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Mineral nutrients are inorganic substances that must be ingested and absorbed in adequate amounts to satisfy a wide variety of essential metabolic and/or structural functions in the body. Mineral nutrients are sometimes categorized according to the amount required in the human diet to maintain good nutrition. Macrominerals is a general term encompassing both bulk minerals (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium) and electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chloride), which are required to be ingested by humans in amounts of hundreds of milligrams to several grams per day. Microminerals or trace elements (including iron, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, iodine, chromium, molybdenum) are required in amounts of a few milligrams or less per day. The latter members of this group, which are required only in amounts of micrograms per day, are sometimes referred to as ultratrace elements.
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