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Exam 2 questions to ponder

Exam 2 questions to ponder - 1 What is a vitamin What is a...

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1. What is a vitamin? What is a mineral? A vitamin is an organic compound that is vital to life and indispensible to body functions but is needed only in minute amounts; they are noncaloric essential nutrients. The role of many vitamins is to help make possible the processes by which other nutrients are digested, absorbed, and metabolized or built into body structures. A mineral is a naturally occurring, homogenous substance (chemical elements). 2. What vitamins can the human body synthesize? Vitamin D (synthesized in our skin and requires sunlight and 7-dehydrocholesterol), Vitamin K (from bacteria in our guts), Niacin (which requires tryptophan and adequate protein) 3. Compare and contrast fat-soluble and water soluble vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed first into lymph then the blood, must travel with protein carriers in watery blood fluids, stored in liver or fatty tissues. Not readily excreted, tend to build up in the tissues. Toxicities are likely from supplements, but occur rarely through food. Lastly, they are needed in periodic doses because the body can draw on its stores. Water soluble vitamins are absorbed directly into the blood, and they travel freely in watery fluids. Most are not stored in the body, and they are readily excreted in urine. Toxicities are unlikely but possible with high doses from supplements. They are needed in frequent 1-3 day doses because the body does not store them to a great extent. 4. What are the steps in the development of a nutrient deficiency? At each step, how would one determine that the nutrient deficiency is occurring? 1. Diet history and medical evaluation: see that the primary deficiency is caused by inadequate intake or secondary deficiency is caused by problem inside of the body 2. Laboratory tests show declining nutrient stores 3. Laboratory tests show abnormal functioning in the body 4. Physical examination and anthropometric measures show physical signs and symptoms 5. Which groups are particularly at risk for nutrient deficiencies? Infants, teens, and children Pregnant and lactating women Elderly* HIV/AIDS patients* Alcoholics* *=those with physiological changes 6. Why is it better to get nutrients from food rather than supplements? Are there any exceptions to this?
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Vitamins and minerals are absorbed best in food (bioavailability). There is also little risk of toxicity from food, and food also has other beneficial compounds such as fiber and phytochemicals. For supplements, there is a lack of regulation and risk of overconsumption. Supplements have the whole essential nutrients covered that not all food has. 7. What is bioavailability? What are some factors that impact the bioavailability of vitamins and minerals? Does food processing/cooking impact the bioavailability of nutrients?
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