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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 takes up space * Substance th ...
used by an organism to survive, grow, and reproduce. The requirement for dietary nutrient intake applies to
animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are organisms that form the Animalia. With few exceptions, animals , , are , can , and grow from a hollow sphere of , the , during . Over 1.5 million animal have been —of which around 1 million are —b ...

animal
s,
plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energy that, through cellular respiration, can later be released to fuel ...

plant
s,
fungi A fungus (plural: fungi or funguses) is any member of the group of Eukaryote, eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts and Mold (fungus), molds, as well as the more familiar mushrooms. These organisms are classified as ...

fungi
, and
protist A protist () is any eukaryotic organism (that is, an organism whose Cell (biology), cells contain a cell nucleus) that is not an animal, plant, or fungus. While it is likely that protists share a Common descent, common ancestor (the last eukaryo ...
s. Nutrients can be incorporated into cells for
metabolic purposes
metabolic purposes
or
excreted Excretion is a process in which metabolic waste is eliminated from an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual contiguous system that embodies the Life#Biology, p ...
by cells to create non-cellular structures, such as
hair Hair is a protein filament 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, Phy ...

hair
,
scales Scale or scales may refer to: Mathematics * Scale (descriptive set theory)In the mathematical discipline of descriptive set theory, a scale is a certain kind of object defined on a set (mathematics), set of point (mathematics), points in some Poli ...
,
feather Feathers are epidermal growths that form a distinctive outer covering, or plumage Plumage ( "feather") is a layer of feather Feathers are epidermal growths that form a distinctive outer covering, or plumage, on dinosaurs, both avia ...

feather
s, or
exoskeleton An exoskeleton (from Greek έξω, ''éxō'' "outer" and σκελετός, ''skeletós'' "skeleton") is the external skeleton A skeleton is a structural frame that supports an animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular ...

exoskeleton
s. Some nutrients can be metabolically converted to smaller molecules in the process of releasing energy, such as for
carbohydrate is a disaccharide found in animal milk. It consists of a molecule of D-galactose and a molecule of D-glucose bonded by beta-1-4 glycosidic linkage. A carbohydrate () is a biomolecule consisting of carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) ato ...
s,
lipid 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 mechanisms ...
s,
protein Proteins are large s and s that comprise one or more long chains of . Proteins perform a vast array of functions within organisms, including , , , providing and , and from one location to another. Proteins differ from one another primarily ...
s, and
fermentation Fermentation is a metabolism, metabolic process that produces chemical changes in organic Substrate (chemistry), substrates through the action of enzymes. In biochemistry, it is narrowly defined as the extraction of energy from carbohydrates in ...

fermentation
products (
ethanol Ethanol (also called ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol, drinking alcohol, or simply alcohol) is an . It is a simple with the C2H6O. Its formula can be also written as −− or (an linked to a group), and is often as EtOH. Ethanol is a , , ...

ethanol
or
vinegar Vinegar is an aqueous solution An aqueous solution is a solution Image:SaltInWaterSolutionLiquid.jpg, Making a saline water solution by dissolving Salt, table salt (sodium chloride, NaCl) in water. The salt is the solute and the water the s ...

vinegar
), leading to end-products of water and
carbon dioxide Carbon dioxide (chemical formula A chemical formula is a way of presenting information about the chemical proportions of atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is ...

carbon dioxide
. All organisms require water. Essential nutrients for animals are the energy sources, some of the
amino acid Amino acids are organic compound , 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, c ...

amino acid
s that are combined to create
protein Proteins are large s and s that comprise one or more long chains of . Proteins perform a vast array of functions within organisms, including , , , providing and , and from one location to another. Proteins differ from one another primarily ...

protein
s, a subset of
fatty acid 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 during ...
s,
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 certain
minerals In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defined chemical composition and a specific crystal structure that occurs naturally in pure form.John P. Rafferty, ed. (20 ...
. Plants require more diverse minerals absorbed through roots, plus carbon dioxide and oxygen absorbed through leaves.
Fungi A fungus (plural: fungi or funguses) is any member of the group of Eukaryote, eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts and Mold (fungus), molds, as well as the more familiar mushrooms. These organisms are classified as ...

