Nutrition: vitamins and minerals
Nutrition: vitamins and minerals

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Nutrition: vitamins and minerals

2.13 Key points about minerals

  1. Certain minerals are required in the body.

  2. Some minerals form essential structural components of tissues. For example, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium compounds are major components of bones and teeth. Fluoride is also important in protecting teeth from decay.

  3. Sodium, potassium, calcium and chloride ions are important in maintaining the correct composition of cells and of the tissue fluids around them (homeostasis). These same ions are also involved in communication between cells, in particular the rapid transfer of signals along nerve cells and in the brain. They also play a part in muscle contraction.

  4. Some minerals are essential components of important molecules such as hormones and enzymes. For example, the hormones produced by the thyroid gland contain iodine and many enzymes need magnesium, selenium or zinc to function. Sulfur is an essential component of some amino acids and iron is incorporated into haemoglobin and related proteins.

  5. The correct fluid balance is also essential for normal functioning of the body.

  6. Tapwater, and not just mineral water, contains minerals.

SK183_2

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has nearly 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus