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. 

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