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Nutrition 101: Science of Nutrition
Take Exam The exam contains 50 - multiple choice questions. The identifying of an illness or disorder in a patient through physical examination, medical tests, or other procedures. Explore factors influencing dietary choices and identify major health problems in the U. The vitamins were studied [ by whom? Your contribution may be further edited by our staff, and its publication is subject to our final approval. The macronutrients are carbohydrates, fats, fiber, proteins, and water. Overnutrition , Obesity , and Overweight.

Course Objective

Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences

Glucose can be made in the body from most types of carbohydrate and from protein, although protein is usually an expensive source of energy. Some minimal amount of carbohydrate is required in the diet—at least 50 to grams a day. This not only spares protein but also ensures that fats are completely metabolized and prevents a condition known as ketosis , the accumulation of products of fat breakdown, called ketones , in the body.

Although there are great variations in the quantity and type of carbohydrates eaten throughout the world, most diets contain more than enough. The simplest carbohydrates are sugars, which give many foods their sweet taste but at the same time provide food for bacteria in the mouth, thus contributing to dental decay.

Sugars in the diet are monosaccharides , which contain one sugar or saccharide unit, and disaccharides , which contain two saccharide units linked together. Monosaccharides of nutritional importance are glucose, fructose , and galactose ; disaccharides include sucrose table sugar , lactose milk sugar , and maltose.

A slightly more complex type of carbohydrate is the oligosaccharide e. Larger and more complex storage forms of carbohydrate are the polysaccharides , which consist of long chains of glucose units. Starch , the most important polysaccharide in the human diet—found in grains, legumes, potatoes, and other vegetables—is made up of mainly straight glucose chains amylose or mainly branching chains amylopectin.

Finally, nondigestible polysaccharides known as dietary fibre are found in plant foods such as grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, seeds, and nuts. In order to be utilized by the body, all complex carbohydrates must be broken down into simple sugars, which, in turn, must be broken down into monosaccharides—a feat, accomplished by enzymes, that starts in the mouth and ends in the small intestine , where most absorption takes place.

Each dissacharide is split into single units by a specific enzyme; for example, the enzyme lactase breaks down lactose into its constituent monosaccharides, glucose and galactose. This inherited trait, called lactose intolerance , results in gastrointestinal discomfort and diarrhea if too much lactose is consumed.

Those who have retained the ability to digest dairy products efficiently in adulthood are primarily of northern European ancestry. Dietary fibre , the structural parts of plants, cannot be digested by the human intestine because the necessary enzymes are lacking. Even though these nondigestible compounds pass through the gut unchanged except for a small percentage that is fermented by bacteria in the large intestine , they nevertheless contribute to good health. Insoluble fibre does not dissolve in water and provides bulk, or roughage, that helps with bowel function regularity and accelerates the exit from the body of potentially carcinogenic or otherwise harmful substances in food.

Types of insoluble fibre are cellulose , most hemicelluloses , and lignin a phenolic polymer, not a carbohydrate. Major food sources of insoluble fibre are whole grain breads and cereals, wheat bran, and vegetables.

Soluble fibre , which dissolves or swells in water, slows down the transit time of food through the gut an undesirable effect but also helps lower blood cholesterol levels a desirable effect. Types of soluble fibre are gums, pectins , some hemicelluloses, and mucilages; fruits especially citrus fruits and apples , oats, barley, and legumes are major food sources.

Both soluble and insoluble fibre help delay glucose absorption, thus ensuring a slower and more even supply of blood glucose. Dietary fibre is thought to provide important protection against some gastrointestinal diseases and to reduce the risk of other chronic diseases as well.

Lipids also contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen but in a different configuration, having considerably fewer oxygen atoms than are found in carbohydrates. Lipids are soluble in organic solvents such as acetone or ether and insoluble in water, a property that is readily seen when an oil-and-vinegar salad dressing separates quickly upon standing.

The lipids of nutritional importance are triglycerides fats and oils , phospholipids e. Lipids in the diet transport the four fat-soluble vitamins vitamins A, D, E, and K and assist in their absorption in the small intestine. They also carry with them substances that impart sensory appeal and palatability to food and provide satiety value, the feeling of being full and satisfied after eating a meal.

Fats in the diet are a more concentrated form of energy than carbohydrates and have an energy yield of 9 kilocalories per gram. Adipose fatty tissue in the fat depots of the body serves as an energy reserve as well as helping to insulate the body and cushion the internal organs. The major lipids in food and stored in the body as fat are the triglycerides, which consist of three fatty acids attached to a backbone of glycerol an alcohol.

