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The Micronutrients: Vitamins & Minerals

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Julie Heck

on 12 July 2010

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Transcript of The Micronutrients: Vitamins & Minerals

Vitamins & Minerals What is Bioavailability? Vitamins:
Organic compounds that are essential in small amounts to promote and regulate body processes Water-soluble vitamins
B Vitamins
Vitamin C Fat-soluble vitamins:
A, D, K E Where do we get vitamins? Almost all foods NATURALLY contain some vitamins Many foods have been FORTIFIED with vitamins What do vitamins do? They promote & regulate the body's activities Some vitamins are coenzymes Some vitamins function as antioxidants In developed countries, vitamin-deficiency diseases have been almost eliminated... ... but certain groups, such as children and pregnant women, are at higher risk for deficiencies. How much do we need? "The RDAs and AIs of the DRIs recommend amounts that provide enough of each of the vitamins to prevent a deficiency and promote health..."
"The DRIs have also established ULs..." HUH?? RDA: Recommended Dietary Allowance AI: Adequate Intake DRIs: Dietary Reference Intakes UL: Tolerable Upper Intake Level Minerals:
Elements needed by the body in small amounts to maintain structure and regulate chemical reactions and body processes Not stored long in the body
Less likely to be toxic Found along with fats in foods
Stored in the liver and fatty tissues
Increased risk of toxicity "Minerals and water make up an "internal sea" that allows the chemistry of life to function" Simply consuming a nutrient does not necessarily mean all of it will be available to your cells For example, absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins is impaired by a very low-fat diet What are Vitamins? What are Minerals? Major minerals: more than 100 mg/day required

sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium,and sulfur What DON'T vitamins do? They don't form body structures;
They don't provide energy How do we get them? What do they do? Trace minerals: less than 100 mg/day required

e.g., iron, copper, zinc, selenium, iodine, chromium, fluoride, manganese, molybdenum... Some minerals are present in foods in predictable amounts, such as iron in beef... ...while others depend on the environment in which the plant or animal was grown. Minerals can also be added to foods for "fortification" (calcium, iron...) or for flavor (sodium in salt & MSG...) Minerals contribute to body structures (unlike vitamins) They also help regulate many body processes (as do vitamins) Many function as enzyme cofactors (similar to coenzymes) The major minerals are divided into 2 functional groups: Electrolytes:
Sodium, Potassium and Chloride Minerals important for bone health:
Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, and Sulfur The bioavailability of minerals varies widely - among foods, meals, individuals, and within an individual depending on need. So do we really need to worry about RDAs, AIs, ULs etc.? Doesn't the food we eat provide us with what we need?
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