Fungi
live on dead or living organic matter and meet nutrient needs from their host. Different types of organisms have different essential nutrients. Ascorbic acid (
vitamin C Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid and ascorbate) is a vitamin found in various foods and sold as a dietary supplement. It is used to prevent and treat scurvy. Vitamin C is an Nutrient#Essential nutrients, essential nutrient involved in t ...

vitamin C
) is essential, meaning it must be consumed in sufficient amounts, to humans and some other animal species, but some animals and plants are able to synthesize it. Nutrients may be
organic Organic may refer to: * Organic, of or relating to an organism, a living entity * Organic, of or relating to an anatomical organ (anatomy), organ Chemistry * Organic matter, matter that has come from a once-living organism, is capable of decay or ...
or inorganic: organic compounds include most compounds containing carbon, while all other chemicals are inorganic. Inorganic nutrients include nutrients such as
iron Iron () is a with Fe (from la, ) and 26. It is a that belongs to the and of the . It is, on , right in front of (32.1% and 30.1%, respectively), forming much of Earth's and . It is the fourth most common . In its metallic state, iron ...

iron
,
selenium Selenium is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Se and atomic number 34. It is a nonmetal (more rarely considered a metalloid) with properties that are intermediate between the elements above and below in the periodic tabl ...

selenium
, and
zinc Zinc is a 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 numbe ...

zinc
, while organic nutrients include, among many others, energy-providing compounds and vitamins. A classification used primarily to describe nutrient needs of animals divides nutrients into
macronutrients 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 ...
and
micronutrient Micronutrients are nutrient, essential dietary elements required by organisms in varying quantities throughout life to orchestrate a range of physiological functions to maintain health. Micronutrient requirements differ between organisms; for examp ...
s. Consumed in relatively large amounts (
gram The gram (alternative spelling: gramme; SI unit symbol: g) is a metric system The metric system is a system of measurement A system of measurement is a collection of units of measurement and rules relating them to each other. Systems of me ...
s or
ounce The ounce is the name of several different units of mass Mass is the physical quantity, quantity of ''matter'' in a physical body. It is also a measure (mathematics), measure of the body's ''inertia'', the resistance to acceleration (change ...
s), macronutrients (
carbohydrate is a disaccharide found in animal milk. It consists of a molecule of D-galactose and a molecule of D-glucose bonded by beta-1-4 glycosidic linkage. A carbohydrate () is a biomolecule consisting of carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) ato ...
s,
fat In nutrition Nutrition is the biochemical and physiological process by which an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual contiguous system that embodies ...

fat
s, proteins, water) are primarily used to generate energy or to incorporate into tissues for growth and repair. Micronutrients are needed in smaller amounts (
milligram The kilogram (also kilogramme) is the SI base unit, base unit of mass in the International System of Units (SI), the metric system, having the unit symbol kg. It is a widely used measure in science, engineering and commerce worldwide, and is oft ...

milligram
s or
microgram In the metric system, a microgram or microgramme is a unit Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainment * UNIT, a fictional military organization in the science fiction television series ''Doctor Who'' * Unit of action, a discrete piece of action ( ...
s); they have subtle
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 into three fields: structural biology, enzymology and ...

biochemical
and
physiological Physiology (; ) is the scientific study of functions and mechanisms in a living system. As a sub-discipline of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, B ...
roles in cellular processes, like vascular functions or
nerve conduction
nerve conduction
. Inadequate amounts of essential nutrients, or diseases that interfere with absorption, result in a deficiency state that compromises growth, survival and reproduction. Consumer advisories for dietary nutrient intakes, such as the United States
Dietary Reference IntakeThe Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) is a system of nutrition Nutrition is the biochemical and physiological process by which an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any indi ...
, are based on deficiency outcomes and provide macronutrient and micronutrient guides for both lower and upper limits of intake. In many countries, macronutrients and micronutrients in significant content are required by regulations to be displayed on food product labels. Nutrients in larger quantities than the body needs may have harmful effects. Edible plants also contain thousands of compounds generally called phytochemicals which have unknown effects on disease or health, including a diverse class with non-nutrient status called polyphenols, which remain poorly understood as of 2017.


Types


Macronutrients

Macronutrients are defined in several ways. * The chemical elements humans consume in the largest quantities are carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulphur, summarized as CHNOPS. * The chemical compounds that humans consume in the largest quantities and provide bulk energy are classified as
carbohydrate is a disaccharide found in animal milk. It consists of a molecule of D-galactose and a molecule of D-glucose bonded by beta-1-4 glycosidic linkage. A carbohydrate () is a biomolecule consisting of carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) ato ...
s,
protein Proteins are large s and s that comprise one or more long chains of . Proteins perform a vast array of functions within organisms, including , , , providing and , and from one location to another. Proteins differ from one another primarily ...

protein
s, and
fat In nutrition Nutrition is the biochemical and physiological process by which an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual contiguous system that embodies ...

