Science and everyday application, v. 1.0 (2023)

Vitamins and minerals are only needed in small amounts in the body, but their role is essential for the overall health and proper functioning of all systems in the body. And although many vitamins and minerals work together to perform various functions in the body, they are classified based on their independent characteristics. These characteristics affect not only how we get them in our diets, but also how we absorb and store them, as well as how we experience deficiencies or toxicities when too much or too little is consumed. After reviewing the classifications of vitamins and minerals, we'll look at the top vitamins and minerals based on their similar functions to further highlight the importance of how these micronutrients work together.

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The name "vitamin" comes from Casimir Funk, who in 1912 thought that "vital amines" (similar to amino acids) were responsible for preventing what we now know as vitamin deficiencies. He coined the term "vitamins" to describe those organic substances that were recognized as essential for life, but unlike other organic nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats), they do not supply the body with energy. Eventually, when scientists discovered that these compounds were not amines, the 'e' was dropped to form the term "vitamins".1

Classification of vitamins

are essential, non-caloric organic micronutrients. There is energy contained in the chemical bonds of vitamin molecules, but our bodies do not produce the enzymes to break these bonds and release their energy; instead, vitamins perform other essential functions in the body. Vitamins are traditionally classified into two groups:water soluble or fat soluble. Whether vitamins are water-soluble or fat-soluble can affect their functions and sites of action. For example, water-soluble vitamins generally act in the cytosol of cells (the fluid inside cells) or in extracellular fluids such as blood, while fat-soluble vitamins have functions such as protecting cell membranes from damage caused by free radicals or act within of the cell. core to influence.

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Figure 8.1. Classification of vitamins in water soluble or fat soluble.

A big difference between water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins is how they are absorbed by the body. Water-soluble vitamins are absorbed directly from the small intestine into the bloodstream. Fat-soluble vitamins are first incorporated into chylomicrons, along with fatty acids, and are transported through the lymphatic system into the bloodstream and then to the liver. He(i.e. the amount absorbed) of these vitamins depends on the composition of foods in the diet. Because fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed along with dietary fat, if a meal is too low in fat, the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins from that meal may be affected.

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Figure 8.2. “Absorption of fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins”.

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Fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins also differ in how they are stored in the body.Fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K) can be stored in the liver and in the fatty tissues of the body.The ability to store these vitamins allows the body to draw on these reserves when dietary intake is low, so fat-soluble vitamin deficiencies can take months to develop as the body's stores are depleted. On the other hand, the body's storage capacity for fat-soluble vitamins increases the risk of toxicity. Although toxic levels are usually achieved only through vitamin supplementation, if large amounts of fat-soluble vitamins are consumed, either through food or supplementation, vitamin levels can build up in the liver and adipose tissues, causing symptoms of toxicity.

There is a limited storage capacity in the body for water-soluble vitamins,so it is important to consume these vitamins daily. Water-soluble vitamin deficiency is more common than fat-soluble vitamin deficiency because of this lack of storage. This also means that toxicity from water-soluble vitamins is rare. Due to their water solubility, intake of these vitamins in amounts greater than those required by the body can, to some extent, be excreted in the urine, reducing the risk of toxicity. Like fat-soluble vitamins, a toxic intake of water-soluble vitamins is not common through dietary sources, but is more commonly seen through supplement use.

Characteristics of fat-soluble vitamins

Characteristics of water solublesvitamins

Protects cell membranes from damage caused by free radicals; act within the cell nucleus to influence gene expression

They act in the cytosol of cells or in extracellular fluids such as blood.

Absorbed into the lymph with fats from food

absorbed directly into the blood

Great storage capacity in adipose tissues

Little or no storage capacity

No need to consume daily to prevent deficiency (may take months to develop)

Needs to be consumed regularly to prevent deficiency

Toxicity is more likely

toxicity is rare

Table 8.1. Characteristics of fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins.


Like vitamins, minerals are essential micronutrients for human health and can be obtained in our diet from different types of food. Minerals are abundant in our daily lives. From the dirt in your garden to the jewelry you wear on your body, we interact with minerals constantly.They are inorganic elements in their simplest form, originating on Earth. They cannot be broken down or used as an energy source, but like vitamins, they perform essential functions based on their individual characteristics. Living organisms cannot produce minerals, so the minerals our bodies need must come from the diet. Plants obtain minerals from the soil they grow in. Humans obtain minerals by eating plants, as well as indirectly by eating animal products (because the animal consumed minerals in the plants it ate). We also get minerals from the water we drink. The mineral content of soil and water varies from place to place, so the mineral composition of food and water differs according to geographic location.2

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Mineral Classification

Minerals are classified as major minerals or trace minerals, depending on the amount needed in the body. are those that are required in the diet in amounts greater than 100 milligrams per day. These include sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and sulfur. These key minerals can be found in many foods. While mineral deficiencies are possible, eating a varied diet significantly improves an individual's ability to meet their nutritional needs. We will discuss concerns about specific mineral deficiencies and toxicities later in this unit.

they are classified as necessary minerals in the diet in smaller amounts, specifically 100 milligrams or less per day. These include iron, copper, zinc, selenium, iodine, chromium, fluorine, manganese and molybdenum. Although trace elements are needed in smaller amounts, a trace element deficiency can be just as harmful to health as a major mineral deficiency.

