Explain the significance of sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium in biological fluids.
Importance of sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium in biological fluids:
(i) Sodium (Na):
Sodium ions are found primarily in the blood plasma. They are also found in the interstitial fluids surrounding the cells.
(a) Sodium ions help in the transmission of nerve signals.
(b) They help in regulating the flow of water across the cell membranes.
(c) They also help in transporting sugars and amino acids into the cells.
(ii) Potassium (K):
Potassium ions are found in the highest quantity within the cell fluids.
(a) K ions help in activating many enzymes.
(b) They also participate in oxidising glucose to produce ATP.
(c) They also help in transmitting nerve signals.
(iii) Magnesium (Mg) and calcium (Ca):
Magnesium and calcium are referred to as macro-minerals. This term indicates their higher abundance in the human body system.
(a) Mg helps in relaxing nerves and muscles.
(b) Mg helps in building and strengthening bones.
(c) Mg maintains normal blood circulation in the human body system.
(d) Ca helps in the coagulation of blood
(e) Ca also helps in maintaining homeostasis.