How many chemical elements are present in the human body?  

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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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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.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
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