Human nutrition

From WikiMD's Wellnesspedia

Human nutrition is the science that deals with the provision and absorption of necessary nutrients by the human body. It involves the study of nutrients, their functions, and their interactions with various physiological, genetic, and environmental factors. Proper nutrition is essential for growth, reproduction, normal cellular functioning, and overall health.

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Essential Nutrients[edit | edit source]

The human body requires a range of nutrients for proper functioning. These nutrients are usually obtained through the diet and include:

Macronutrients[edit | edit source]

  • Carbohydrates: Primary source of energy. Includes sugars, starches, and fibers.
  • Proteins: Essential for growth, repair, and maintenance of tissues. Composed of amino acids.
  • Fats: Important for energy storage, cell structure, and the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.

Micronutrients[edit | edit source]

  • Vitamins: Organic compounds required in small amounts for various biochemical functions.
  • Minerals: Inorganic elements necessary for the function of enzymes, hormones, and other biochemical processes.

Water[edit | edit source]

Water: Acts as a solvent, aids in temperature regulation, and is essential for many physiological processes.

Dietary Guidelines[edit | edit source]

  • Various dietary guidelines and recommendations have been developed to ensure proper nutrition:
  • Consuming a balanced diet with a variety of foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins.
  • Limiting intake of sugars, saturated fats, and salt.
  • Ensuring adequate intake of fiber and micronutrients.
  • Maintaining proper hydration by consuming an adequate amount of water.
  • Considering specific dietary needs and restrictions based on age, health status, and activity level.

Malnutrition[edit | edit source]

Malnutrition refers to both undernutrition and overnutrition. Undernutrition results from inadequate intake of essential nutrients leading to deficiencies. Overnutrition results from excessive intake of nutrients, particularly energy, which can lead to obesity and other health issues.

Nutritional Assessment[edit | edit source]

  • Nutritional assessment involves evaluating various parameters to determine the nutritional status of an individual. This includes:
  • Dietary analysis
  • Anthropometric measurements (e.g., height, weight, body mass index)
  • Biochemical analysis (e.g., blood and urine tests)
  • Clinical assessment (e.g., signs of nutritional deficiencies)

Impact of Nutrition on Health[edit | edit source]

Proper nutrition is essential for maintaining good health. Nutritional deficiencies or imbalances can contribute to various chronic diseases such as:

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Human nutrition Resources

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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD