D1  Human Nutrition

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Essential Idea:

A balanced diet is  

essential to human health


  • Essential nutrients cannot be synthesised by the body, therefore they have to be included in the diet
  • Dietary minerals are essential chemical elements
  • Vitamins are chemically diverse carbon compounds that cannot be synthesised by the body
  • Some fatty acids and some amino acids are essential
  • Lack of essential amino acids affects the production of proteins
  • Malnutrition may be caused by a deficiency, imbalance or excess of nutrients in the diet
  • Appetite is controlled by a centre in the hypothalamus
  • Overweight individuals are more likely to suffer hypertension and type II diabetes
  • Starvation can lead to breakdown of body tissue


  • Production of ascorbic acid by some mammals, but not others that need a dietary supply
  • Cause and treatment of phenylketonuria (PKU)
  • Lack of Vitamin D or calcium can affect bone mineralization and cause rickets or osteomalacia
  • Breakdown of heart muscle due to anorexia
  • Cholesterol in blood as an indicator of the risk of coronary heart disease


  • Determination of the energy content of food by combustion
  • Use of databases of nutritional content of foods and software to calculate intakes of essential nutrients from a daily diet