganic nutrients in the food and soil essential for the proper functioning of the plant and animal body

More About Mineral Nutrient

  • Minerals are among the essential elements required by the body including carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and water
  • Though required in minute quantities, minerals are essentially required by both the plants and animals
  • Plants obtain them from the soil through roots. There are about 16 minerals nutrients. These are required for a healthy plant growth. If they are not available in the required concentrations in the soil, fertilisers are added to soil for enriching the mineral supply
  • Minerals such as Sodium, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Chlorine, Sulphur and Potassium are required in abundance when compared to others and hence are termed as major minerals
  • Minerals such as Iron, Zinc, Boron, Molybdenum, Nickel, Iodine, Manganese, Cobalt and Copper are required in very minute quantities and hence are known as “trace elements” or minor minerals
  • Each of the mineral has a specific function and play vital role in the metabolic processes
      For Example:
    • Zinc is essential for protein manufacturing and cell division
    • Iodine is essential for synthesis of the thyroid hormone called Thyroxin
    • Potassium functions as an electrolyte and helps in fluid balance
    • Minerals form about 4% of body weight in humans
    • The minerals are obtained by the food we eat and hence are known as dietary minerals
    • Deficiency or excess of the minerals in the diet causes diseased condition in plants as well as animals
  • Mineral deficiency diseases such as
    • - Deficiency of Iron causes Anaemia
      - Deficiency of Calcium and Phosphorous causes osteoporosis, osteomalacia
      - Potassium deficiency causes hyperkalemia
      - In addition , sterility, hypogonadism, dwarfism, goitre and dermatitis also occur due to mineral deficiency in humans
  • Deficiency of minerals in plants results in chlorosis, necrosis, stunted growth, and weathering

Questions based on Mineral Nutrient:

1) Deficiency of which of the following mineral causes Anaemia?

    a) Cobalt
    b) Iodine
    c) Potassium
    d) Iron

Solution: (d) Iron deficiency causes Anaemia

2) Which of the following mineral helps in the protein manufacturing process?

    a) Iron
    b) Nickel
    c) Zinc
    d) Iodine

Solution: (c) Zinc is essential for protein manufacturing and cell division.

3) Some minerals are also known as “trace elements”.

    a) True
    b) False

Solution: (a) Some mineral elements are required in minute quantities and hence are also known as “trace elements”.