fat
s. Water must be also consumed in large quantities but does not provide caloric value. * Calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, and chloride ions, along with phosphorus and sulfur, are listed with
macronutrients 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 ...
because they are required in large quantities compared to
micronutrient Micronutrients are nutrient, essential dietary elements required by organisms in varying quantities throughout life to orchestrate a range of physiological functions to maintain health. Micronutrient requirements differ between organisms; for examp ...
s, i.e., vitamins and other minerals, the latter often described as trace or ultratrace minerals. Macronutrients provide energy: * Carbohydrates are compounds made up of types of sugar. Carbohydrates are classified according to their number of sugar units: monosaccharides (such as glucose and fructose), disaccharides (such as sucrose and lactose), oligosaccharides, and polysaccharides (such as starch, glycogen, and cellulose). * Proteins are organic compounds that consist of
amino acid Amino acids are organic compound , 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, c ...

amino acid
s joined by peptide bonds. Since the body cannot manufacture some of the
amino acid Amino acids are organic compound , 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, c ...

amino acid
s (termed essential amino acids), the diet must supply them. Through digestion,
protein Proteins are large s and s that comprise one or more long chains of . Proteins perform a vast array of functions within organisms, including , , , providing and , and from one location to another. Proteins differ from one another primarily ...

protein
s are protein catabolism, broken down by proteases back into free amino acids. * Fats consist of a glycerin molecule with three
fatty acid 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 during ...
s attached. Fatty acid molecules contain a -COOH group attached to unbranched hydrocarbon chains connected by single bonds alone (Saturated fat, saturated fatty acids) or by both double and single bonds (Unsaturated fat, unsaturated fatty acids). Fats are needed for construction and maintenance of cell membranes, to maintain a stable body temperature, and to sustain the health of skin and hair. Because the body does not manufacture certain fatty acids (termed essential fatty acids), they must be obtained through one's diet.


Micronutrients

Micronutrients support metabolism. * Dietary minerals are generally trace elements, salts, or ions such as copper and iron. Some of these minerals are essential to human metabolism. * Vitamins are organic compounds essential to the body. They usually act as coenzymes or cofactor (biochemistry), cofactors for various proteins in the body.


Essentiality


Essential

An essential nutrient is a nutrient required for normal physiological function that cannot be synthesized in the body – either at all or in sufficient quantities – and thus must be obtained from a Diet (nutrition), dietary source. Apart from water, which is universally required for the maintenance of homeostasis in mammals, essential nutrients are indispensable for various cellular metabolic processes and for the maintenance and function of tissues and organs. In the case of humans, there are nine
amino acid Amino acids are organic compound , 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, c ...

amino acid
s, two
fatty acid 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 during ...
s, thirteen
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 fifteen Mineral (nutrient), minerals that are considered essential nutrients. In addition, there are several molecules that are considered conditionally essential nutrients since they are indispensable in certain developmental and pathological states.


Amino acids

An essential amino acid is an
amino acid Amino acids are organic compound , 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, c ...

amino acid
that is required by an organism but cannot be synthesized ''de novo synthesis, de novo'' by it, and therefore must be supplied in its diet. Out of the twenty standard protein-producing amino acids, nine cannot be endogenously synthesized by humans: phenylalanine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, and histidine.


Fatty acids

Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are
fatty acid 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 during ...
s that humans and other animals must ingest because the body requires them for good health but cannot Biosynthesis, synthesize them. Only two fatty acids are known to be essential for humans: alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) and linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid).


Vitamins

Vitamins are organic molecules essential for an organism that are not classified as
amino acid Amino acids are organic compound , 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, c ...

amino acid
s or
fatty acid 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 during ...
s. They commonly function as enzymatic cofactors, metabolic regulators or antioxidants. Humans require thirteen vitamins in their diet, most of which are actually groups of related molecules (e.g. vitamin E includes tocopherols and tocotrienols): vitamins A, C, D, E, K, thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), Vitamin B6, vitamin B6 (e.g., pyridoxine), biotin (B7), folate (B9), and cobalamin (B12). The requirement for vitamin D is conditional, as people who get sufficient exposure to ultraviolet light, either from the sun or an artificial source, synthesize vitamin D in the skin.


