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Mineral Nutrition


Mineral Nutrition & Metabolism NUTR/POSC 650 ... Minerals that come from plant sources are the best source. After all, humans like all other animals, ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Mineral Nutrition

Mineral Nutrition Metabolism
  • NUTR/POSC 650
  • NUTR 450
  • E.D. Harris

Nutrition and Metabolism of Minerals
Objective of course
To deepen a students understanding of the role of
minerals in living systems. To explore their
multitude of functions. To learn how the
chemical property of a mineral relates to its
function in cells and tissues. To rationalize
the consequences of mineral deficiencies based on
their known functions. To gain some insight into
experimental approaches used to assess minerals
in a living environment
The course will combine formal lectures, research
literature, and interactive discussion. Formal
lecture will cover elements in the syllabus.
Didactic and interactive instruction will involve
questions and discussions of formalized lectures
in an environment where all students are both
instructors and learners. Research literature
will feature outside reading assignments of
important papers in mineral nutrition.
Web Address
http//tamu.edu/classes/eharris/NUTR 650-489/
Lecture slides Class notes textbook
chapters old exams study guides syllabus
The student is expected to demonstrate a strong
grasp of the fundamentals of mineral nutrition
to be able to relate the scope of mineral
functions with chemical properties of minerals
to know how biological transport, uptake, and
cell concentration of minerals is controlled to
know experimental approaches to studies of
mineral functions.
The course will NOT
Require students to memorize mineral RDAs, GRASs
or DRIs for humans or any particular plant or
animal species to know the amount of a
particular mineral in a food source to know the
toxic properties related to mineral excesses
The course will
Require students in a practical way to know
determinants of bioavailability of important
minerals, distinguish between macro and trace
elements, to know at least 5 important functions
performed by any one mineral element, and to know
the biochemical bases of at least 3 deficiency
signs for each mineral element.
Student Participation
  • Each student must give a report to the class
    on the topic my favorite minerals. The student
    will have the opportunity to research two
    minerals and give a report on the following
  • Name of mineral element
  • Estimated requirement in humans or animals
  • Chemical properties most suited to its function
  • Chemical form most commonly found in a living
  • Route of assimilation into body organs
  • Best dietary source
  • Functions performed by the mineral
  • Experimental procedures used to study the mineral
  • Potential candidates for interaction
  • System or systems most grossly affected by a
  • Symptoms of mineral deficiency
  • Further research needed

