Minerals in Food

Nutrition, Metabolism, Bioactivity

Edward D. Harris, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Nutrition and Food Science, Texas A&M University

978-1-932078-97-8, ©2014, 378 pages, 6×9, Hardcover or ebook
Special Student Price Available

  • Fundamental examination of the functions of food minerals in humans
  • Investigates chemistry, biological effects and nutrition
  • Covers macrominerals and microminerals from arsenic and boron through vanadium and zinc

This book forms a technical introduction to all major and trace minerals in foods, including their chemistry, transport, absorption, bioavailability and physiological roles. The book explains the in vivo functions of food minerals and demonstrates why and how macrominerals and microminerals are necessary for proper metabolic functioning in humans. Also presented is the etiology of diseases resulting from mineral deficiencies. Important information is developed on the roles of minerals in the brain, as well as ways minerals interact with one another in the body. Detailed biochemistry and nutritive information for each of twenty minerals are provided in separate chapters. This text represents the only comprehensive summary of the science of inorganic elements in foods and their biological effects, with implications for food scientists, food engineers and clinical nutritionists.

From the Author’s Preface

“The present book assembles and connects (such) insights into a cohesive description of the multiple functions of dietary minerals in animals and humans. The book should help readers grasp why twenty chemical elements, over one sixth of the periodic table, are biologically necessary. However, this understanding is only the beginning, as this volume contains a comprehensive description of minerals as dietary nutrients. The reader will see the scope of in vivo reactions carried out or catalyzed by minerals, the ways the status of minerals are assessed, the consequences of dietary mineral deficiencies or excesses, and the unique differences between macrominerals and microminerals in all of these phenomena…. The layout of the text follows a pattern, beginning first with principles that apply to all minerals, which is followed by an in-depth explanation of specific examples. Since minerals have unique roles in the brain, an entire chapter is devoted to mineral chemistry and the brain. Similarly, a chapter is devoted to mineral-mineral interactions, given that no single element acts in isolation. The focus however remains on the chemistry, biochemistry and nutritional properties with the goal being to illustrate the necessity of minerals in physiological functioning…. A discussion of microminerals demonstrates why this class of minerals is akin to vitamins in terms of their quantity in the diet and their ultimate purpose in the biological system.”


Chapter 1. Introduction to the Minerals
1.1. Definition
1.2. A Brief History of Biological Minerals
1.3. Minerals and the Building Blocks of Life
1.4. Properties of Minerals Related to Function
1.5. Summary
1.6. References
1.7. Problems

Chapter 2. Chemical Properties of Minerals
2.1. Basic Quantum Theory Applied to Minerals
2.2. The First Transition Series Elements
2.3. Predicting Properties Based on Chemical Structure Similarity
2.4. Summary
2.5. References
2.6. Problems

Chapter 3. Biochemical Insights into Minerals
3.1. The Fundamentals
3.2. Biochemical Properties of Minerals
3.3. Biochemical Functions of Minerals
3.4. Biomineralization
3.5. Summary
3.6. References
3.7. Problems

Chapter 4. Bioavailability of Minerals in Foods
4.1. Historical Perspective
4.2. The Fundamentals
4.3. Bioavailability of Food Minerals: Effects of Processing
4.4. Food Processing Strategies and Mineral Bioavailability
4.5. Reversing Minerals Loss by Biofortification
4.6. Mineral Biotechnology
4.7. Issues of Food Safety and Minerals
4.8. A Comparison of Minerals in Foods from Animals and Plants
4.9. Summary
4.10. References
4.11. Problems

Chapter 5. Nutritional Approaches to Minerals
5.1. Dietary Reference Indexes as Guidelines
5.2. Assessing Mineral Status
5.3. Assessing Risk of Toxicity
5.4. Assessing Bioavailability
5.5. Summary
5.6. References
5.7. Problems

Chapter 6. Intestinal Absorption of Minerals
6.1. Overview
6.2. Digestion and Absorption of Minerals
6.3. Summary
6.4. Problems

Chapter 7. Post-absorption Metabolism of Minerals
7.1. Plasma Minerals
7.2. Delivery of Minerals to Peripheral Cells
7.3. Intracellular Transport
7.4. Mineral Transport and Diseases
7.5. Summary
7.6. Problems

Chapter 8. Mineral-Mineral Interactions
8.1. Nature of the Interaction
8.2. Interactions between Macrominerals
8.3. Interactions between Microminerals
8.4. Summary
8.5. References
8.6. Problems

