How many chemical elements are present in the human body?  

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Holly McGlynn eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Six main ones, according to enotes:

Oxygen 65.0% Part of all major nutrients of tissues; vital to energy production

Carbon 18.5% Essential life element of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats; building blocks of cells

Hydrogen 9.5% Part of major nutrients; building blocks of cells

Nitrogen 3.3% Essential part of proteins, DNA, RNA; essential to most body functions

Calcium 1.5% Form nonliving bone parts; a messenger between cells

Phosphorous 1.0% Important to bone building; essential to cell energy

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Regan Cole eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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More than half the human body is water. Water is made of hydrogen and oxygen. The rest of the human body is made mostly of hydrocarbons and proteins, which adds the elements carbon and nitrogen. Our bones add calcium to the mix. Those are the five major chemicals in the human body. In all however, in varying trace amounts, there are 60 chemical elements in the human body.

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arahman43 | Student

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)
giorgiana1976 | Student

Mineral elements are present at all levels of the body, exerting significant specific actions. Like most vitamins, they can not be synthesized by the human body. However, by the mysterious process of biological transmutation, chemical elements can be transformed into other elements, even by the human body temperature,  giving slowly huge amounts of energy in human body.

The human body is composed of various mineral elements in different proportions. 97% of the human body is composed of only four basic chemical elements: oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, and carbon. However, we could not exist as living beings without the remaining 3%, which is the mineral elements.
In our physical body, most elements are called macro minerals, they found the body in large quantities. The remaining elements are called trace minerals, present in the body in small numbers. 

As is known, for the proper functioning of our body are necessary, in addition to the known minerals, and some minerals salts. It was established in this regard that there are twelve minerals salts that are necessary for life processes: phosphates of iron, magnesium, sodium, calcium and potassium, sulphates of sodium, potassium and calcium, potassium and sodium chloride , calcium fluoride and silica. 

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