return to nutrition home


Nutrition is the study of nutrients and their role in health and disease.


  • nutrients
  • nutrition and disease
  • nutritional counseling


Macronutrients are important sources of calories (except water) and provide building blocks for many biological processes. Micronutrients are essential substances that facilitate various metabolic activities, and whose deficiencies can produce serious conditions and diseases.


  • carbohydrates
  • lipids
  • proteins
  • water



  • sodium
  • potassium
  • bicarbonate
  • chloride

Water-soluble Vitamins

  • B1 - thiamine
  • B2 - riboflavin
  • B3 - niacin
  • pantothenic acid
  • B6 - pyridoxine
  • vitamin C
  • biotin
  • B9 - folic acid
  • B12 - cobalamin

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

  • vitamin A
  • vitamin D
  • vitamin E
  • vitamin K


  • calcium
  • copper
  • fluoride
  • iodine
  • iron
  • magnesium
  • phosphate
  • sulfur
  • zinc












Nutrition and Disease

A poor diet will eventually lead to significant health conditions and dieases. Diet is also essential for effective management of a variety of chronic illnesses. Some of these include:

  • malabsorption
  • celiac disease
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • GERD
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • constipation
  • osteoporosis


Nutritional Counseling


Nutritional counseling and recommendations are best given by dietitians, but there is much that other health care providers have to offer as well.


Sound knowledge of the fundamentals of nutrition needs to be accompanied by skills in:









Resources and References

Estruch R et al. 2013. Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease with a Mediterranean diet. N Engl J Med. 368(14):1279-90.


World Bank - Nutrition in Latin America and the Caribbean - Toolkit on How to protect and Promote the Nutrition of Mothers and Children