Calcium and phosphate are used for much more than bone structure. Phosphate groups are a component of DNA, RNA, ATP, phospholipids, and many other compounds. Phosphate ions also help to correct acid-base imbalances in the body fluids (see insight 7.3). Calcium is needed for communication between neurons, muscle contraction, blood clotting, and exocytosis. It is also a second messenger in many cell signaling processes and a cofactor for some enzymes. The skeleton is a reservoir for these minerals. Minerals are deposited in the skeleton when the supply is ample and withdrawn when they are needed for other purposes.
Insight 7.3 Clinical Application
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.