Building Blocks subheader

Atoms & Life

show/hide words to know

  • Element: in chemistry a substance that cannot be broken down (separated) by a chemical process... more
  • Trace: a quantity of something in extremely small amounts... more

There are 92 elements that occur naturally on Earth. For living things, only 11 of these elements are found in larger than trace quantities. Any amount 0.01 or less is considered a trace element. For vertebrates, such as humans, there are two additional elements that occur in larger than trace amounts these are Iodine and Iron.

Periodic Table illustration of elements found in human body

Of the elements found in the human body, four of them make up the largest percentage of our body weight (96.5%). The four elements are oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen.

Elements in Human Body by Percent

Four common elements in human body

The elements - Oxygen, Carbon, Hydrogen and Nitrogen account for 96.5% of your body weight.

 

Facebook logo  Twitter logo  Google Plus logo

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteers page to get the process started.

ShareThis