What is Nutrition? Diabetes and Nutrition

The topic of nutrition keep popping up almost every time I am reading about diabetes disease and especially diabetic dietology. So what is nutrition? As usual I’ve gone through encyclopaedia. I don’t want to use information from the Internet and want to stick to the old style research.

Nutrition is the act or process by which living organism, and humans by the way, absorbs and utilize food substances. Pretty straightforward. Isn’t it? Now, food serves three major functions. First, it generates energy for growth, activity, and maintenance of human body.

Second, it supplies reducing agents that help to make enzymes, which carry out cellular processes. Third, it provides the materials for cell building. If you look to the right side of this page you shall see several useful links about nutrition and its connection to diabetes mellitus. Please use these links at will. I hope you will find what you looking for. Thank you.

Back to nutrition and dietology for diabetes disease. The essential human nutrients are proteins, vitamins and minerals. A dietary deficiency or a defect in the body absorption of any of these will result in malnutrition and disease. Sounds familiar? Yeah, for me also. Bad food = Bad health. Diabetes mellitus can result from mulnutrition very easy. You can sure as rain fill up on french fries to satiate your hunger but it will do a very poor job from nutrition point of view. Lots of starch with grease but no vitamins and minerals. Pretty nasty picture for health, pretty good ground for diabetes to put down its roots.

Proteins are broken dow during digestion into amino acids, which are used as transmitters of genetic information, for tissue building, and for energy. Protein requirements are much greater for growing children and adolescents that for adults. We already know that diabetes mellitus can develop in children as well as in adults. In some poor countries, kwashiorkor, a deficiency of amino acids, is a common cause of death among children generally caused by malnutrition.

Minerals are important in a number of body process. Calcium is very crucial to teh growth of bones and teeth. Calcium deficiency in nutrition can cause rickets in children and bone softening (osteomalacia) in adults. Iron is used to make hemoglobin in the blood. Iron-deficiency anemia is more common in women than in men, as it may be a consequence of heavy menstrual bleeding or childbirth. Both sodium and potassium are primary contributors of ions to the electrolyte extracellular liquid. Deficiency in nutrition of either of potassium or sodium may upset the homeostatic status quo. Loss of potassium through diuresis or diarrhea may result in loss of tissue excitability and lead to muscle paralysis. Excessive sodium levels may bring on high blood pressure, and sodium deficiency in nutrition may cause low blood pressure and epileptic seizures. Iodine is used to senthetyze thyroid hormones. Traces of other minerals are found in the human body as well, albeit the functions that they serve are not clearly known.

Vitamins are organic substances required by human body but either not produced by it or not produced enough to meet the body requirements. Vitamins often serve to help enzymes with cellular reactions. Major nutritional disorders can occur resulting from vitamins deficiency. They include disorders such as: beriberi (lack of vitamin B1 known as thiamine), scurvy (lack of vitamin C), rickets and osteomalacia (lack of vitamin D), xerophtalmia (lack of vitamin A), pellagra (lack of niacin). All these disorders were on rampage in the 19th century, when they were associated with the abandonment of agriculture for urban life.

A basic goal of good nutritional diet (including the diet for diabetes) is to have balanced diet, with items from all the major food groups, although certain diets (e.g., weight loss diets or special diabetes diets) may require more or less from one group than other.

Right nutritional value in special diet for diabetics are crucial to control diabetes mellitus disease. Now I know it and ready to plow on in my research on diabetes mellitus and  diabetic diets.

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