Essential Nutrients

Essential nutrients are those nutrients derived from food that the body is unable to manufacture on its own. These are mandatory for human life and include, of the following, at least:
* Eight amino acids
* Thirteen vitamins
* Fifteen minerals
* Certain specific fatty acids
* Water
* Carbohydrates

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. The most essential amino acids are:
* L-isoleucine
* L-leucine
* L-valine
* L-methionine
* L-threonine
* L-phenylalanine
* L-tryptophan

Essential vitamins are broken up into two groups:
* Fat-soluble
* Water soluble

The most essential fat-soluble vitamins include:
* Vitamin A
* Vitamin D
* Vitamin E
* Vitamin K

The most essential water-soluble vitamins are:
* Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
* Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
* Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
* Vitamin B3 (niacin)
* Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
* Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
* Vitamin B12
* Folic acid
* Biotin

The primary essential minerals include:
* Calcium
* Magnesium
* Phosphorus
* Iron
* Zinc
* Copper
* Manganese
* Iodine
* Chromium
* Potassium
* Sodium
* Trace elements

Essential minerals make-up part of the necessary elements for:
* Body tissues
* Fluids
* Other nutrients
* Assist the body's regulatory system

Low levels of essential nutrients have been linked to:
* Heart disease
* High blood pressure
* Cancer
* Osteoporosis
* Depression
* Schizophrenia
* Problems with menopause

Essential fatty acids found in seafood and unrefined vegetable oil include:
* Linoleic acid
* Linolenic acid

Important fatty acids found in organic fats, oils, and peanuts are:
* Oleic acid
* Arachidonic acid

There are also many non-essential nutrients called accessory nutrients or co-factors that work in harmony with the essential nutrients. These will be featured in an article in next month's newsletter.

Posted May 2004 | Permanent Link

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