They are classified as saturated or unsaturated according to their chemical structure. A point of unsaturation indicates a double bond between two carbon atoms, rather than the full complement of hydrogen atoms that is present in saturated fatty acids.

A monounsaturated fatty acid has one point of unsaturation, while a polyunsaturated fatty acid has two or more. The common fatty acids in foods are listed in the table.

Fatty acids found in the human diet and in body tissues range from a chain length of 4 carbons to 22 or more, each chain having an even number of carbon atoms.

Of particular importance for humans are the carbon polyunsaturated fatty acids alpha-linolenic acid an omega-3 fatty acid and linoleic acid an omega-6 fatty acid ; these are known as essential fatty acids because they are required in small amounts in the diet.

The omega designations also referred to as n-3 and n-6 indicate the location of the first double bond from the methyl end of the fatty acid. Other fatty acids can be synthesized in the body and are therefore not essential in the diet. About a tablespoon daily of an ordinary vegetable oil such as safflower or corn oil or a varied diet that includes grains, nuts , seeds , and vegetables can fulfill the essential fatty acid requirement.

Essential fatty acids are needed for the formation of cell membranes and the synthesis of hormone -like compounds called eicosanoids e. The consumption of fish once or twice a week provides an additional source of omega-3 fatty acids that appears to be healthful. A fat consisting largely of saturated fatty acids, especially long-chain fatty acids, tends to be solid at room temperature; if unsaturated fatty acids predominate, the fat is liquid at room temperature.

Fats and oils usually contain mixtures of fatty acids, although the type of fatty acid in greatest concentration typically gives the food its characteristics. Butter and other animal fats are primarily saturated; olive and canola oils, monounsaturated; and fish, corn , safflower , soybean, and sunflower oils, polyunsaturated. Although plant oils tend to be largely unsaturated, there are notable exceptions, such as coconut fat , which is highly saturated but nevertheless semiliquid at room temperature because its fatty acids are of medium chain length 8 to 14 carbons long.

Saturated fats tend to be more stable than unsaturated ones. The food industry takes advantage of this property during hydrogenation , in which hydrogen molecules are added to a point of unsaturation, thereby making the fatty acid more stable and resistant to rancidity oxidation as well as more solid and spreadable as in margarine.

However, a result of the hydrogenation process is a change in the shape of some unsaturated fatty acids from a configuration known as cis to that known as trans.

Trans -fatty acids, which behave more like saturated fatty acids, may also have undesirable health consequences. A phospholipid is similar to a triglyceride except that it contains a phosphate group and a nitrogen -containing compound such as choline instead of one of the fatty acids. In food, phospholipids are natural emulsifiers , allowing fat and water to mix, and they are used as food additives for this purpose.

In the body, phospholipids allow fats to be suspended in fluids such as blood , and they enable lipids to move across cell membranes from one watery compartment to another. The phospholipid lecithin is plentiful in foods such as egg yolks, liver, wheat germ, and peanuts.

However, the liver is able to synthesize all the lecithin the body needs if sufficient choline is present in the diet. Sterols are unique among lipids in that they have a multiple-ring structure. The well-known sterol cholesterol is found only in foods of animal origin—meat, egg yolk , fish , poultry , and dairy products. There are a number of sterols in shellfish but not as much cholesterol as was once thought.

Cholesterol is essential to the structure of cell membranes and is also used to make other important sterols in the body, among them the sex hormones, adrenal hormones , bile acids, and vitamin D. However, cholesterol can be synthesized in the liver , so there is no need to consume it in the diet.

Cholesterol-containing deposits may build up in the walls of arteries, leading to a condition known as atherosclerosis , which contributes to myocardial infarction heart attack and stroke. Furthermore, because elevated levels of blood cholesterol, especially the form known as low-density lipoprotein LDL cholesterol, have been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease , a limited intake of saturated fat—particularly medium-chain saturated fatty acids, which act to raise LDL cholesterol levels—is advised.

Trans-fatty acids also raise LDL cholesterol, while monounsaturated and polyunsaturated cis fats tend to lower LDL cholesterol levels. The complex relationships between various dietary lipids and blood cholesterol levels, as well as the possible health consequences of different dietary lipid patterns, are discussed in the article nutritional disease. Proteins , like carbohydrates and fats, contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, but they also contain nitrogen , a component of the amino chemical group NH 2 , and in some cases sulfur.

