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Nutrition is the
biochemical Biochemistry or biological chemistry, is the study of chemical process In a scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and pr ...
and
physiological Physiology (; ) is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. ...
process by which an
organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological ...

organism
uses
food Food is any substance consumed to provide Nutrient, nutritional support for an organism. Food is usually of plant, animal or Fungus, fungal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, protein (nutrient), proteins, vi ...

food
to support its life. It includes
ingestion Ingestion is the consumption of a substance by an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are composed of cells (cell theory). Organisms are classifie ...
,
absorption Absorption may refer to: Chemistry and biology *Absorption (chemistry), diffusion of particles of gas or liquid into liquid or solid materials *Absorption (skin), a route by which substances enter the body through the skin *Absorption (pharmacolo ...
, assimilation,
biosynthesis Biosynthesis is a multi-step, enzyme Enzymes () are proteins that act as biological catalysts (biocatalysts). Catalysts accelerate chemical reactions. The molecules upon which enzymes may act are called substrate (chemistry), substrates, and ...

biosynthesis
,
catabolism Catabolism () is the set of metabolic Metabolism (, from el, μεταβολή ''metabolē'', "change") is the set of life Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have biological processes, such as Cell ...

catabolism
and
excretion Excretion is a process in which metabolic waste Metabolic wastes or excrements are Chemical substance, substances left over from metabolism, metabolic processes (such as cellular respiration) which cannot be used by the organism (they are surplus ...
. The
science Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is something that is truth, true. The usual test for a statement of ...

science
that studies the physiological process of nutrition is called
nutritional science Nutritional science (also nutrition science, sometimes short ''nutrition'', dated trophology) is the science Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someo ...
(also ''nutrition science'').


Nutritional groups

Organisms primarily provide themselves with carbon in one of two ways:
autotrophy An autotroph or primary producer is an organism that produces complex organic compound , CH4; is among the simplest organic compounds. In chemistry, organic compounds are generally any chemical compounds that contain carbon-hydrogen chemical bo ...
(the self-production of organic food) and
heterotrophy A heterotroph (; from Ancient Greek "other" and "nutrition") is an organism that cannot produce its own food, instead taking nutrition from other sources of organic carbon, mainly plant or animal matter. In the food chain, heterotrophs are prim ...
(the consumption of existing organic carbon). Combined with the source of energy, either light (
phototrophy Terrestrial and aquatic phototrophs: plants grow on a fallen log floating in algae-rich water Phototrophs (''Ancient Greek language, Gr'': φῶς, φωτός = light, τροϕή = nourishment) are organisms that carry out photon capture to prod ...
) or chemical (
chemotrophy Chemotrophs are organisms that obtain energy by the oxidation of electron donors in their environments. These molecules can be organic molecule, organic (chemoorganotrophs) or inorganic compound, inorganic (chemolithotrophs). The chemotroph design ...
), there are four primary nutritional groups for organisms.


Nutrients

''Nutrients'' are substances used by an organism to survive, grow, and reproduce. The seven major classes of relevant nutrients for animals (including humans) are
carbohydrates A carbohydrate () is a biomolecule , showing alpha helices, represented by ribbons. This poten was the first to have its suckture solved by X-ray crystallography by Max Perutz and Sir John Cowdery Kendrew in 1958, for which they received a ...
,
dietary fiber Dietary fiber (British spelling fibre) or roughage is the portion of plant-derived food that cannot be completely broken down by human digestive enzyme Digestive may refer to: Biology *Digestion Digestion is the breakdown of large insolub ...
,
fat In nutrition Nutrition is the biochemical Biochemistry or biological chemistry, is the study of chemical processes within and relating to living organisms. A sub-discipline of both chemistry and biology, biochemistry may be divided ...

fat
s,
protein Proteins are large biomolecule , showing alpha helices, represented by ribbons. This poten was the first to have its suckture solved by X-ray crystallography by Max Perutz and Sir John Cowdery Kendrew in 1958, for which they received a No ...

