HOW TO EAT THE ELEMENTS
172
= ELEMENTS IN OUR BODIES
Our bodies are also made of elementsabout 34 different elements, actu-
ally. That means that over one third of all the elements we’ve looked at so
far are actually a part of us. It’s easy to think that elements exist only in the
outside world, but...
WE’RE ALL ELEMENT TREASURE HOUSES.
And among them are lots of elements that you might have thought you’d
never have anything to do with, like strontium or molybdenum. It might sur-
prise you to know that arsenic is one of them, too. Arsenic, which is almost
synonymous with poison, actually exists naturally within us. This is also true
for other unfamiliar elements like cadmium, beryllium, and radium. They’re
all a part of our bodies.
But of course elements are not created inside our bodies. They are all there
because we’ve eaten them at some point. Before that, they were part of
some other entity.
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173
THE ELEMENTS
INSIDE OUR
BODIES
CARBON NITROGEN OXYGEN FLUORINE
SODIUM MAGNESIUM ALUMINUM SILICON PHOSPHORUS SULFUR CHLORINE
POTASSIUM CALCIUM VANADIUM CHROMIUM MANGANESE IRON COBALT
NICKEL COPPER ZINC ARSENIC SELENIUM RUBIDIUM STRONTIUM
MOLYBDENUM CADMIUM TIN IODINE BARIUM MERCURY LEAD
HYDROGEN BORON
174
The average human is made up of about 65% oxygen, 18% carbon, and
10% hydrogen.
WAIT A SECOND! THAT’S ALMOST 100%!
In reality, about 28 of those 34 elements don’t even amount to 1% of our
total mass. But just because these elements appear in tiny amounts doesn’t
mean they’re not important—quite the opposite! Even if only a tenth of a
percent of the elements in our bodies were to go missing, we’d be dead.
These low-volume but important elements are called trace elements, and
most of them are metals. The most important of these are called...
MINERALS.
Minerals are absolutely necessary to all living beings, including humans.
175
ABUNDANT ELEMENTS
PHOSPHORUS
CARBON
SULFUR
POTASSIUM
SODIUM
CHLORINE
MAGNESIUM
IRON
FLUORINE
SILICON
ZINC
STRONTIUM
RUBIDIUM
LEAD
MANGANESE
COPPER
ALUMINUM
CADMIUM
TIN
BARIUM
MERCURY
SELENIUM
IODINE
MOLYBDENUM
NICKEL
BORON
CHROMIUM
ARSENIC
COBALT
VANADIUM
CALCIUM
NITROGEN
HYDROGEN
OXYGEN
= MINERALS
OTHERS
RARE
VERY RARE
ULTRA RARE

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