Proteins serve as the basic structural material of the body as well as being biochemical catalysts and regulators of genes. Aside from water, protein constitutes the major part of muscles, bones, internal organs, and the skin , nails , and hair. Protein is also an important part of cell membranes and blood e. Enzymes , which catalyze chemical reactions in the body, are also protein, as are antibodies , collagen in connective tissue, and many hormones, such as insulin.

Tissue proteins are in a dynamic equilibrium with proteins in the blood, with input from proteins in the diet and losses through urine , feces , and skin. In a healthy adult, adjustments are made so that the amount of protein lost is in balance with the amount of protein ingested.

However, during periods of rapid growth, pregnancy and lactation , or recuperation after illness or depletion, the body is in positive nitrogen balance, as more protein is being retained than excreted. The opposite is true during illness or wasting, when there is negative nitrogen balance as more tissue is being broken down than synthesized. Each gene makes one or more proteins, each with a unique sequence of amino acids and precise three-dimensional configuration.

Amino acids are also required for the synthesis of other important nonprotein compounds, such as peptide hormones, some neurotransmitters , and creatine. Food contains approximately 20 common amino acids, 9 of which are considered essential, or indispensable, for humans; i. The essential amino acids for humans are histidine , isoleucine , leucine , lysine , methionine , phenylalanine , threonine , tryptophan , and valine.

Conditionally indispensable amino acids include arginine , cysteine , and tyrosine , which may need to be provided under special circumstances, such as in premature infants or in people with liver disease, because of impaired conversion from precursors. The relative proportions of different amino acids vary from food to food see table. Foods of animal origin— meat , fish , eggs , and dairy products —are sources of good quality, or complete, protein; i.

Gelatin , which lacks the amino acid tryptophan , is an exception. Individual foods of plant origin, with the exception of soybeans , are lower quality, or incomplete, protein sources.

Lysine , methionine , and tryptophan are the primary limiting amino acids; i. However, a varied vegetarian diet can readily fulfill human protein requirements if the protein-containing foods are balanced such that their essential amino acids complement each other. For example, legumes such as beans are high in lysine and low in methionine, while grains have complementary strengths and weaknesses.

Thus, if beans and rice are eaten over the course of a day, their joint amino acid patterns will supplement each other and provide a higher quality protein than would either food alone. Traditional food patterns in native cultures have made good use of protein complementarity. However, careful balancing of plant proteins is necessary only for those whose protein intake is marginal or inadequate.

In affluent populations, where protein intake is greatly in excess of needs, obtaining sufficient good quality protein is usually only a concern for young children who are not provided with animal proteins.

The World Health Organization recommends a daily intake of 0. Thus, a kg pound man would need This recommendation, based on nitrogen balance studies, assumes an adequate energy intake. Infants, children, and pregnant and lactating women have additional protein needs to support synthesis of new tissue or milk production.

Protein requirements of endurance athletes and bodybuilders may be slightly higher than those of sedentary individuals, but this has no practical significance because athletes typically consume much more protein than they need. During conditions of fasting , starvation , or insufficient dietary intake of protein, lean tissue is broken down to supply amino acids for vital body functions. Persistent protein inadequacy results in suboptimal metabolic function with increased risk of infection and disease.

Vitamins are organic compounds found in very small amounts in food and required for normal functioning—indeed, for survival. Humans are able to synthesize certain vitamins to some extent.

For example, vitamin D is produced when the skin is exposed to sunlight ; niacin can be synthesized from the amino acid tryptophan; and vitamin K and biotin are synthesized by bacteria living in the gut. However, in general, humans depend on their diet to supply vitamins. When a vitamin is in short supply or is not able to be utilized properly, a specific deficiency syndrome results. When the deficient vitamin is resupplied before irreversible damage occurs, the signs and symptoms are reversed.

The amounts of vitamins in foods and the amounts required on a daily basis are measured in milligrams and micrograms. Unlike the macronutrients, vitamins do not serve as an energy source for the body or provide raw materials for tissue building.

Rather, they assist in energy-yielding reactions and facilitate metabolic and physiologic processes throughout the body. Vitamin A , for example, is required for embryonic development, growth, reproduction, proper immune function, and the integrity of epithelial cells, in addition to its role in vision. The B vitamins function as coenzymes that assist in energy metabolism; folic acid folate , one of the B vitamins, helps protect against birth defects in the early stages of pregnancy.

Vitamin C plays a role in building connective tissue as well as being an antioxidant that helps protect against damage by reactive molecules free radicals. Now considered to be a hormone , vitamin D is involved in calcium and phosphorus homeostasis and bone metabolism. Vitamin E , another antioxidant, protects against free radical damage in lipid systems, and vitamin K plays a key role in blood clotting. Although vitamins are often discussed individually, many of their functions are interrelated, and a deficiency of one can influence the function of another.