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Figure 8.3. The classification of minerals as major minerals or trace minerals.

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Minerals are water soluble and do not require enzymatic digestion. They are absorbed directly into the bloodstream, although some minerals need the help of transport proteins for absorption and transport in the blood.

Minerals are not absorbed as efficiently as most vitamins, and many factors influence their bioavailability:

  • Minerals are generally better absorbed from animal foods. Plant-based foods often contain compounds that can bind to minerals and inhibit their absorption (eg, oxalates, phytates).
  • In most cases, if dietary intake of a given mineral is increased, absorption will decrease.
  • Some minerals influence the absorption of others. For example, excess zinc in the diet can affect the absorption of iron and copper. On the other hand, certain vitamins enhance mineral absorption. For example, vitamin C increases iron absorption and vitamin D increases calcium and magnesium absorption.
  • As with vitamins, mineral absorption can be affected by certain gastrointestinal disorders and other illnesses, such as Crohn's disease and kidney disease, as well as the aging process. Therefore, people with malabsorption conditions and the elderly are at greater risk for mineral deficiencies.


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  • 1Carpenter, KJ (2003). A brief history of nutrition science: part 3 (1912-1944). Revista Nutrição, 133(10), 3023-3032.
  • 2Linus Pauling Institute-Micronutrient Information Center. (2020).minerals.

Image credits:

  • Variety of fruits on trayphoto by Danielle MacInnes or Unsplash (license information)
  • Figure 8.1. “Classification of Vitamins as Water-Soluble or Fat-Soluble” by Allison Calabrese is licensed underCC POR 4.0
  • Figure 8.2. “Absorption of Water-Soluble and Fat-Soluble Vitamins” by Allison Calabrese is licensed underCC POR 4.0
  • Table 8.1. “Characteristics of Fat-Soluble and Water-Soluble Vitamins” by Heather Leonard is licensed underCC POR 4.0
  • green leafy vegetables” foto de Kenan Kitchen no Unsplash (license information)
  • Figure 8.3. Allison Calabrese's "Classification of Major and Trace Minerals" is licensed underCC POR 4.0


What is an example of a nutrition hypothesis? ›

One example of a nutrition hypothesis that has been investigated using observational studies is that eating a Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. (A Mediterranean diet focuses on whole grains, fruits and vegetables, beans and other legumes, nuts, olive oil, herbs, and spices.

What are the scientific method of identifying food nutrients in our diet? ›

Nutritional scientists discover the health effects of food and its nutrients by first making an observation. Once observations are made, they come up with a hypothesis, test their hypothesis, and then interpret the results.

When was Nutrition science and Everyday Application published? ›

Is the scientific method an important part of evidence based approach to designing nutritional guidelines? ›

Evidence-Based Approach to Nutrition

Although a lengthy process, the scientific method is a productive way to define essential nutrients and determine their ability to promote health and prevent disease. The scientific method is part of the overall evidence-based approach to designing nutritional guidelines.

What are the 3 main hypothesis? ›

Types of hypothesis are: Simple hypothesis. Complex hypothesis. Directional hypothesis.

What is a good example of a scientific hypothesis? ›

For example, a scientist can form a hypothesis that a certain type of tomato is red. During research, the scientist then finds that each tomato of this type is red. Though his findings confirm his hypothesis, there may be a tomato of that type somewhere in the world that isn't red.

What is an example of scientific method in everyday life? ›

An Example of the Scientific Method

Your toaster fails to toast the bread. The observation you make from this problem is that your toaster won't toast. The question, in this case, is, “Why isn't my toaster working?” The hypothesis should be a potential explanation or answer to the question.

What is the first step of the scientific method? ›

The first step of the scientific method is the "Question." This step may also be referred to as the "Problem." Your question should be worded so that it can be answered through experimentation. Keep your question concise and clear so that everyone knows what you are trying to solve.

