Related topics: cells · protein · plants · blood vessels · cancer cells

Study reveals new patterns of key ocean nutrient

The important nutrient phosphate may be less abundant in the global ocean than previously thought, according to a new paper in Science Advances. The researchers compiled data collected using highly sensitive techniques that ...

To make lakes healthy, you first need the right recipe

Pollution of lakes is a worldwide problem. Restoration attempts take a lot of time and effort, and even then, they might backfire. A team of researchers led by the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) suggests a different ...

Mississippi river diversions: driving land gain or land loss?

River diversions have not created or maintained land, but resulted in more land loss, according to a new paper in the peer-reviewed science journal Restoration Ecology. LSU Boyd Professor R. Eugene Turner and his LSU co-authors ...

Nutrient

A nutrient is a chemical that an organism needs to live and grow or a substance used in an organism's metabolism which must be taken in from its environment. They are used to build and repair tissues, regulate body processes and are converted to and used as energy. Methods for nutrient intake vary, with animals and protists consuming foods that are digested by an internal digestive system, but most plants ingest nutrients directly from the soil through their roots or from the atmosphere.

Organic nutrients include carbohydrates, fats, proteins (or their building blocks, amino acids), and vitamins. Inorganic chemical compounds such as dietary minerals, water, and oxygen may also be considered nutrients. A nutrient is said to be "essential" if it must be obtained from an external source, either because the organism cannot synthesize it or produces insufficient quantities. Nutrients needed in very small amounts are micronutrients and those that are needed in larger quantities are called macronutrients. The effects of nutrients are dose-dependent and shortages are called deficiencies.

See healthy diet for more information on the role of nutrients in human nutrition.

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