• Question: What elements are humans made up of?

    Asked by Goldie264 to Stewart, Miriam, Laura, David on 15 Nov 2018.
    • Photo: David Ho

      David Ho answered on 15 Nov 2018: last edited 15 Nov 2018 5:05 pm

      The majority of elements in a human are oxygen, carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen — there are some more (like calcium, phosphorus and potassium), but they are only present in tiny quantities!

      Here’s a good graphic I’ve found:

      Note that this shows the proportions by mass (if you count number of atoms instead you’ll get different proportions)

    • Photo: Miriam Hogg

      Miriam Hogg answered on 15 Nov 2018:

      Humans are made up of lots of different elements but we are mainly carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus.

      All living thing are what we called ‘Carbon-based’. Our cells and the molecules in our bodies are made up of carbon atoms linked with others (oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus). There are other elements in smaller amounts that are also needed in the human body for communication and molecule movement between cells, energy and other things. Those include sodium, potassium and a few others and they normally come from our diet.