The Essence of the Science of Nutrition

 

Humans need essential nutrients.  Magnesium is only one of more than forty essential nutrients for humans.  We all need an adequate and balanced amount of these nutrients daily for optimal health and to optimize the healing capabilities of the body.  These forty-plus essential nutrients are listed below by the categories of the essential nutrients: 

  • vitamins,
  • minerals,
  • essential fatty acids, and
  • essential amino acids (found in protein foods).

 

The Essential Minerals for Humans

BULK MINERALS

Magnesium

Calcium

Phosphorus

Potassium

Sodium

Iodine

 

TRACE MINERALS

Arsenic

Boron

Chloride

Chromium

Cobalt

Copper

Iron

Manganese

Molybdenum

Nickel

Selenium

Silicon

Vanadium

Zinc

 

MINERAL ESSENTIALITY STILL IN QUESTION

 

Bromine Fluorine Lead Tin

Essential Vitamins for Humans

 

WATER-SOLUBLE VITAMINS

 

B vitamins:

  • Vitamin B1 (thiamin)
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin)
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
  • Vitamin B12  (cobalamin)
  • Biotin
  • Choline
  • Folic acid
  • Pantothenic acid

 

Vitamin C

 

FAT-SOLUBLE VITAMINS

 

Vitamin A

Vitamin D

Vitamin E

Vitamin K

 

 

 

Essential Fatty Acids for Humans

Linoleic acid (omega-6)

Linolenic acid (omega-3)

 

Essential Amino Acids for Humans

COMPONENTS OF FOOD PROTEIN

Histidine (for infants)

Isoleucine

Leucine

Lysine

Methionine – Cystine

Phenylalanine – Tyrosine

Threonine

Tryptophan

Valine

Essentiality in a Larger Context

 

All living thingsneed specific substances from its environment in order to live.  These are the chemical entities needed for a particular species to grow and reproduce:  they are the Essential Nutrients for that species, whether it be

  • animal,
  • plant,
  • virus or
  • bacterium.

 

In a larger context, these essential nutrients, along with water and energy (calories), are so important to animal life that an entire organ system – the digestive system – is always at work, ready to provide our bodies’ cells with these essential nutrients from the diet we eat. 

 

The elements hydrogen, carbon and nitrogen are so basic to all life that they are not listed in a species’ list of essential nutrients – they are taken for granted as necessary from the environment. 

 

Oxygen could be said to be an essential nutrient, so important that it has its own organ system -- the lungs and respiratory system – in place to constantly deliver precious oxygen to all cells of the body.  But Nutritional Science has traditionally limited itself to the study of all a species’ essential nutrients that are provided via the digestive (for animals) or root (for plants) systems.