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Essential Nutrients


An adequate diet must provide sufficient total proteins, sufficient total calories, essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. A deficiency of any of these dietary factors leads to disordered cellular metabolism and cellular injury with recognizable symptoms and signs of nutritional deficiency. Nutritional diseases arising from total protein-energy deficiency and various vitamin and mineral deficiencies are well-recognized (Table 10-1).

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Table 10–1. Principal Human Nutrients and Disorders Resulting from Nutritional Deficiency or Excess.

Nutritional Deficiency


Deficiency of an essential nutrient may arise in a variety of ways.


Primary Nutritional Deficiency


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