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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Elements Composing Human Body

Most of the human body is made up of water, H2O, with cells consisting of 65-90% water by weight. Therefore, it isn't surprising that most of a human body's mass is oxygen. Carbon, the basic unit for organic molecules, comes in second. 99% of the mass of the human body is made up of just six elements: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus.

1. Oxygen (65%)
2. Carbon (18%)
3. Hydrogen (10%)
4. Nitrogen (3%)
5. Calcium (1.5%)
6. Phosphorus (1.0%)
7. Potassium (0.35%)
8. Sulfur (0.25%)
9. Sodium (0.15%)
10. Magnesium (0.05%)
11. Copper, Zinc, Selenium, Molybdenum, Fluorine, Chlorine, Iodine, Manganese, Cobalt, Iron (0.70%)
12. Lithium, Strontium, Aluminum, Silicon, Lead, Vanadium, Arsenic, Bromine (trace amounts)

H. A. Harper, V. W. Rodwell, P. A. Mayes
Review of Physiological Chemistry

By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.

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