protein
s,
minerals In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers ...
,
vitamin A vitamin is an organic molecule , CH4; is among the simplest organic compounds. In chemistry, organic compounds are generally any chemical compounds that contain carbon-hydrogen chemical bond, bonds. Due to carbon's ability to Catenation, ...
s, and
water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and Color of water, nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the fluids of all known li ...

water
. Nutrients can be grouped as either
macronutrient A nutrient is a substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote the base or owner of attributes * Chemical substance, a material with a definite chemical composition * Matter, anything that has mass and ta ...
s (carbohydrates, dietary fiber, fats, proteins, and water needed in
gram The gram (alternative spelling: gramme; SI unit symbol: g) is a metric system The metric system is a that succeeded the decimalised system based on the introduced in France in the 1790s. The historical development of these systems culm ...
quantities) or
micronutrient Micronutrients are essential dietary elements required by organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, ...
s (vitamins and minerals needed in
milligram The kilogram (also kilogramme) is the base unit of mass Mass is the quantity Quantity is a property that can exist as a multitude or magnitude, which illustrate discontinuity and continuity. Quantities can be compared in terms of ...

milligram
or
microgram In the metric system The metric system is a that succeeded the decimalised system based on the introduced in France in the 1790s. The historical development of these systems culminated in the definition of the (SI), under the oversight ...
quantities).


Diet

In nutrition, the ''diet'' of an organism is the sum of foods it eats, which is largely determined by the availability and
palatability Palatability is the hedonic reward (i.e., pleasure Pleasure refers to experience that feels good, that involves the enjoyment of something. It contrasts with pain Pain is a distressing feeling often caused by intense or damaging stimuli. ...
of foods.


Human nutrition

''Human nutrition'' deals with the provision of
essential nutrient A nutrient is a substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote the base or owner of attributes * Chemical substance, a material with a definite chemical composition * Matter, anything that has mass and ta ...
s from food that are necessary to support human
life Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities A bubble of exhaled gas in water In common usage and classical mechanics, a physical object or physical body (or simply an object or body) is a collection of matter within a ...

life
and
good health
good health
. In humans, poor nutrition can cause deficiency-related diseases such as
blindness Visual impairment, also known as vision impairment or vision loss, is a decreased ability to see to a degree that causes problems not fixable by usual means, such as glasses Glasses, also known as eyeglasses or spectacles, are vision eyew ...
,
anemia Anemia (American and British English spelling differences#ae and oe, also spelled anaemia) is a decrease in the total amount of red blood cells (RBCs) or hemoglobin in the blood, or a lowered ability of the blood to carry oxygen. When anemia c ...

anemia
,
scurvy Scurvy is a disease A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system A system is a group of ...
,
preterm birth Preterm birth, also known as premature birth, is the Childbirth, birth of a baby at fewer than 37 weeks gestational age, as opposed to full-term delivery at approximately 40 weeks. Very early preterm birth is before 32 weeks, early preterm birth ...
,
stillbirth Stillbirth is typically defined as fetal A fetus or foetus (; plural fetuses, feti, foetuses, or foeti) is the unborn offspring that develops from an animal embryo An embryo is the early stage of development of a multicellular organism ...
and
cretinism Congenital iodine deficiency syndrome (formerly known as cretinism) is a medical condition present at birth marked by impaired physical and mental development, due to insufficient thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) often caused by insufficient dieta ...
, or nutrient excess health-threatening conditions such as
obesity Obesity is a medical condition A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure or function (biology), function of all or part of an organism, and that is not due to any immediate external injury. ...

obesity
and
metabolic syndrome Metabolic syndrome is a clustering of at least three of the following five medical conditions: abdominal obesity, hypertension, high blood pressure, hyperglycemia, high blood sugar, Hypertriglyceridemia, high serum triglycerides, and ''low'' seru ...
; and such common chronic systemic diseases as
cardiovascular disease Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a class of diseases that involve the heart The heart is a cardiac muscle, muscular Organ (biology), organ in most animals, which pumps blood through the blood vessels of the circulatory system. The pumped ...
,
diabetes Diabetes mellitus, commonly known as just diabetes, is a group of metabolic disorder A metabolic disorder is a disorder that negatively alters the body's processing and distribution of macronutrients such as proteins, fats, and carbohydrate ...

