Nutrients. Biogenic classification of chemical elements
The organism of living beings consists not simply of molecules and atoms, but of an aggregate of such elements that allow it to carry out all vital processes in a harmonious and harmonious manner. It is thanks to such structures as nutrients, humans, plants, animals, fungi and bacteria can move, breathe, eat, multiply and live in general. All of them have their cells in the common chemical system of Mendeleev.
Nutrients are what?
In general, it should be noted that of the known 118 elements, the exact role and importance in the organism of living creatures today are determined by relatively few. Although experimental data allowed to establish that each human cell contains about 50 chemical elements. They are called biogenic, or biophilic.
Of course, most of them have been carefully studied, considered all the options for their influence on the health and condition of a person (both with an excess and with a deficiency).However, there remains a certain proportion of substances whose role is not fully understood. It has yet to be installed.
Classification of biophilic elements
Biogenic elements can be divided into three groups according to the quantitative content and value for living systems.
- Macrobiogenic - those of which all vital compounds are built: proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, lipids, and others. These are the main biogenic elements, these include carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, sulfur, sodium, chlorine, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, nitrogen, potassium. Their content in the body is maximum relative to others.
- Microbiogenic - contained in smaller quantities, but playing a very large role in maintaining a normal level of vital activity, the implementation of a variety of processes and preservation of health. This group includes manganese, selenium, fluorine, vanadium, iron, zinc, iodine, ruthenium, nickel, chromium, copper, germanium.
- Ultramicrobiogenic. What is the role that these biogenic chemical elements play in the body has not yet been clarified. However, it is believed that they are also important and should be maintained in a permanent balance.
This classification of nutrients reflects the significance of a substance.However, there is another one that divides all the compounds in the body into metals and non-metals. The table of chemical elements is reflected in living systems, which once again underlines how everything is interconnected.
Characteristic and value of macronutrients
If you understand the structure of protein molecules, it is easy to understand how important the biogenic elements of a group of macronutrients are. After all, they include:
- sometimes sulfur.
That is, all the listed substances, which we have named, are vital. This is quite justified, because it is not for nothing that proteins are called the basis of life.
Chemistry of nutrients plays an important role in this. Indeed, for example, it is precisely due to the chemical features of carbon that it is able to combine with the atoms of the same name, forming huge macrochains - the basis of all organic compounds, and therefore, life. If it were not for the ability of hydrogen to form hydrogen bonds between molecules, then proteins and nucleic acids could hardly exist. Without them, there would be no living beings.
Oxygen as one of the main elements is not only part of the main substance on the planet - water, but also has a strong electronegativity.This allows him to take part in many interactions, including the formation of hydrogen bonds.
It is probably not necessary to talk about the significance of water. Every child knows its importance. It is a solvent, a medium for biochemical reactions, the main component of the cytoplasm of cells, and so on. Its biogenic elements are all the same hydrogen and oxygen, which was already mentioned earlier.
Item number 20 in the table
Calcium is part of the bones of humans and animals, is an important part of tooth enamel. He also takes part in many biological processes inside the body:
- blood clotting;
- contraction of muscle fibers;
- hormone production.
In addition, it forms the outer skeleton of many invertebrates and marine inhabitants. The need for this element increases with age, and after reaching 20 years old decreases.
The value of sodium and potassium
These two elements are very important for proper and well-coordinated work of cell membranes, as well as the sodium-potassium pump of the heart. Many drugs for diseases of the cardiovascular system contain exactly these substances. In addition, these same elements:
- maintain osmotic pressure in the cell;
- regulate the pH of the medium;
- part of the blood plasma, lymphatic fluids;
- retain water in the tissues;
- contribute to the transmission of nerve impulses and so on.
The processes are vital, so it is difficult to overestimate the importance of these macroelements.
Magnesium and phosphorus
The table of chemical elements placed these two substances quite far apart due to the difference in properties, both physical and chemical. The biological role also varies, but they also have something in common - important in the life of living beings.
Magnesium has the following functions:
- takes part in the splitting of macromolecules, which is accompanied by the release of energy;
- participates in the transmission of nerve impulses and in the regulation of cardiac activity;
- is an active ingredient for normal bowel function;
- enters into the composition of substances that control the activity of smooth muscles, and so on.
These are not all functions, but basic ones.
Phosphorus, in turn, plays the following role:
- part of a large number of macromolecules (phospholipids, enzymes, etc.);
- is a component of the most important energy reserves of the body - the molecules of ATP and ADP;
- controls the pH of the solutions, is a buffer in the body;
- Included in the bones and teeth as one of the main building elements.
Thus, macronutrients are an important part of human health and other creatures, their basis, the beginning of all life on the planet.
The main features of trace elements
Nutrients that belong to this group are distinguished by the fact that the body’s need for them is less than for representatives of the previous group. Approximately 100 mg per day, but not more than 150 mg. In total, there are about 30 species. Moreover, they are all in different concentrations in the cell.
The role of not all of them is established, but the consequences of insufficient use of one or another element are clearly manifested, as expressed in various diseases. The most studied on the biological effects on the body are copper, selenium and zinc, as well as iron. All of them are involved in the mechanisms of humoral regulation, are part of the enzymes, being catalysts of processes.
Cycle of biophilic particles: carbon
Each atom is able to make the transition from the body to the environment and back. When this occurs, a process called the "circulation of biogenic elements".Consider its essence on the example of a carbon atom.
Atoms pass through several stages in their circulation.
- The bulk is located in the bowels of the earth in the form of coal, as well as in the air, forming a layer of carbon dioxide.
- From the air, carbon passes into plants, as it is absorbed by them for photosynthesis.
- Then it either stays in the plants until they die off and goes into coal deposits, or goes into animal organisms that feed on plants. Of these, carbon is returned to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.
- If we talk about the carbon dioxide that is dissolved in the oceans, then from the water it enters the plant tissue, eventually forming limestone deposits, or evaporates into the atmosphere and the former circulation begins again.
Thus, biogenic migration of chemical elements, both macro- and microbiogenic, takes place.