Cosmic Recipe for Earthlings
The four ingredients below are essential parts of the body’s protein, carbohydrate and fat architecture. (Expressed as percentage of body weight).
Oxygen — 65.0%
Critical to the conversion of food into energy.
Carbon — 18.5%
The so-called backbone of the building blocks of the body and a key part of other important compounds, such as testosterone and estrogen.
Hydrogen — 9.5%
Helps transport nutrients, remove wastes and regulate body temperature. Also plays an important role in energy production.
Nitrogen — 3.3%
Found in amino acids, the building blocks of proteins; an essential part of the nucleic acids that constitute DNA.
Calcium — 1.5%
Lends rigidity and strength to bones and teeth; also important for the functioning of nerves and muscles, and for blood clotting.
Phosphorus — 1.0%
Needed for building and maintaining bones and teeth; also found in the molecule ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which provides energy that drives chemical reactions in cells.
Potassium — 0.4%
Important for electrical signaling in nerves and maintaining the balance of water in the body.
Sulfur — 0.3%
Found in cartilage, insulin (the hormone that enables the body to use sugar), breast milk, proteins that play a role in the immune system, and keratin, a substance in skin, hair and nails.
Chlorine — 0.2%
Needed by nerves to function properly; also helps produce gastric juices.
Sodium — 0.2%
Plays a critical role in nerves’ electrical signaling; also helps regulate the amount of water in the body.
Magnesium — 0.1%
Plays an important role in the structure of the skeleton and muscles; also found in molecules that help enzymes use ATP to supply energy for chemical reactions in cells.
Iodine (trace amount)
Part of an essential hormone produced by the thyroid gland; regulates metabolism.
Iron (trace amount)
Part of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in red blood cells.
Zinc (trace amount)
Forms part of some enzymes involved in digestion.