What was the first diet book? ›

So started William Banting's “Letter on Corpulence,” likely the first diet book ever published. Banting, an overweight undertaker, published the book in 1864 to espouse his success after replacing an excessive intake of bread, sugar and potatoes with mostly meat, fish and vegetables.

Who approved nutrition facts? ›

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has updated the Nutrition Facts label on packaged foods and drinks. FDA is requiring changes to the Nutrition Facts label based on updated scientific information, new nutrition research, and input from the public.

How many nutrition apps are there? ›

A total of 86 diet and nutrition apps were identified.

Which do you think is the most important step in scientific method Why? ›

The experiment is one of the most important steps in the scientific method, as it is used to prove a hypothesis right or wrong, and to formulate scientific theories.

What are the most important steps of the scientific method? ›

The Scientific Process
  • Define a Question to Investigate. As scientists conduct their research, they make observations and collect data. ...
  • 2. Make Predictions. Based on their research and observations, scientists will often come up with a hypothesis. ...
  • Gather Data. ...
  • Analyze the Data. ...
  • Draw Conclusions.

What is the most important part of the scientific method and why? ›

One of the most important features of the scientific method is its repeatability. The experiments performed to prove a working hypothesis must clearly record all details so that others may replicate them and eventually allow the hypothesis to become widely accepted.

What are the 2 main sources of hypothesis? ›

The four main sources of hypothesis are:
  • Previous study.
  • Personal experience.
  • Thinking and imagination.
  • Scientific theory.

What are the 2 types of hypothesis? ›

There are basically two types, namely, null hypothesis and alternative hypothesis. A research generally starts with a problem. Next, these hypotheses provide the researcher with some specific restatements and clarifications of the research problem.

What is hypothesis in simple words? ›

A hypothesis is an assumption, an idea that is proposed for the sake of argument so that it can be tested to see if it might be true.

What are 3 examples of a scientific theory? ›

Evolution, plate tectonics, and the Big Bang are all examples of scientific theories.

How do you write a good hypothesis for a science project? ›

How to Write Hypothesis in Research
  1. Predicts the relationship and outcome.
  2. Simple and concise – avoid wordiness.
  3. Clear with no ambiguity or assumptions about the readers' knowledge.
  4. Observable and testable results.
  5. Relevant and specific to the research question or problem.

What is the importance of scientific method in our daily life essay? ›

It provides an objective, standardized approach to conducting experiments and, in doing so, improves their results. By using a standardized approach in their investigations, scientists can feel confident that they will stick to the facts and limit the influence of personal, preconceived notions.

Why is it important to follow the scientific method in solving both scientific and everyday life problems? ›

It is too easy to make assumptions, to believe what you want to believe, to ignore data that conflict with what you think. And as human beings, scientists can be all too guilty of these errors. The scientific method is a way to prevent these mistakes. It doesn't always work, but it demonstrably has had some successes.

What is a scientific problem example? ›

But the problem of trying to figure out how fast a population of rabbits can grow is a scientific problem as you can conduct an experiment on a population of rabbits to observe and record just how fast they reproduce. You can then use your information and any patterns that you find to find your answer.

What is the application of scientific method? ›

In a typical application of the scientific method, a researcher develops a hypothesis, tests it through various means, and then modifies the hypothesis on the basis of the outcome of the tests and experiments.

What is scientific method today? ›

The scientific method is the process of objectively establishing facts through testing and experimentation. The basic process involves making an observation, forming a hypothesis, making a prediction, conducting an experiment and finally analyzing the results.

What is the scientific method 5th grade? ›

Scientific Method Steps

Gather information and observe (research) Make a hypothesis (guess the answer) Experiment and test your hypothesis. Analyze your test results.

What are the 7 steps of the scientific method in order? ›

The scientific method
  • Make an observation.
  • Ask a question.
  • Form a hypothesis, or testable explanation.
  • Make a prediction based on the hypothesis.
  • Test the prediction.
  • Iterate: use the results to make new hypotheses or predictions.

What grade do students learn scientific method? ›

Whether preparing students to do classroom science experiments and science fair projects or reviewing the way science experiments work and how scientists approach testing science questions, educators teach and use the scientific method with K-12 students at all grade levels.

Do 97% of people who lose weight gain it back? ›

In reality, 97 percent of dieters regain everything they lost and then some within three years. Obesity research fails to reflect this truth because it rarely follows people for more than 18 months. This makes most weight-loss studies disingenuous at best and downright deceptive at worst.

How did ancient people lose weight? ›

For those who wanted to take stricter measures, he suggested that they eat only once a day, take no baths, sleep on a hard bed and "walk naked as long as possible". The Romans seem to have had a similar hard-work attitude to losing weight - the encyclopaedist Aulus Cornelius Celsus (c.