Minerals

Minerals are the exogenous chemical elements indispensable for life. Although the four elements: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen, are essential for life, they are so plentiful in food and drink that these are not considered nutrients and there are no recommended intakes for these as minerals. The need for nitrogen is addressed by requirements set for protein, which is composed of nitrogen-containing amino acids. Sulfur is essential, but again does not have a recommended intake. Instead, recommended intakes are identified for the sulfur-containing amino acids methionine and cysteine. The essential nutrient elements for humans, listed in order of Reference Daily Intake, Recommended Dietary Allowance (expressed as a mass), are potassium, chloride, sodium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium,
iron Iron () is a with Fe (from la, ) and 26. It is a that belongs to the and of the . It is, on , right in front of (32.1% and 30.1%, respectively), forming much of Earth's and . It is the fourth most common . In its metallic state, iron ...

iron
,
zinc Zinc is a 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 numbe ...

zinc
, manganese, copper, iodine, chromium, molybdenum,
selenium Selenium is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Se and atomic number 34. It is a nonmetal (more rarely considered a metalloid) with properties that are intermediate between the elements above and below in the periodic tabl ...

selenium
and cobalt (the last as a component of vitamin B12). There are other minerals which are essential for some plants and animals, but may or may not be essential for humans, such as boron and silicon.


Choline

Choline is an essential nutrient. Healthy humans fed diets that are deficient in choline develop fatty liver, liver damage, and muscle damage. Choline was not initially classified as essential because the human body can produce choline in small amounts through phosphatidylcholine metabolism.


Conditionally essential

Conditionally essential nutrients are certain organic molecules that can normally be synthesized by an organism, but under certain conditions in insufficient quantities. In humans, such conditions include Preterm birth, premature birth, limited nutrient intake, rapid growth, and certain disease states. Inositol, taurine, arginine, glutamine and nucleotides are classified as conditionally essential and are particularly important in neonatal diet and metabolism.


Non-essential

Non-essential nutrients are substances within foods that can have a significant impact on health. Insoluble dietary fiber is not absorbed in the human digestive tract, but is important in maintaining the bulk of a bowel movement to avoid constipation. Soluble fiber can be metabolized by bacteria residing in the large intestine. Soluble fiber is marketed as serving a Prebiotic (nutrition), prebiotic function with claims for promoting "healthy" intestinal bacteria. Bacterial metabolism of soluble fiber also produces short-chain fatty acids like butyric acid, which may be absorbed into intestinal cells as a source of food energy.


Non-nutrients

Ethanol (C2H5OH) is not an essential nutrient, but it does supply approximately of food energy per gram. For spirits (vodka, gin, rum, etc.) a standard serving in the United States is , which at 40%ethanol (80proof) would be 14 grams and . At 50%alcohol, 17.5 g and . Wine and beer contain a similar amount of ethanol in servings of , respectively, but these beverages also contribute to food energy intake from components other than ethanol. A serving of wine contains . A serving of beer contains . According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, based on NHANES 2013–2014 surveys, women ages 20 and up consume on average 6.8grams of alcohol per day and men consume on average 15.5 grams per day. Ignoring the non-alcohol contribution of those beverages, the average ethanol contributions to daily food energy intake are , respectively. Alcoholic beverages are considered empty calorie foods because, while providing energy, they contribute no essential nutrients. By definition, phytochemicals include all nutritional and non-nutritional components of edible plants. Included as nutritional constituents are provitamin A carotenoids, whereas those without nutrient status are diverse polyphenols, flavonoids, resveratrol, and lignans – often claimed to have antioxidant effects – that are present in numerous plant foods. A number of phytochemical compounds are under preliminary research for their potential effects on human diseases and health. However, the qualification for nutrient status of compounds with poorly defined properties ''in vivo'' is that they must first be defined with a
Dietary Reference IntakeThe Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) is a system of nutrition Nutrition is the biochemical and physiological process by which an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any indi ...
level to enable accurate food labeling, a condition not established for most phytochemicals that are claimed to be antioxidant nutrients.


Deficiencies and toxicity

''See Vitamin, Mineral (nutrient), Protein (nutrient)'' An inadequate amount of a nutrient is a deficiency. Deficiencies can be due to a number of causes including an inadequacy in nutrient intake, called a dietary deficiency, or any of several conditions that interfere with the utilization of a nutrient within an organism. Some of the conditions that can interfere with nutrient utilization include problems with nutrient absorption, substances that cause a greater than normal need for a nutrient, conditions that cause nutrient destruction, and conditions that cause greater nutrient excretion. Nutrient toxicity occurs when excess consumption of a nutrient does harm to an organism. In the United States and Canada, recommended dietary intake levels of essential nutrients are based on the minimum level that "will maintain a defined level of nutriture in an individual", a definition somewhat different from that used by the World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization of a "basal requirement to indicate the level of intake needed to prevent pathologically relevant and clinically detectable signs of a dietary inadequacy". In setting human nutrient guidelines, government organizations do not necessarily agree on amounts needed to avoid deficiency or maximum amounts to avoid the risk of toxicity.Dietary Reference Intakes for Japanese (2010)
National Institute of Health and Nutrition, Japan
For example, for
vitamin C Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid and ascorbate) is a vitamin found in various foods and sold as a dietary supplement. It is used to prevent and treat scurvy. Vitamin C is an Nutrient#Essential nutrients, essential nutrient involved in t ...

