5 Characteristics of bioelements

Bioelements are chemical elements that are in living beings and that assist in their functionality. The classification of bioelements is done in terms of the abundance of such elements, there are primary bioelements, secondary bioelements, and essential and non-essential trace elements.

The elements of the periodic table are the basis that forms everything we know, combining to form molecules, as is the example of water formed by two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen. But have you wondered how the living beings are formed? Surprisingly, by natural selection, the elements with better qualities were chosen that would allow them to be used for cell processes, and that is how we discover that there are certain common elements in all living beings, called bioelements.

If you want to know what bio-reading and their classification are, we invite you to read this interesting article.

What bioelements are

Bioelements are certain elements of the periodic table that conform to living beings, and that play important roles within the functioning of them. They are preferred by cells because of the chemical properties that have these elements, which is known as natural selection at the atomic level, and which changed over evolutionary time to the selection of elements that today governs life forms.

The deficiency of bioelements can cause imbalances in the body, causing malfunctions in the body. Species living in nature do not usually have this problem, but in humans, because of artificial diet, it is common to have imbalances in bioelements that tend to be compensated with vitamin supplements.

Not all organisms have the same biomolecular composition and there is biochemical diversity, but most incorporate very similar bioelements and are generally in similar proportions, as we will see below.

Characteristics of bioelements

Bioelements are the essential chemical elements that make up living organisms. Here are some key characteristics of bioelements:

  1. Essential for Life: Bioelements are crucial for the structure, function, and metabolism of living organisms. They are necessary for various biological processes, including growth, reproduction, and energy production. Without these elements, life as we know it would not be possible.
  2. Abundance and Rarity: Bioelements can be categorized into two groups based on their abundance in living organisms. The first group includes the four most abundant elements: carbon (C), hydrogen (H), oxygen (O), and nitrogen (N). These elements are found in large quantities and make up the bulk of organic matter. The second group includes trace elements, which are required in smaller quantities but are still essential for life. Examples of trace elements include iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), and iodine (I).
  3. Chemical Properties: Each bioelement has unique chemical properties that contribute to its role in biological systems. For example, carbon is the key element in organic compounds and forms the backbone of molecules such as proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids. Hydrogen is involved in bonding and provides stability to biomolecules. Oxygen is necessary for cellular respiration and energy production. Nitrogen is essential for the formation of proteins and nucleic acids.
  4. Cycling and Recycling: Bioelements are constantly cycled through various reservoirs in the environment, such as the atmosphere, soil, and water. This cycling ensures a continuous supply of these elements to living organisms. For example, carbon is cycled through the process of photosynthesis and cellular respiration. Nitrogen undergoes nitrogen fixation, nitrification, and denitrification to be converted into different forms that can be utilized by plants and other organisms.
  5. Limiting Factors: The availability of bioelements can be a limiting factor for the growth and productivity of organisms. In some environments, the lack of certain trace elements, such as iron or phosphorus, can limit the growth of plants or the productivity of ecosystems. Similarly, the imbalance or excess of certain bioelements can also have negative effects on organisms.

In summary, bioelements are essential chemical elements that are required for life. They can be abundant or found in trace amounts, and each element has unique chemical properties. Bioelements cycle through the environment and can be limiting factors for organisms. Understanding the characteristics of bioelements is crucial for studying and maintaining the health of living organisms and ecosystems.

Classification of bioelements

Bioelements are classified according to the amount in organisms, and this is how three different groups of bioelements are formed, from greater to lower presence in living matter. These groups have been identified thanks to molecular biology and knowledge of cells, noting that there were similarities of the types and quantity of elements among all living beings.

Types of bioelements

Primary bioelements

Primary bioelements are those that make up biomolecules and stable gases. They are called primary because they are the most abundant in living beings, making up 99% of their weight. They have the ability to combine with other atoms to make molecules stable and easily assimilate into organisms, as well as forming multiple bonds.

We can easily learn the most abundant primary bioelements by the acronym CHONPS, whose acronym refers to the following elements:

  • C (carbon): it is extremely stable to form chains, hence it is the main element in all forms of life.
  • H (hycrotrogen): it is also part of the stable chains. It is also the main component of water.
  • Or (oxygen): has electronegative power to attract electrons.
  • N (nitrogen): is part of amino acids and nucleic acids.
  • P (phosphorus): forms the phospholipids of cell membranes and nucleic acids. It forms the intracellular regulatory solution.
  • S (azufre): is an element of cysteine and methionine, important amino acids. Along with the phosphorus, it helps form the regulatory solution that is inside the cells.

Secondary bioelements

After primary bioelements we have secondary ones, which are less common in organisms, and represent only 0.7% of living matter. They are not as specific compared to primary bioelements in terms of function, being able to have several functions.

These bioelements can be found in aqueous solutions within organisms and drive electricity, so they are also known as electrolytes. They may have a positive burden, called cations, or negative load, called anions.

These are the secondary bioelements that maintain osmotic balance, move molecules through the cell membranes and complete the nerve conduction.

  • K (potasy)
  • Cl (chlor)

Essential and non-essential

These are in minimal amounts in the organisms, but without them they would not be functional. They can be found under the name of trace elements because of the small amount of them needed, which makes up approximately 0.1% of the living matter. They are also dissolved in water, and that is why they can be found under the name of electrolytes.

Those trace elements that are called essential are those that have a known physiological function. These are:

  • Faith (iron): is a structural part of the hemo group that carries the blood.
  • Co (cobalto): is part of vitamin B12.
  • Cr (chrome), Zn (zinc), Mo (molibdenum), Se (selenium), Mn (manganese), Cover (copper): they make up intracellular enzymes.
  • I(yodo): synthesizes the thyroid hormone.
  • F (flúor): helps the enamel of the teeth, and also has an important role in the formation of the bones.

Non-essential, or superfluous oligoelements are those that do not have a clear physiological function. Some of them are:

  • Al (aluminium)
  • Au (gold)
  • Ag (silver)
  • Br (bromo)

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