What was the name of Optavia before? ›

Once known as Medifast, Optavia is a diet that promises weight loss with a very structured diet made up of mostly prepackaged Optavia-branded meals and snacks.

Did the FDA approve Herbalife? ›

The FDA does not approve foods, non-drug cosmetics, or dietary supplements for safety or effectiveness.

What is the 5 ingredient rule? ›

Stick to the 5 ingredient rule: Choose foods with less than 5 ingredients and all things you recognize and know are real food, such as tomatoes, water, or salt. Or if there are more than 5, make sure they're all food or spices. Buy only packaged foods with ingredients you can pronounce or recognize.

What is the 5 20 rule? ›

Though not an end-all test, a quick way to read the percent daily values is to use the 5/20 rule. This says that if the %DV is less than 5% there is a low amount of this nutrient, while if the %DV is greater than 20% there is a high amount of this nutrient.

What is the most accurate nutrition app? ›

A quick look at the best nutrition apps
  • Best overall nutrition app: MyPlate Calorie Counter.
  • Best meal planning app: PlateJoy.
  • Best food tracking app: MyFitnessPal.
  • Best healthy recipe app: Yummly Recipes & Cooking Tools.
  • Best weight loss app: Lifesum: Healthy Eating.
  • Best mindful eating app: Ate Food Journal.

What is the most successful diet app? ›

Healthline's picks of the best weight loss apps
  • PlateJoy.
  • Noom.
  • WW app.
  • Fitbit app.
  • MyFitnessPal.
  • Lose It! App.
  • FatSecret.
  • EatMyWay.
Jan 23, 2023

What are the Big 3 in nutrition? ›

When it comes to nutrition, there are macronutrients and micronutrients. The “big 3” macronutrients (macros) are fats, carbohydrates and protein.

What is the hardest step in scientific method? ›

The Hardest And Most Important Part Of The Scientific Method: Staying Objective.

What is the most difficult part of the scientific method? ›

The next step in the scientific method is EXPERIMENTATION, or hypothesis testing. This is the hardest part of the scientific method (but usually the most fun). The scientists must design and conduct one or several experiments to test their hypothesis.

What is considered the most important part of the scientific method? ›

Problem, Purpose, or Research Question: The problem or research question is the single most important part of the scientific method. Every part of your project is done to answer this question.

Which definition best explains science? ›

Science is the pursuit and application of knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world following a systematic methodology based on evidence.

What does scientific method depend on? ›

The scientific method depends upon increasingly sophisticated characterizations of the subjects of investigation. (The subjects can also be called unsolved problems or the unknowns.)

What are two ways in which scientific methods is important? ›

Answer and Explanation: The scientific method is important because it allows scientists to investigate the world in an organized fashion. The scientific method provides structure to ask questions about the natural world and conduct carefully planned research.

What is an important part of scientific methods select all correct answers? ›

The experiment is the most important part of the scientific method. It's the logical process that lets scientists learn about the world.

What is the nutrient hypothesis? ›

The light : nutrient hypothesis (LNH) asserts that primary producers in high light conditions relative to water column nutrients are nutrient poor, whereas lower light availability (relative to nutrients) produces nutrient rich algae (Sterner et al., 1997).

What is the hypothesis of healthy diet? ›

The hypothesis tested in the study was that access to healthy foods, along with the education of how to prepare these foods, may improve diet quality and promote healthy eating habits.

What are the five examples of hypothesis? ›

The most common forms of hypotheses are:
  • Simple Hypothesis.
  • Complex Hypothesis.
  • Null Hypothesis.
  • Alternative Hypothesis.
  • Logical Hypothesis.
  • Empirical Hypothesis.
  • Statistical Hypothesis.

What is hypothesis and give some examples? ›

A simple hypothesis is a statement made to reflect the relation between exactly two variables. One independent and one dependent. Consider the example, “Smoking is a prominent cause of lung cancer." The dependent variable, lung cancer, is dependent on the independent variable, smoking.

What are the 3 major nutrients in measuring the energy value of food? ›

The system is based on the heats of combustion of protein, fat and carbohydrate, which are corrected for losses in digestion, absorption and urinary excretion of urea. It uses a single factor for each of the energy-yielding substrates (protein, fat, carbohydrate), regardless of the food in which it is found.

What does nutrients science believe in? ›

Nutritional scientists understand how food is digested, absorbed, and metabolized at different stages of life, and investigate the effects of nutrient deficiencies and excesses to prevent and treat disease.

What is the purpose of nutrient analysis? ›

Nutritional analysis is the process of determining the nutritional content of food. It is a vital part of analytical chemistry that provides information about the chemical composition, processing, quality control and contamination of food.


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