• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Importance of Vitamins and Minerals In the Human Body.

Extracts from this document...


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Food Technology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

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

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Food Technology essays

  1. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of meat eating, for the individuals and for the ...

    Alternatively, the excretions could be used as fertilizers for plants and this could bring up business opportunities for the meat producers, since the excretions could be sold to other farmers whom plant vegetables. Increasing consumption of meat could create multiplier effects, since the producers of meat would increase due to profit motivation.

  2. Write an Essay on The Importance of a Healthy Diet. Include Information on Macro ...

    This is due to fat reserves being used up for energy, and also protein in muscle being used for energy. When you eat too much food, you become obese. You are obese if you are 20% or more over the average weight recommended for your height.

  1. An investigation on burning food.

    Fatty foods are used for energy. Most of a fatty acid molecule is made of carbon and hydrogen. They are burnt and then give off energy. Over seventy different fatty acids have been isolated from nature; most of these contain fifteen to eighteen carbon atoms.

  2. A cheeseburger consists of bread, meat and cheese.

    For the next two to three hours churning movements of the stomach produce further physical breakdown of food.

  1. 'The Gold-Legged Frog' by Khamsing Srinwark - Consider the view that Nak is born ...

    For Nak to make this decision is cruel and extremely unlucky, the timing of the government offering the money for families with five or more children and his son suffering a snake bite can only be seen as anything but lucky.

  2. Explain what is needed for a balanced diet, including vitamins and minerals.

    scallops, most nuts - Function: Regulates proper heart function, releases enzymes that promote body energy, needed for proper bone growth, manufactures cells and genetic material � Potassium - Source: Bananas, citrus fruits, dried fruits, deep yellow vegetables, potatoes, avocados, legumes, milk - Function: Works with sodium to regulate body fluids.

  1. Explain how the events in the Black Harvest can be linked to the Irish ...

    They would not have had stores of food as they couldn't afford it, only the potatoes that they grew. The baby gets ill .She won't stop screaming and won't eat. Mum takes her to the doctor who can't find anything wrong.

  2. Nutrition & Diet: Issues for People who have Learning Disabilities

    Protein is essential for growth and repair of body tissues, and has its source in meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, beans, pulses, nuts and cereals. Vitamins and Minerals both have essential roles in the regulation of different processes within the body.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work