Vitamin nomenclature is somewhat complex, with chemical names gradually replacing the original letter designations created in the era of vitamin discovery during the first half of the 20th century.

Nomenclature is further complicated by the recognition that vitamins are parts of families with, in some cases, multiple active forms. Some vitamins are found in foods in precursor forms that must be activated in the body before they can properly fulfill their function. The 13 vitamins known to be required by human beings are categorized into two groups according to their solubility.

The four fat-soluble vitamins soluble in nonpolar solvents are vitamins A, D, E, and K. Although now known to behave as a hormone, the activated form of vitamin D, vitamin D hormone calcitriol , is still grouped with the vitamins as well.

The nine water-soluble vitamins soluble in polar solvents are vitamin C and the eight B-complex vitamins: Choline is a vitamin-like dietary component that is clearly required for normal metabolism but that can be synthesized by the body.

Although choline may be necessary in the diet of premature infants and possibly of those with certain medical conditions, it has not been established as essential in the human diet throughout life.

Different vitamins are more or less susceptible to destruction by environmental conditions and chemical agents. For example, thiamin is especially vulnerable to prolonged heating, riboflavin to ultraviolet or fluorescent light, and vitamin C to oxidation as when a piece of fruit is cut open and the vitamin is exposed to air. In general, water-soluble vitamins are more easily destroyed during cooking than are fat-soluble vitamins.

The solubility of a vitamin influences the way it is absorbed, transported, stored, and excreted by the body as well as where it is found in foods. With the exception of vitamin B 12 , which is supplied by only foods of animal origin, the water-soluble vitamins are synthesized by plants and found in both plant and animal foods.

Strict vegetarians vegans , who eat no foods of animal origin, are therefore at risk of vitamin B 12 deficiency. Fat-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, are found in association with fats and oils in foods and in the body and typically require protein carriers for transport through the water-filled compartments of the body.

Water-soluble vitamins are not appreciably stored in the body except for vitamin B 12 and thus must be consumed regularly in the diet. If taken in excess they are readily excreted in the urine, although there is potential toxicity even with water-soluble vitamins; especially noteworthy in this regard is vitamin B 6. However, the fact that these vitamins can be stored increases the possibility of toxicity if very large doses are taken.

This is particularly of concern with vitamins A and D, which can be toxic if taken in excess. Niacin , for example, is used to lower blood cholesterol levels; vitamin D is used to treat psoriasis ; and pharmacological derivatives of vitamin A are used to treat acne and other skin conditions as well as to diminish skin wrinkling.

However, consumption of vitamins or other dietary supplements in amounts significantly in excess of recommended levels is not advised without medical supervision. Vitamins synthesized in the laboratory are the same molecules as those extracted from food, and they cannot be distinguished by the body.

However, various forms of a vitamin are not necessarily equivalent. Vitamins in food have a distinct advantage over vitamins in supplement form because they come associated with other substances that may be beneficial , and there is also less potential for toxicity. Nutritional supplements cannot substitute for a healthful diet.

Unlike the complex organic compounds carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, vitamins discussed in previous sections, minerals are simple inorganic elements—often in the form of salts in the body—that are not themselves metabolized, nor are they a source of energy. Minerals constitute about 4 to 6 percent of body weight—about one-half as calcium and one-quarter as phosphorus phosphates , the remainder being made up of the other essential minerals that must be derived from the diet.

Minerals not only impart hardness to bones and teeth but also function broadly in metabolism—e. As nutrients, minerals are traditionally divided into two groups according to the amounts present in and needed by the body. The major minerals macrominerals —those required in amounts of milligrams or more per day—are calcium, phosphorus phosphates , magnesium , sulfur, sodium , chloride , and potassium. The trace elements microminerals or trace minerals , required in much smaller amounts of about 15 milligrams per day or less, include iron , zinc , copper , manganese , iodine iodide , selenium , fluoride, molybdenum , chromium , and cobalt as part of the vitamin B 12 molecule.

Fluoride is considered a beneficial nutrient because of its role in protecting against dental caries , although an essential function in the strict sense has not been established in human nutrition. The term ultratrace elements is sometimes used to describe minerals that are found in the diet in extremely small quantities micrograms each day and are present in human tissue as well; these include arsenic , boron , nickel , silicon , and vanadium.

Despite demonstrated roles in experimental animals, the exact function of these and other ultratrace elements e. Minerals have diverse functions, including muscle contraction, nerve transmission, blood clotting, immunity, the maintenance of blood pressure, and growth and development.

