This isn’t a nihilistic plunge into the darkness of the soul, but a realistic assessment of your composition. Oxygen is the most abundant element in the human body accounting for approximately 65% of a person's mass. Bromine is used abundantly by some (though not all) lower[clarification needed] organisms, and opportunistically in eosinophils in humans. Issue Date: 1999 URI: This page was last edited on 3 December 2020, at 04:56. Those that neither help nor harm humans are called commensal organisms. The Solar System formed from space-borne gas and dust which itself could only have had two sources. Even so, we get a feel for the cost of what is inside you. [2], Some elements (silicon, boron, nickel, vanadium) are probably needed by mammals also, but in far smaller doses. These are the familiar particles making up the central nucleus of an atom, but each has sub-components. The earliest of these is, effectively, the Big Bang around 13.8 billion years ago, responsible for the production of your hydrogen. PLUS a free mini-magazine for you to download and keep. The low value used old data and almost certainly involves a calculation error. For lab-quality potassium metal, for example, I’d have to pay around £414 ($500). For many, a more familiar way to look at those building blocks of you is as chemical elements. That means we're not just changing Earth so severely, scientists are calling for a … Thanks! One way to assess what goes into making you up at is to look at the value of the elements in your body on the open market. The remaining elements are trace elements, of which more than a dozen are thought on the basis of good evidence to be necessary for life. In humans, arsenic is toxic, and its levels in foods and dietary supplements are closely monitored to reduce or eliminate its intake. They are also social animals. Look out for your Lunchtime Genius newsletter in your inbox soon. For the first time since the existence of humans on Earth, the man-made mass is now heavier than the weight of all lifeforms on the universe’s only habitable planet. With the exception of a few atoms produced by radioactive decay, every atom in your body already existed when the Earth formed around 4.5 billion years ago. Even though hair comes in many colors and textures, it is all made of the same materials. Read more about the human body: Are humans still evolving? But one fundamental aspect is the atoms making up your body. Body composition can also be expressed in terms of various types of material, such as: There are many species of bacteria and other microorganisms that live on or inside the healthy human body. Water is found in the extracellular fluids of the body (the blood plasma, the lymph, and the interstitial fluid) and within the cells themselves. But water costs less than this – my latest water bill gives a charge of £0.13 per kilogram, and that’s not a cheap way to obtain water. In terms of tissue type, the body may be analyzed into water, fat, connective tissue, muscle, bone, etc. And tests have confirmed that it's actually having an effect on space weather far beyond our planet's atmosphere. So let's focus on skin for a moment. By clicking “sign up” you are agreeing to our terms and conditions and privacy policy. Therefore, it isn't surprising that most of a human body's mass is oxygen. Appendix F", "Elemental Composition of the Human Body", Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21: Food and Drugs, Ch 1, subchapter B, Part 101, Subpart A, §101.9(c)(8)(iv), Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and New Zealand Ministry of Health (MoH), "Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Review of Fluoridation and Regulation Issues", "Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for fluoride", WHO/SDE/WSH/03.04/96 "Fluoride in Drinking-water", Safe Upper Levels for Vitamins and Mineral (2003), boron p. 164-71, nickel p. 225-31, EVM, Food Standards Agency, UK, "Scientific Opinion on the re-evaluation of gold (E 175) as a food additive", "Systematic review of potential health risks posed by pharmaceutical, occupational and consumer exposures to metallic and nanoscale aluminum, aluminum oxides, aluminum hydroxide and its soluble salts", "Essential and Ubiquitous: The Emergence of Lanthanide Metallobiochemistry", "Revised estimates for the number of human and bacteria cells in the body", "Humans Carry More Bacterial Cells than Human Ones", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Composition_of_the_human_body&oldid=992044629, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from August 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Deemed essential trace element by U.S., not by European Union, Suggested function from deprivation effects or active metabolic handling, but no clearly-identified biochemical function in humans, Limited circumstantial evidence for trace benefits or biological action in mammals. 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