Nutritional & Metabolism Disorders

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Nutrients are chemical substances found in foods that nourish the body. The process of consuming, absorbing, and using the nutrients needed by the body for growth, development, and the maintenance of life is called nutrition.

Nutrients can be divided into two categories, macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients are required in large quantities by the body. They include proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and some minerals. These nutrients supply energy and are the building blocks necessary for growth, maintenance, and activity. Micronutrients are needed by the body in much smaller doses, such as milligrams. Micronutrients include vitamins and trace minerals.

Malnutrition occurs when there is an imbalance between the body's need for, and the intake of, essential nutrients. Malnutrition can be the result of either undernutrition or overnutrition.

Several conditions may result from malnutrition and may require medical assistance. They include, but are not limited to, anorexia, bulimia, deficiency of vitamins, obesity, and lack of enzymes.