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13: Nutrients Important for Metabolism and Blood Function

In this chapter 10, we look at the nutrients important in energy metabolism and blood health, by first looking at blood and at metabolism, and then discussing the B vitamins, vitamin K, magnesium, iron, zinc, and other micronutrients. We also explore iron-deficient anemia and iron toxicity.

  • 10.1: Prelude to Metabolism and Blood Function
    In this chapter, we will discuss the importance of blood and its vital role in support of metabolism and pull together what we have learned about macronutrient metabolism. You will also learn the important roles micronutrients have in metabolism and how they support blood function and renewal. We will also consider food sources of these valuable nutrients. Read the facts, then decide the best way to supplement your diet with iron friendly eating and cooking.
  • 10.2: Blood’s Function in the Body and in Metabolism Support
    Blood is a connective tissue of the circulatory system, and the fluid in the body that transports absorbed nutrients to cells and waste products from cells. The fluid part of blood, plasma, makes up the largest amount of blood volume and contains proteins, ions, glucose, lipids, vitamins, minerals, waste products, gases, enzymes, and hormones. The cellular components of blood include red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Blood is under a constant state of renewal.
  • 10.3: Metabolism Overview
    Metabolism is defined as the sum of all chemical reactions required to support cellular function and hence the life of an organism. Metabolism is either categorized as catabolism, referring to all metabolic processes involved in molecule breakdown, or anabolism, which includes all metabolic processes involved in building bigger molecules. Generally, catabolic processes release energy and anabolic processes consume energy. The overall goals of metabolism are energy transfer and matter transport.
  • 10.4: Vitamins Important for Metabolism and for Blood Function and Renewal
    While the macronutrients (carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins) and alcohol can be catabolized to release energy, vitamins and minerals play a different kind of role in energy metabolism; they are required as functional parts of enzymes involved in energy release and storage. Vitamins and minerals that make up part of enzymes are referred to as coenzymes and cofactors, respectively. Coenzymes and cofactors are required by enzymes to catalyze a specific reaction.
  • 10.5: Minerals Important for Metabolism and for Blood Function and Renewal
    In a well-balanced diet, minerals are plentiful, and herbs are power-packed with minerals. Eat more plants, spice up your food, and drink herbal teas to obtain optimum mineral nutrition.
  • 10.6: Iron-Deficiency Anemia
    Iron-deficiency anemia is a condition that develops from having insufficient iron levels in the body, resulting in fewer and smaller red blood cells containing lower amounts of hemoglobin. It is diagnosed from characteristic signs and symptoms and confirmed with simple blood tests that count red blood cells and determine hemoglobin and iron content in blood. Anemia is most often treated with iron supplements and increasing the consumption of foods that are higher in iron.
  • 10.E: Exercises