diabetes
, and
osteoporosis Osteoporosis is a systemic skeletal disorder characterized by low bone massImage:Bone density scanner.jpg, A scanner used to measure bone density using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry Bone density, or bone mineral density (BMD), is the amount ...
. Undernutrition can lead to
wasting In medicine, wasting, also known as wasting syndrome, refers to the process by which a debilitating disease A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure A structure is an arrangement and organizat ...
in acute cases, and stunting of
marasmus Marasmus is a form of severe malnutrition Malnutrition is 'a state of nutrition in which a deficiency or excess (or imbalance) of energy, protein and other nutrients causes measurable adverse effect on tissue and body form (body shape, siz ...
in chronic cases of
malnutrition Malnutrition is 'a state of nutrition in which a deficiency or excess (or imbalance) of energy, protein and other nutrients causes measurable adverse effect on tissue and body form (body shape, size and composition) and function and clinical ou ...
.


Animal nutrition

''Animal nutrition'' focuses on the dietary nutrients needs of
animals Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are composed of cells ...

animals
, often in comparison (or contrast) to other organisms like plants.
Carnivore A carnivore , meaning "meat Meat is animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals Heterotroph, consume orga ...
and
herbivore A herbivore is an animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All ...
diets are contrasting, with basic
nitrogen Nitrogen is the chemical element upright=1.0, 500px, The chemical elements ordered by link=Periodic table In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science ...

nitrogen
and
carbon Carbon (from la, carbo "coal") is a with the C and 6. It is lic and —making four s available to form s. It belongs to group 14 of the periodic table. Carbon makes up only about 0.025 percent of Earth's crust. Three occur naturally, ...

carbon
proportions vary for their particular foods. Many herbivores rely on bacterial fermentation to create digestible nutrients from indigestible plant cellulose, while obligate carnivores must eat animal meats to obtain certain vitamins or nutrients their bodies cannot otherwise synthesize. Animals generally have a higher requirement of energy in comparison to plants.


Plant nutrition

''Plant nutrition'' is the study of the
chemical element In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo du ...
s that are necessary for plant growth. There are several principles that apply to plant nutrition. Some elements are directly involved in plant
metabolism Metabolism (, from el, μεταβολή ''metabolē'', "change") is the set of life Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities A bubble of exhaled gas in water In common usage and classical mechanics, a phys ...

metabolism
. However, this principle does not account for the so-called beneficial elements, whose presence, while not required, has clear positive effects on plant growth. A nutrient that can limit plant growth according to
Liebig's law of the minimum Liebig law of the minimum, often simply called Liebig's law or the law of the minimum, is a principle developed in agricultural science by Carl Sprengel (1840) and later popularized by Justus von Liebig. It states that growth is dictated not by t ...
is considered an essential plant nutrient if the plant cannot complete its full life cycle without it. There are 16 essential plant soil nutrients, besides the three major elemental nutrients carbon and oxygen that are obtained by photosynthetic plants from carbon dioxide in the air, and
hydrogen Hydrogen is the chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol H and atomic number 1. Hydrogen is the lightest element. At standard temperature and pressure, standard conditions hydrogen is a gas of diatomic molecules having the che ...

hydrogen
, which is obtained from water. Plants uptake essential elements from the
soil Soil is a mixture In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical element, elements that make up matter to the chemical compound, comp ...

soil
through their
root In vascular plant Vascular plants (from Latin ''vasculum'': duct), also known as Tracheophyta (the tracheophytes , from Greek τραχεῖα ἀρτηρία ''trācheia artēria'' 'windpipe' + φυτά ''phutá'' 'plants'), form a large grou ...

root
s and from the air (consisting of mainly nitrogen and oxygen) through their
leaves A leaf (plural leaves) is the principal lateral appendage of the vascular plant plant stem, stem, usually borne above ground and specialized for photosynthesis. The leaves, stem, flower and fruit together form the shoot system. Leaves are ...

