Nutrition and Metabolism

Carbohydrates, lipids and proteins are essential for the functioning of the human body. These significant components of the human body are not only absorbed through digestive processes but are mainly found in the foods we eat. Together with minerals, vitamins and water, carbohydrates, lipids and proteins are the six major classes of nutrients found in food. These nutrients are essential in providing energy to the human body as well as building and maintaining body organs. In fact, people depend on nutrients from their daily diets because the body in unable to produce many nutrients.

The nutrients produced from various chemical substances in food are also essential for various metabolic processes. Carbohydrates: In addition to being the major source of energy for the human body, carbohydrates mainly consist of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen components. With carbon being attached to the water molecule, carbohydrates provide energy to the human body through the bonding of the three components. Notably, carbohydrates provide energy in the form of kilocalories and are divided into major categories i. e. simple and complex carbohydrates.

Sources of carbohydrates include fruits, milk, malt liquors, potatoes, beans and vegetables. Carbohydrates are largely used to generate glucose, the basic functional molecule of energy within human cells. Lipids: Similar to carbohydrates, lipids contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen though they have a smaller number of oxygen molecules as compared to carbohydrates. Lipids are also high-energy yielding molecules that consist of fats and oils. While lipids may be soluble in certain organic solvents, they are insoluble in water because of the small number of oxygen molecules (Radecki par, 11).

The human body utilizes essential fatty acids to regulate blood pressure and repair vital cell parts. Sources of lipids include avocados, cashew nuts, nuts, peanuts, olives, macadamias and almonds. Proteins: In addition to being the major components in muscles, bones and other tissues, proteins are composed of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen elements. Proteins are found in various food stuffs such as chicken, milk, fish, meat, corn, wheat, rice and beans. They are mainly used for certain biological functions as well as tissue maintenance and growth.

Nutrition and Metabolism: The sum total of all the chemical reactions which take place in the human body are known as metabolic reactions or metabolism. While some of these metabolic reactions use energy to build up molecules, other metabolic reactions break down molecules to make energy. These different types of metabolic reactions are the two major parts in body metabolism known as catabolism and anabolism. Catabolism can be defined as metabolic reactions that involve the breaking down of large and complex molecules into smaller and simple products.

Catabolism usually occurs during digestion, dehydrogenation, oxidation, deamination and decarboxylation. Dehydrogenation, deamination and decarboxylation are the processes of removing hydrogen, amino groups and carboxyl groups respectively. On the other hand, anabolism can be defined as metabolic reactions that involve the building up of large and more complex molecules from small and simple reactants. Examples of these kinds of metabolic reactions include the building up of glycogen from glucose, fat from glycerol and protein from amino acids.

Notably, anabolism also leads to the construction of new enzymes and new antibodies (“Metabolism and Nutrition” par, 5). The process through which food molecules respond to oxygen and are consequently broken down to carbon dioxide and water is known as cellular respiration. This process which enables the capturing of energy in the form of ATP molecules can also be described as the transfer of chemical energy of organic molecules to energy for metabolism within living cells (“Metabolism” par, 1).

While cellular respiration takes place within mitochondria in eukaryotic cells, the process also occurs in all organisms throughout the day. Works Cited: “Metabolism And Nutrition. ” Slideshare: Present Yourself. SlideShare Inc. Web. 9 July 2010. <http://www. slideshare. net/rajud521/metabolism-and-nutrition-3582236>. “Metabolism: Cellular Respiration. ” Angelfire. Angelfire. com. Web. 9 July 2010. <http://www. angelfire. com/ga2/nestsite2/webunit8. html>. Radecki, Susan S. “Nutrients. ” Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z. Advameg, Inc. Web. 09 July 2010. <http://www. faqs. org/nutrition/Met-Obe/Nutrients. html>.

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