Chapter 9. Minerals in the Brain
9.1. Summary of Functions
9.2. Zinc
9.3. Copper
9.4. Iron
9.5. Manganese
9.6. Specific Diseases with a Mineral Connection
9.7. Summary
9.8. References
9.9. Problems

Chapter 10. Sodium, Chloride and Potassium
10.1. History and Early Insights
10.2. Chemical Properties
10.3. Biochemical Properties
10.4. Nutritional Properties
10.5. Intestinal Absorption
10.6. Sodium and Hypertension
10.7. Summary
10.8. References
10.9. Problems

Chapter 11. Calcium and Phosphorus
11.1. Calcium
11.2. Phosphorus
11.3. Summary
11.4. References
11.5. Problems

Chapter 12. Magnesium
12.1. History and Early Insights
12.2. Chemical Properties
12.3. Biochemical Properties
12.4. Nutritional Properties
12.5. Digestion and Absorption
12.6. Magnesium/Calcium Interactions
12.7. Magnesium Deficiency and Toxicity
12.8. Summary
12.9. References
12.10. Problems

Chapter 13. Iron
13.1. History and Early Insights
13.2. Chemical Properties
13.3. Biochemical Properties
13.4. Nutrition
13.5. Digestion and Absorption
13.6. Mechanism of Iron Absorption
13.7. Regulation of Iron Absorption
13.8. Metabolism and Assimilation
13.9. Regulation of Iron Metabolism at the Genetic Level
13.10. Summary
13.11. References
13.12. Problems

Chapter 14. Zinc
14.1. History and Early Insights
14.2. Chemical Properties
14.3. Biochemical Properties
14.4. Nutrition
14.5. Digestion and Absorption
14.6. Zinc Metabolism
14.7. Zinc Deficiency
14.8. Summary
14.9. References
14.10. Problems

Chapter 15. Copper
15.1. History and Early Insights
15.2. Chemical Properties
15.3. Biochemical Properties
15.4. Nutritional Properties
15.5. Absorption and Metabolism
15.6. Transport and Delivery to Cells
15.7. Intracellular Metabolism
15.8. Copper-Iron Interactions in Copper Metabolism
15.9. Assessing Copper Adequacy
15.10. Copper’s Link to Genetic Diseases
15.11. Summary
15.12. References
15.13. Problems

Chapter 16. Manganese
16.1. History and Early Insights
16.2. Chemical Properties
16.3. Biochemical Properties
16.4. Nutrition
16.5. Digestion and Absorption
16.6. Post-Absorption Transport
16.7. Manganese Deficiency
16.8. Nutritionally Relevant Manganese Toxicity
16.9. Summary
16.10. References
16.11. Problems

Chapter 17. Selenium and Sulfur
17.1. History and Early Insights
17.2. Chemical Properties
17.3. Biochemical Properties
17.4. Nutritional Properties of Selenium
17.5. Digestion, Absorption and Metabolism
17.6. Selenium Deficiency
17.7. Interplay between Selenium and Vitamin E
17.8. Selenium Effects on Genetic Expression
17.9. Summary
17.10. References
17.11. Problems

Chapter 18. Iodine
18.1. History and Early Observations
18.2. Chemical Properties
18.3. Biochemical Properties
18.4. Nutrition
18.5. Digestion and Absorption
18.6. Transport and Uptake of Iodine
18.7. Synthesis of Thyroid Hormones
18.8. Transport and Uptake of Thyroid Hormones
18.9. Iodine Deficiency
18.10. Assessing Iodine Deficiency
18.11. Toxicity
18.12. Summary
18.13. References
18.14. Problems

Chapter 19. Fluorine (fluoride)
19.1. History and Early Developments
19.2. Chemical Properties
19.3. Biochemical Properties
19.4. Nutrition
19.5. Digestion and Absorption
19.6. Fluoride Toxicity
19.7. Summary
19.8. Reference
19.9. Problems

Chapter 20. Chromium
20.1. History and Early Developments
20.2. Nutrition
20.3. Digestion, Absorption and Metabolism
20.4. Evidence for Essentiality
20.5. Chromium Toxicity
20.6. Chromium and Insulin Signaling
20.7. Summary
20.8. References
20.9. Problems

Chapter 21. Cobalt and Molybdenum
21.1. Cobalt
21.2. Molybdenum
21.3. References
21.4. Problems

Chapter 22. Arsenic, Boron, Silicon, and Vanadium
22.1. Arsenic
22.2. Boron
22.3. Silicon
22.4. Vanadium
22.5. References
22.6. Problems

Answers to End of Chapter Problems

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978-1-932078-97-8, ©2014, 378 pages, 6×9, Hardcover or ebook
Special Student Price Available


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