leaves
. Green plants obtain their carbohydrate supply from the carbon dioxide in the air by the process of
photosynthesis Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to convert Conversion or convert may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media * Conversion (Doctor Who audio), "Conversion" (''Doctor Who'' audio), an episode of the audio drama ' ...

photosynthesis
. Carbon and oxygen are absorbed from the air, while other nutrients are absorbed from the soil. Nutrient uptake in the soil is achieved by cation exchange, wherein
root hair Root hair, or absorbent hairs, are outgrowths of epidermal cells, specialized cells at the tip of a plant root In vascular plant Vascular plants (from Latin ''vasculum'': duct), also known as Tracheophyta (the tracheophytes , from Greek τρα ...
s pump
hydrogen ion A hydrogen ion is created when a hydrogen Hydrogen is the chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol H and atomic number 1. Hydrogen is the lightest element. At standard temperature and pressure, standard conditions hydrogen is ...
s (H+) into the soil through
proton pump A proton pump is an integral membrane protein An integral membrane protein (IMP) is a type of membrane protein Membrane proteins are common proteins that are part of, or interact with, biological membranes. Membrane proteins fall into several b ...

proton pump
s. These hydrogen ions displace
cation An ion () is an atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are u ...
s attached to negatively charged soil particles so that the cations are available for uptake by the root. In the leaves,
stomata In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the ...

stomata
open to take in carbon dioxide and expel
oxygen Oxygen is the chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an element is a pure substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same ...

oxygen
. The carbon dioxide molecules are used as the carbon source in photosynthesis. Although
nitrogen Nitrogen is the chemical element upright=1.0, 500px, The chemical elements ordered by link=Periodic table In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science ...

nitrogen
is plentiful in the Earth's atmosphere, very few plants can use this directly. Most plants, therefore, require nitrogen compounds to be present in the soil in which they grow. This is made possible by the fact that largely inert atmospheric nitrogen is changed in a
nitrogen fixation Nitrogen fixation is a chemical process by which molecular nitrogen Nitrogen is the chemical element upright=1.0, 500px, The chemical elements ordered by link=Periodic table In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific st ...
process to biologically usable forms in the soil by bacteria.Lindemann, W.C. and Glover C.R. (2003
Nitrogen Fixation by Legumes
New Mexico State University/
Plant nutrition Plant nutrition is the study of the chemical element In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structur ...
is a difficult subject to understand completely, partially because of the variation between different plants and even between different species or individuals of a given
clone Clone or Clones or Cloning or The Clone may refer to: Places * Clones, County Fermanagh * Clones, County Monaghan, a town in Ireland Biology * Clone (B-cell), a lymphocyte clone, the massive presence of which may indicate a pathological conditio ...

clone
. Elements present at low levels may cause deficiency symptoms, and toxicity is possible at levels that are too high. Furthermore, deficiency of one element may present as symptoms of toxicity from another element and vice versa.


See also

*
Auxology Auxology,(from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximatel ...
*
Exercise Exercise is any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness Physical fitness is a state of health Health, according to the World Health Organization, is "a state of complete physical, Mental health, mental and social we ...

Exercise
* Nutrition psychology *
Physical fitness Physical fitness is a state of health Health, according to the World Health Organization, is "a state of complete physical, Mental health, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity".World Health Organiza ...


References


Bibliography

* * Curley, S., and Mark (1990). ''The Natural Guide to Good Health'', Lafayette, Louisiana, Supreme Publishing * * * * *


External links


Diet, Nutrition and the prevention of chronic diseases
by a Joint
WHO The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous organizations working with the United Nations and each other through the co-ordinating machinery of the Unite ...

WHO
/
FAO The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'alimentation et l'agriculture; it, Organizzazione delle Nazioni Unite per l'Alimentazione e l'Agricoltura is a specialized agency ...

FAO
Expert consultation (2003)
UN Standing Committee on Nutrition
– In English, French and Portuguese {{Authority control Self-care