6.1_Human_nutrition_III - In this presentation, we will...

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In this presentation, we will look at our final topic in human nutrition dealing with micronutrients- vitamins and minerals. 1
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Here’s Lucille Ball elaborating on the benefits of micronutrients: 2
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We will build a conceptual foundation on the role of nutrients in the human diet and then focus on two examples, vitamin D and iron, which have special relevance to those in this class. Finally, we will look at factors that may lead to malnourishment even in the face of food plenty. 3
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This is the basic model of nutrition: heterotrophic organisms (those that derive their nutrition from other organisms) eat to provide energy and matter needed to grow and function. In this presentation, we will focus on the third point- the essential nutrients that we must obtain via the diet. 4
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The essential nutrients are often categorized as macro or micro depending on the relative amounts that we need. So nutrients like macromolecules of amino acids and fatty acids that we can’t synthesize are ones that we consume in larger quantities than other molecules that we need in very small amounts like the vitamins and some minerals like zinc. In reality, the amount of each nutrient needed varies a lot depending on what the nutrient is and the specific needs of the individual. For example, micronutrient needs are often listed as recommended dietary allowances- the RDA; which was developed as a guideline to maintain good nutrition during World War II during a time of food rationing and the more recently developed nutritional recommendations called Reference Daily Intake (RDI) or Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) which are daily amounts of specific nutrients thought to meet the needs of the majority of people in a given area such as the US. Useful Internet resources include the USDA Food and Nutrition Information Center http://fnic.nal.usda.gov which provides a plethora of governmental reports and interactive tools regarding nutritional recommendation, food content, etc. and the Linus Pauling Institute http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter which has unbiased information about commonly used phytochemicals as well as traditional vitamins and minerals. In spite of the constant advertising by the dietary supplement and food fortification industries, it’s important to remember that all of our essential nutrients can be obtained by a balanced and diverse diet and a lifestyle that includes some sunlight exposure. An example of how diverse diets support adequate nutrition in terms of macronutrients is exemplified by the following example. 5
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Here’s a classic example of how diet composition is important in providing essential macro-nutrients. In this case, the essential amino acids are not provided in adequate amounts with either corn or beans alone; however, with the combination of bean dishes and corn tortillas, the meal provides for our essential amino requirements. Recall that these amino acids are essential because our cells can not synthesize them
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This note was uploaded on 01/29/2012 for the course BIOL 212 taught by Professor Rockhill during the Spring '08 term at Seattle Central Community College.

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6.1_Human_nutrition_III - In this presentation, we will...

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