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September 5, 1942


JAMA. 1942;120(1):34-42. doi:10.1001/jama.1942.82830360010010

In a consideration of the mineral constituents of the body, one should bear in mind that, while these elements constitute only a small portion of the body weight, they enter into all the activities of the body to a much greater degree than their mere weight would indicate. For many years the important dietary components were stated to be protein, fat and carbohydrate, with slight emphasis placed on water and minerals; later, vitamins were added as necessary adjuncts. In the last few years, however, through voluminous records of physiologic investigations, the mineral elements have come into prominence and are now recognized as essential participants in practically every metabolic process carried on by the body.

The brief summary permitted in this presentation forbids reference to many significant studies of mineral metabolism. For the most part, only studies which contain analyses of food, urine and feces for the seven principal minerals will