https://www.thoughtco.com/elemental-composition-of-human-body-603896 The other trace elements (less than 0.01%) are: boron (B), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), fluorine (F), iodine (I), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), selenium (Se), silicon (Si), tin (Sn), vanadium (V), and zinc (Zn). Carbon (C) - 18.5% - Carbon has four bonding sites for other atoms, which makes it the key atom for organic chemistry. Elements of the Human Body. Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. The Elemental Composition of the Human Body, How Many Atoms There Are in the Human Body, Learn About All the Different Organ Systems in the Human Body, Elemental Composition of the Human Body by Mass, Biological Polymers: Proteins, Carbohydrates, Lipids, Amino Acids: Structure, Groups and Function, Chemical Composition of the Earth's Crust - Elements, elemental composition of an average human body, "The Water in You: Water and the Human Body. (By proportion of total body mass) Get our daily LUNCHTIME GENIUS newsletter . You may also wish to view the element composition of the human body in terms of mass percent. Not all of the elements found within the body are essential for life. Body composition can also be expressed in terms of various types of material, such as: There are many species of bacteria and other microorganisms that live on or inside the healthy human body. Click any element below to see all the samples of that element. ThoughtCo. For example, the human body often contains trace amounts of thorium, uranium, samarium, tungsten, beryllium, and radium. The human body consists of as many as 60 chemical elements. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "What Are the Elements in the Human Body?" Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2020, October 29). Scientists believe that about 25 of the known elements are essential to life. Approximately 60% of the human body is composed of water. Elements in the Human Body . Many other elements may be found in extremely small quantities (less than 0.01%). Those that neither help nor harm humans are called commensal organisms. Some of these elements are thought to be simple common contaminants without function (examples: caesium, titanium), while many others are thought to be active toxins, depending on amount (cadmium, mercury, lead, radioactives). Oxygen is the most abundant, while hydrogen occupies the third place in the list. All 11 are necessary for life. Bromine is used abundantly by some (though not all) lower[clarification needed] organisms, and opportunistically in eosinophils in humans. Aluminium, the third most common element in the Earth's crust (after oxygen and silicon), serves no function in living cells, but is toxic in large amounts, depending on its physical and chemical forms and magnitude, duration, frequency of exposure, and how it was absorbed by the human body. So, for example, oxygen accounts for 65% of the mass of the body, while nitrogen is 3% and so on. Others are actively toxic, including mercury, cadmium, and radioactive elements. What elements are present in the human body? U.S. Geological Survey. Specific elements play critical roles in the structures of proteins and the activities of enzymes in the human body. All 11 are necessary for life. All of the mass of the trace elements put together (less than 10 grams for a human body) do not add up to the bo… [1] All of the mass of the trace elements put together (less than 10 grams for a human body) do not add up to the body mass of magnesium, the least common of the 11 non-trace elements. Carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen together account for 99 percent of the atoms in a person. One study has indicated bromine to be necessary to collagen IV synthesis in humans. ", "What Elements Are Found in the Human Body? Oxygen, calcium, sulfur, and magnesium are major contributors to the mass of the Earth and the weight of … Elements in the Human Body (25) Here are all the elements required if you want to build a human body, in order of the quantity required. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. For more details, see our Privacy Policy. The adult human body averages ~53% water. Just four of these – carbon (C), oxygen (O), hydrogen (H) and nitrogen (N) – make up about 96% of the human body. Most of the elements needed for life are relatively common in the Earth's crust. On average, 87 percent of the atoms in the body are hydrogen or oxygen. You can opt-out at any time. "The Water in You: Water and the Human Body." In the context of nutrition, a mineral is a chemical element required as an essential nutrient by organisms to perform functions necessary for life. Persons with more fat will have a higher proportion of carbon and a lower proportion of most other elements (the proportion of hydrogen will be about the same). What Are the Elements in the Human Body? https://www.thoughtco.com/elements-in-the-human-body-p2-602188 (accessed January 25, 2021). Human beings learn about the outside world through these orifices. Please note that the elements do not show their natural relation towards each other as in the Periodic system. Ultratrace minerals. Oxygen is a colorless, tasteless, odorless gas, forming a large part of the atmospheric air, of water, of the earth's crust and of our foods. Aluminum is interesting because it is the third most common element in the Earth's crust, but its role in the human body is unknown. ThoughtCo, Oct. 29, 2020, thoughtco.com/elements-in-the-human-body-p2-602188. An actual body contains small amounts of most other elements it's picked up from the environment, but these are the only ones you actually need. Also, the element composition does not scale linearly. Like all nutrients, minerals act as cofactors with each other, with vitamins and enzyme systems, thus causing billions of chemical reactions in the body that are necessary for survival. Arizona State University. Abundant ele-ments consist of the major elements that are involved in the formation of covalent bonds What are Trace Elements? Almost 99% of the mass of the human body is made up of six elements: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus. These five elements have a strong affinity for sulfur; in the human body they usually bind, via thiol groups (–SH), to enzymes responsible for controlling the speed of metabolic reactions. The values correspond to the element’s mass fraction in an average human body. In fact, 90% of the cells in (or on) a human body are microbes, by number[40][41] (much less by mass or volume). Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that oxygen and hydrogen, the two elements that make up water, are some of the most abundant elements in the human body. The resulting sulfur-metal bonds inhibit the proper functioning of the enzymes involved; human health deteriorates, sometimes fatally. The four main elements in the human body are oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen. The relative amounts of each element vary by individual, mainly due to differences in the proportion of fat, muscle and bone in their body. These elements reside in trillions of cells and non-cellular components of the body. 96% of the body is oxygen, carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen. These four elements are found in … Chief among these are calcium, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, and iron. Issue Date: 1999 URI: This page was last edited on 24 January 2021, at 07:02. Periodic table showing the elements in the human body. https://www.bibalex.org/SCIplanet/en/Article/Details?id=12462 The pancha bhoota are the basic elements that make up any living organism on Earth or anywhere else in the Universe. Authors: Nielsen, Forrest H. USDA, ARS Source: turn cites Geigy Scientific Tables, Ciba-Geigy Limited, Basel, Switzerland, 1984. Water is the most abundant chemical ingredient in the human body, as it accounts for about 60% of the ... Organic Compounds Essential to Human Functioning. The eleven common elements found in the human body and their percentage of total body weight. Some of these symbionts are necessary for our health. There are several ways to consider the composition of the human body, including the elements, type of molecule, or type of cells. The composition of the human body is expressed in terms of chemicals: The composition of the human body can be viewed on an atomic and molecular scale as shown in this article. There are 21 essential minerals required by the human body. Six elements account for 99% of the mass of the human body. Calcium and phosphorus, combined as calcium-phosphate crystals, form a large part of the body’s bones. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. While 21 are considered either trace elements or major elements and are important for health, just four elements make up 96 percent of a body’s mass. Most of the human body is made up of water, H2O, with bone cells being comprised of 31% water and the lungs 83%. Therefore, it isn't surprising that most of a human body's mass is oxygen. Water is the main component of the human body. The exact number of atoms of the trace elements varies widely according to age, diet, and environmental factors. Trace elements considered essential in humans include zinc, selenium, nickel, chromium, manganese, cobalt, and lead. there are four most abundant elements in the human body – hydrogen, oxygen, carbon and nitrogen – account for more than 99 per cent of the atoms inside you. Baltimore : Williams & Wilkins, c1999., p. 283-303. Only 25 of these elements are considered essential to a normal human body. This periodic table shows the percent composition of the average human body. National Research Council (United States), List of distinct cell types in the adult human body, "Arsenic in Food and Dietary Supplements", "Bromine Is an Essential Trace Element for Assembly of Collagen IV Scaffolds in Tissue Development and Architecture", "Guidance for Industry: A Food Labeling Guide 14. Not all elements which are found in the human body in trace quantities play a role in life. 96.2% of the mass of the human body is made up of just four elements: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen. The remaining elements are trace elements, of which more than a dozen are thought on the basis of good evidence to be necessary for life. Some are considered contaminants that appear to do no harm but serve no known function. (18%) Oxygen is one of the important elements that require greater attention, the whole site is otherwise dedicated to this element.. The human body contains 60 chemical elements, but we don’t know what all of them do. [3] Fluorine is used by a number of plants to manufacture toxins (see that element) but in humans only functions as a local (topical) hardening agent in tooth enamel, and not in an essential biological role. You may also wish to view the elemental composition of an average human body by mass. Oxygen is one of the most abundant chemicals elements in the human body. [5] About 29 of these elements are thought to play an active positive role in life and health in humans.[6]. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/elements-in-the-human-body-p2-602188. ", Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College. Appendix F", "Elemental Composition of the Human Body", Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21: Food and Drugs, Ch 1, subchapter B, Part 101, Subpart A, §101.9(c)(8)(iv), Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and New Zealand Ministry of Health (MoH), "Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Review of Fluoridation and Regulation Issues", "Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for fluoride", WHO/SDE/WSH/03.04/96 "Fluoride in Drinking-water", Safe Upper Levels for Vitamins and Mineral (2003), boron p. 164-71, nickel p. 225-31, EVM, Food Standards Agency, UK, "Scientific Opinion on the re-evaluation of gold (E 175) as a food additive", "Systematic review of potential health risks posed by pharmaceutical, occupational and consumer exposures to metallic and nanoscale aluminum, aluminum oxides, aluminum hydroxide and its soluble salts", "Essential and Ubiquitous: The Emergence of Lanthanide Metallobiochemistry", "Revised estimates for the number of human and bacteria cells in the body", "Humans Carry More Bacterial Cells than Human Ones", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Composition_of_the_human_body&oldid=1002400303, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from August 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Deemed essential trace element by U.S., not by European Union, Suggested function from deprivation effects or active metabolic handling, but no clearly-identified biochemical function in humans, Limited circumstantial evidence for trace benefits or biological action in mammals. Ask a Biologist. Almost 99% of the mass of the human body is made up of six elements: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus. In terms of tissue type, the body may be analyzed into water, fat, connective tissue, muscle, bone, etc. The Earth and the human body have many elements in common. It is also an essential part of the human diet. Arsenic is considered to be toxic to humans, but serves a function in other mammals (goats, rats, hamsters) in trace amounts. They are called essential as the body cannot produce them, and without them, you can become seriously ill.. What Do Minerals Do For The Body? The table below outlines some of the uses of elements in humans6 and in the soil which forms the crust of the earth.7 Soils (including clay) contain dissolved minerals which are incorporated and stored by plants for our consumption or eaten by an animal that we later consume. 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