Diet and Nutrition (Encyclopedia of Neurological Disorders)
Adequate nutrition and a well-balanced diet in every phase of life are essential requirements for normal development and growth, health maintenance, and disease prevention, as well as for the recovery from illness or injury. The human organism is a dynamic system, constantly using stored energy to perform physiologic functions such as blood circulation, respiration, immune surveillance and defense against infections, synthesis of proteins, hormones, and neurotransmitters necessary for muscle activity, sensory perception, thought processing, digestion of food and elimination of body wastes, cell and tissue detoxification, and DNA repair. Food is the main source of the micronutrients the organism utilizes to perform these vital functions, thus keeping the many physiologic systems in a state of homeostasis, or dynamic functional balance.
Micronutrients are substances the body extracts from food through digestion, the process of breaking down large and complex molecules of food into more simple and smaller ones. Micronutrients are then absorbed through the walls of the small intestine into the blood vessels to be distributed to and processed by different organs and tissues. Different classes of micronutrients are used for several different purposes. For instance, some micronutrients such as vitamins are...
(The entire section is 2510 words.)
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