Introduction To Micronutrients and Undernutrition

​Welcome to the first week of this blog series on micronutrients and undernutrition.

Week 1 will be taught by Dr. Guido Hooiveld and will be all about vitamins.

Some people think they are some kind of elixir that you can’t get enough of.

But what are they really and how do they differ from the other class of micronutrients, the minerals.

We will start the week with a general introduction into vitamins and cover a number of topics including some of the history of the vitamins, the difference between water and fat soluble vitamins, and how we establish recommended daily allowances for vitamins.

In the remainder of the week we will discuss the 3 main fat soluble vitamins: vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin E.

For each of these vitamins we will discuss their structure, how they are absorbed and processed in the body, what specific role they play, and what happens if your diet is lacking that particular vitamin.

Of course, we will also look into dietary sources.

For instance, one of the things you will learn is that vitamin D is different from any of the other vitamins in the sense that your body, in fact your skin, is able to make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight.

You will also hear about the basis for the notion that eating carrots helps eyesight.

It is going to be a fun week with lots of new information.

Enjoy your week!