Due to the contribution each student makes to the
overall instruction in the course, attendance
will be mandatory. Students who miss a class
must provide the instructor with a written excuse
for the absence. The absence must conform to
what the university recognizes as a legitimate
excused absence. There will be no opportunities
to make up classes. The first class missed with
no excuse will result in a 10 point deduction.
The second 20 and third 30. The fourth will be a
dismissal from the class with a grade of F.
At the end the course, a student who displays an
understanding of minerals at the level of 90 of
the total point will be awarded an A 80-89 a B,
and 70-79 a C. A student who shows minimal
knowledge gain will be given a D and no knowledge
gain, an F. The grade will be based on exam
scores (70), report grades (20), and class
participation in discussion (10).
Literature Critique
During the course we will review papers that
represent contributions to the basic literature
of mineral nutrition. We will discuss the papers
in class in a Journal Club style atmosphere.
This means the instructor will lead a discussion
of the papers content and call on students to
answer specific questions or offer opinions.
Students will be encourage to think critically,
to weigh evidence, and to agree or disagree with
the conclusions. Each student will then come up
with his/hers own take home, which in one
sentence, summarizes the contribution of the
paper and stays as a lasting
What is a Biomineral? Key words in the definition
Chemical element or group of elements, mainly in
ionic form
Inorganic, i.e., possessing no carbon in its
Classify a Mineral based on Nutrition
Essential to vital functions, only source is the
diet Functions cannot be duplicated by organic
Two nutritional classifications based on
Micro or Trace
3 Categories based on Chemistry and appearance
Metal ions
2 Categories based on impact
Questions to Ponder
Are minerals essential?
Some are
Can we synthesize minerals?
Some can be
Do minerals function alone or in complexes?
Are minerals bound to proteins?
Some are
Do minerals function with enzymes?
Some do
Do minerals function with hormones?
Some do
Some can
Can minerals control genetic expression?
Can minerals control tissue integrity?
Some can
Are dietary minerals dependent only on animals
Discuss the accuracies and inaccuracies of this
Web Wisdom
1. Minerals are elements that originate in the
Earth and cannot be made by living organisms.
2. For years the supplement market has been
dominated by vitamins, but vitamins and amino
acids are useless without minerals.
3. Minerals are needed to maintain the delicate
cellular fluid balance, to form bone and blood
cells, to provide for electrochemical nerve
activity, and to regulate muscle tone and
activity (including organ muscles like the heart,
stomach, liver, etc.)
4. Minerals that come from plant sources are the
best source. After all, humans like all other
animals, were created to eat plants, not soil!
5. In order for minerals to be properly absorbed,
they need to be acidic. When we consume inorganic
minerals which are always quite alkaline, the
body must attempt to acidify them for absorption.
Course Syllabus
Introduction Chemistry periodic table and
valence states transition metal chemistry Lewis
acids and bases Biochemistry-Enzymes metal
activated vs metalloenzymes geometry of metal
complexes Nutrition Nutritional
priorities Bioavailability Metal
Interactions Physiology-Absorption and transport
protein dependent membrane transporters chaper
Metals and genetic regulation Mineral
transcription factors Transacting
elements Studies in yeast
Experimental approaches Balanced
diets Semipurified diets Intervention Criteria
Biomarkers Isotopes
Symptoms of mineral deficiencies
Minerals and hormones
Mineral-related diseases
Individual Macrominerals
Individual trace minerals
Organization of On-line textbook
Chapter 1. Introduction to Minerals.
  1. Definitions
  2. Minerals as chemicals
  3. Distinction between macro- and microminerals
  4. Historical background
  5. Mineral complexes
  6. Nutritional perspective

Chapter 2. Chemical Properties. I. General
a. Chemical properties befitting function and
behavior of minerals
  1. Valance
  2. Water solubility
  3. Oxidation/reduction
  4. Coordination geometry
  5. Interaction with ligands

Organization of On-line textbook (Page 2)
Chapter 3. Chemical properties. II. Electronic
Structure of Minerals
  • Quantum theory of atomic structure
  • 1) ionization and valence
  • 2) Orbital shape
  • b. 3d transition metals
  • 1) orbital splitting
  • 2) ligand effects
  • 3) high spin/low spin states
  • c. Application to minerals

Chapter 4. Biochemical properties
  • Biominerals
  • Minerals in pathways
  • Minerals as enzyme cofactors
  • 1) Metalloenzymes vs metal-activated
  • 2) Metalloproteins
  • Biomineralization
  • Zinc as a cofactor
  • Bone

Chapter 4 Biochemical Properties (cont.)
g. Biochemical forms of iron
h. Biochemical forms of copper
i. Selenium and Iodine
Chapter 5. Intestinal Absorption
  • General principles
  • Absorption of macromineral
  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium and phosphate
  • Absorption of microminerals
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Selenium

Chapter 6. Post absorption and assimilation
  • Overall perspective
  • 1) rules governing transport and delivery
  • Membrane penetration
  • 1) simple diffusion
  • 2) facilitated diffusion
  • 3) active transport
  • 4) receptor-mediated endocytosis
  • Intracellular transport
  • 1) intracellular ligands
  • 2) chaperones for copper
  • d. Bioavailability
  • 1) key organs
  • 3) calculation of

Chapter 7. Nutritional Properties of Minerals
  • Assessing nutritional status
  • 1) balance
  • 2) clinical approaches
  • 3) standards of optimal uptake
  • Assessing mineral status
  • 1) body stores
  • 2) overt response to intake
  • 3) functional assays
  • 4) reversing deficiencies
  • Biomarkers application and limitations
  • Assessing adequacy and risk of toxicity
  • 1) risk of excess
  • 2) assessing bioavailability
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