The major minerals, with the exception of sulfur, typically occur in the body in ionic charged form: Mineral salts dissolved in body fluids help regulate fluid balance , osmotic pressure, and acid-base balance. Other mineral elements that are constituents of organic compounds include iron , which is part of hemoglobin the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells , and iodine , a component of thyroid hormones, which help regulate body metabolism. Additionally, phosphate groups are found in many organic molecules, such as phospholipids in cell membranes, genetic material DNA and RNA , and the high-energy molecule adenosine triphosphate ATP.

The levels of different minerals in foods are influenced by growing conditions e. Minerals are not destroyed during food preparation; in fact, a food can be burned completely and the minerals ash will remain unchanged.

However, minerals can be lost by leaching into cooking water that is subsequently discarded. Healthy Diet Planning Learn how dietary guidelines can be used to develop a healthy eating plan. Explore factors influencing dietary choices and identify major health problems in the U. Examine food labels, calories, and vegetarian and vegan diets.

Role of Carbohydrates in Nutrition Review the structure and function of carbohydrates. Get details on lactose intolerance and blood glucose regulation. Find out what happens when too many carbohydrates are consumed and learn why fiber is beneficial to the body.

Role of Lipids in Nutrition Distinguish between the classes of lipids and the different types of lipoproteins. Learn which foods can help you reach your recommended intake of these nutrients. Identify polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and saturated fats. Review health factors connected to lipids.

Protein's Role in Nutrition Learn how proteins are formed and review essential and nonessential amino acids. Discover the primary functions of protein in the human body and list food sources of protein. Explore concepts like protein turnover, complete proteins and protein quality. Get tips for creating a vegetarian diet plan that fulfills the body's need for protein. Role of Water in Nutrition Identify the properties of water and assess its purpose in the body. Learn about water intake and output, dehydration and other water safety concerns.

Minerals in Nutrition Learn to classify major and trace minerals. Discover bodily conditions influencing the absorption and retention of various minerals. List food sources of minerals and examine health effects associated with minerals. Study the benefits and risks of mineral supplements. How Vitamins Support Nutrition Explore the different classifications of vitamins. Find out why vitamins are important and determine their sources. Identify deficiency and toxicity symptoms for vitamin C, folate, vitamin A, niacin and B12, among others.

Examine the risks and benefits of vitamin supplements. Anatomy of the Digestive System Explore the anatomy of the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract. Review functions of the large intestine, including water absorption. See how nutrients are absorbed in the small intestine and identify different movements occurring in the small intestine.

Find out how nutrients are absorbed in the bloodstream and lymphatic system. Identify common digestive problems. Explore the effects of feasting and fasting on cells. Examine processes including substrate-level phosphorylation, glycogenesis and lipogenesis. Discover what happens during protein synthesis and alcohol metabolism. Identify some of the factors that contribute to obesity and get strategies for maintaining a healthy weight.

Learn methods for determining energy use and body fat content. Risk to Nutrition Investigate historical views on eating disorders. Evaluate treatment methods for anorexia, bulimia, binge eating and night eating. Scrutinize risk factors for eating disorders and strategies for reducing their development. Learn how to estimate the calorie needs and nutrient requirements for an athlete as well as what nutrients support physical activity.

Assess the importance of drinking water during exercise and find out which foods and supplements can help optimize athletic performance. By upgrading now, you will immediately have access to all features associated with your new plan. Because the change is in the middle of your billing cycle, your next charge will include the prorated amount for the rest of this month. For more info check our FAQ's. Once you've completed this course, you can take the proctored final exam and potentially earn credit.

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Go to chapter Introduction to Nutrition. Introduction to Nutrition Score: Go to chapter Healthy Diet Planning. Healthy Diet Planning Score: Go to chapter Role of Carbohydrates in Nutrition. Role of Carbohydrates in Nutrition Score: Role of Carbohydrates in Nutrition.

Go to chapter Role of Lipids in Nutrition. Role of Lipids in Nutrition Score: Role of Lipids in Nutrition. Go to chapter Protein's Role in Nutrition.

Protein's Role in Nutrition Score: Protein's Role in Nutrition. Go to chapter Role of Water in Nutrition. Role of Water in Nutrition Score: Role of Water in Nutrition.

Go to chapter Minerals in Nutrition. Minerals in Nutrition Score: Go to chapter How Vitamins Support Nutrition. How Vitamins Support Nutrition Score: How Vitamins Support Nutrition. The Upper Gastrointestinal Tract Score: Go to chapter Anatomy of the Digestive System.

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Protein intake