vitamin C
, recommended intakes range from 40 mg/day in India to 155 mg/day for the European Union. The table below shows U.S. Estimated Average Requirements (EARs) and Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for vitamins and minerals, PRIs for the European Union (same concept as RDAs), followed by what three government organizations deem to be the safe upper intake. RDAs are set higher than EARs to cover people with higher than average needs. Adequate Intakes (AIs) are set when there is not sufficient information to establish EARs and RDAs. Countries establish tolerable upper intake levels, also referred to as upper limits (ULs), based on amounts that cause adverse effects. Governments are slow to revise information of this nature. For the U.S. values, with the exception of calcium and vitamin D, all of the data date from 1997–2004. * The daily recommended amounts of niacin and magnesium are higher than the tolerable upper limit because, for both nutrients, the ULs identify the amounts which will not increase risk of adverse effects when the nutrients are consumed as a serving of a dietary supplement. Magnesium supplementation above the UL may cause diarrhea. Supplementation with niacin above the UL may cause flushing of the face and a sensation of body warmth. Each country or regional regulatory agency decides on a safety margin below when symptoms may occur, so the ULs may differ based on source. EAR U.S. Estimated Average Requirements. RDA U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowances; higher for adults than for children, and may be even higher for women who are pregnant or lactating. AI U.S. Adequate Intake; AIs established when there is not sufficient information to set EARs and RDAs. PRI Population Reference Intake is European Union equivalent of RDA; higher for adults than for children, and may be even higher for women who are pregnant or lactating. For Thiamin and Niacin, the PRIs are expressed as amounts per megajoule (239 kilocalories) of food energy consumed. Upper Limit Tolerable upper intake levels. ND ULs have not been determined. NE EARs, PRIs or AIs have not yet been established or will not be (EU does not consider chromium an essential nutrient).


Plant

Plant nutrients consist of more than a dozen minerals absorbed through roots, plus carbon dioxide and oxygen absorbed or released through leaves. All organisms obtain all their nutrients from the surrounding environment.Whitney, Elanor and Sharon Rolfes. 2005. ''Understanding Nutrition, 10th edition'', p. 6. Thomson-Wadsworth. Plants absorb carbon, hydrogen and oxygen from air and soil in the form of
carbon dioxide Carbon dioxide (chemical formula A chemical formula is a way of presenting information about the chemical proportions of atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is ...

carbon dioxide
and water. Other nutrients are absorbed from soil (exceptions include some parasitic or carnivorous plants). Counting these, there are 17 important nutrients for plants: these are macronutrients; nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), sulfur (S), magnesium (Mg), carbon (C), oxygen(O) and hydrogen (H), and the micronutrients; iron (Fe), boron (B), chlorine (Cl), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), molybdenum (Mo) and nickel (Ni). In addition to carbon, hydrogen and oxygen; nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur are also needed in relatively large quantities. Together, the "Big Six" are the elemental macronutrients for all biological life, organisms.New Link in Chain of Life
''Wall Street Journal'', 2010-12-03, accessed 5 December 2010. "Until now, however, they were all thought to share the same biochemistry, based on the Big Six, to build proteins, fats, and DNA."
They are sourced from inorganic matter (for example,
carbon dioxide Carbon dioxide (chemical formula A chemical formula is a way of presenting information about the chemical proportions of atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is ...

carbon dioxide
, water, nitrates, phosphates, sulfates, and diatomic molecules of nitrogen and, especially, oxygen) and organic matter (
carbohydrate is a disaccharide found in animal milk. It consists of a molecule of D-galactose and a molecule of D-glucose bonded by beta-1-4 glycosidic linkage. A carbohydrate () is a biomolecule consisting of carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) ato ...
s,
lipid 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 mechanisms ...
s,
protein Proteins are large s and s that comprise one or more long chains of . Proteins perform a vast array of functions within organisms, including , , , providing and , and from one location to another. Proteins differ from one another primarily ...

protein
s).


See also


References


External links


USDA. Dietary Reference Intakes
{{Authority control Chemical oceanography Ecology Nutrients, Edaphology Biology and pharmacology of chemical elements Nutrition Essential nutrients