A mineral as it pertains to human nutrition is an inorganic chemical substance which is required in small amounts for proper enzymatic (and in the case of calcium, structural) function of the body. Examples of required minerals are sodium, potassium, iron, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iodine and zinc. It is specifically not one of the required vitamins like vitamins A, D, E, K, or the B complex which likewise are essential for enzymatic actions in the body but are differentiated from minerals by being organic compounds derived from plant or animal food sources. As with vitamins, deficiency of a mineral causes dysfunction of the body's enzymatic systems and often a characteristic disease state which is cured by supplementation.

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