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Minerals and trace elements


Key points


  • Minerals are inorganic substances required by the body in small amounts for a variety of different functions.
  • Minerals are involved in the formation of bones and teeth; they are essential constituents of body fluids and tissues; they are components of enzyme systems and they are involved in normal nerve function.
  • The body requires different amounts of each mineral; people have different requirements, according to their age, sex, physiological state (e.g. pregnancy) and sometimes their state of health.
  • The Department of Health has published Dietary Reference Values (DRVs) for minerals for different groups of healthy people.