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The Importance of Vitamins and Minerals In the Human Body.

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Laura Canzano IB Biology SL Research Paper2 6/12/2002 The Importance of Vitamins and Minerals In the Human Body. The human body is a very complex machine that, just like any machine need the proper tools and instructions for it to work well. One of the factors that play a big role in the well being and health of the human body is its need for vitamins and minerals. Vitamins are " any of a group of organic substances found in food and essential in small quantities to normal metabolism"1 In other words, the term vitamin is derived from the words vital and amine, because vitamins are required for life and were originally thought to be amines. Although not all vitamins are amines, they are organic compounds required by humans in small amounts from the diet. An organic compound is considered a vitamin if a lack of that compound in the diet results in evident symptoms of deficiency. Humans require at least 13 different vitamins in their diet. On the other hand minerals can be defined as " a neutral inorganic substance,"2 they are elements that originate in the Earth and cannot be made by living systems. Most of the minerals in our diets come directly from plants or indirectly from animal sources. ...read more.


Vitamins C play an important role in the following reactions in the body: is required for the synthesis of collagen, the synthesis of the neurotransmitter, the synthesis of carnitine which are essential in the transport of mitochondria, and is also a highly effective antioxidant.6 Severe vitamin C deficiency has been known as being the cause for a fatal disease called scurvy, who's symptoms are bleeding and bruising easily, hair and tooth loss, joint pain and swelling. Sources of vitamin C are: orange and grapefruit juice, strawberries, tomatoes, and potato. Another important vitamin is the Vitamin E, which is a mixture of several related compounds known as tocopherols.. "Vitamin E accumulates in cellular membranes, fat deposits and other circulating lipoproteins."7 The major function of vitamin E is to act as a natural antioxidant by scavenging free radicals and molecular oxygen. In particular vitamin E prevent peroxidation of polyunsaturated membrane fatty acids. No major disease states have been found to be associated with vitamin E deficiency. The major symptom of vitamin E deficiency in humans is an increase in red blood cell fragility, producing anemia and weakness. Vitamins E is found in the following foods: olive, soy, corn, safflower, sunflower and canola oils, almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, spinach, carrots and avocado. ...read more.


It is involved in more then 300 metabolic reactions and its function are the development of bones and teeth, transmit nerve impulses, muscle contraction, and activates enzymes needed for energy. It is found in the following foods: whole grains, nuts, legumes, dark green leafy vegetables. Potassium is an essential dietary mineral that is also known as an electrolyte. "The term electrolyte refers to a substance that dissociates into ions (charged particles) in solution making it capable of conducting electricity."14It functions in fluid balance, transmission of nerve impulses, and helps in the making of protein. Deficiency of potassium may lead to muscle weakness, fatigue, and confusion. Potassium is found in legumes, meat, vegetables, bananas, milk, and fruits. In conclusion, as one may understand minerals and vitamins are essential to a person's health. All are involve in the smallest processes and reactions but make a big difference in the end such as vitamin C. They can produce disorders or deseases if the right amount is not provided in a daily meal. This is very important and it should help one understand the importance of eating healthy. To most parents, knowing about the roles of different minerals and vitamins is crucial for the well being of their children and themselves. Not many people know why are vitamins and minerals so important, but in doing this research paper someone might better understand its importance. ...read more.

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This report is very wordy. It contains thorough research with some visual aspects included. The writer has clearly gained knowledge and understanding from the report but this should be shown in the conclusion in more depth. ****

Marked by teacher Michelle Anne Turrell 01/05/2013

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