Where are -HCl supplements absorbed in the human digestive system?

Where are -HCl supplements absorbed in the human digestive system?

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I see that quite a lot of drugs and dietary supplements sold in the USA have -HCl(hydrochloride) added to their name. For example pyridoxine hydrochloride for Vitamin B6. I'm interested in knowing where in the digestive system -HCl compounds are absorbed? Is it in the stomach?

It would also help if I get a rough idea of how long it takes for -HCl supplements to be absorbed. Is it an hour or more?

Thank you for your input!

The hydrochloride ions are not what facilitate their absorption into the body. The HCl notation is from organic chemical reactions of a weak base (usually amines are involved here) with HCl to form a salt. The salt is what gets purified as a powder (otherwise the chemical remains in solution and can't be made into a pill/supplement). The bottle may say: "compound-HCl" or "compound HCl" implying that the two are chemically bonded together, but that is incorrect. What actually happens is that the compound is an ionic salt, in the form [compound]H+ Cl-. As far as absorption, that is entirely dependent on the compound(s) being absorbed. Once you swallow them, they dissociate back into the weak acid form and H+,Cl- ions.

How does the body digest fat?

Fats are a type of lipid that is vital for health. They provide energy, cushion the organs, help cells grow and reproduce, and keep the body warm.

Fat digestion begins before food even enters the stomach, with chemical digestion starting in the mouth. The body continues digesting fat as food moves through the digestive tract.

Keep reading to learn more about fat digestion, including how it works, which fats are hardest to digest, and more.

Lipids are not water soluble, which means that water cannot absorb them or break them down. Most of the body’s digestive enzymes are water-based, so the body has to use special enzymes to break down fat throughout the digestive tract.

The body begins breaking down fat in the mouth, using enzymes in saliva . Chewing increases the surface area of foods, allowing the enzymes to break down food more effectively. The most important chemicals that help with fat digestion in the mouth are lingual lipase and phospholipids, which turn fats into small drops.

While some fat digestion happens in the stomach, most of this process occurs in the intestines.

The next step in fat digestion happens when gastric lipase in the stomach further breaks down fats. As the stomach contracts, this process intensifies. The stomach can convert close to 30% of fats into diglycerides and fatty acids by about 2–4 hours after eating.

Next, the contents of the stomach, including the diglycerides and fatty acids, travel to the small intestine. The liver releases bile, which contains lecithin, bile salts, and emulsifiers that help further break down fats.

Bile grabs onto the fats, and the emulsifiers increase their surface area, making them easier for digestive enzymes to act on.

Following this, enzymes break apart fatty acids. Lipase from the pancreas further digests fats into monoglycerides and fatty acids. Bile again grabs onto the fat to help move it to the tiny hair-like projections of the intestines. These projections, called microvilli, help transport the fats into the cells of the digestive system.

From there, the body must absorb fats. To do this, the broken down components of the fats regroup into triacylglycerols. These can join together with cholesterol, phospholipids, and a protein to form lipoproteins. Lipoproteins enter the lymphatic system, and the body then releases them into the bloodstream.

As fat digestion requires numerous enzymes, various conditions can affect this process and, as a result, absorption. Liver disorders, small bowel syndrome, and problems with the small intestine can make it more difficult for the body to digest and absorb fat. Due to this, some people with these conditions may notice fatty stools.

A 2018 study suggests that solid fats — those that are solid at room temperature, such as butter — are harder for the body to digest than fat droplets.

The study used a model of the human digestive system to see how quickly enzymes could break down the two types of fat. The digestive model broke down solid fats about half as quickly. This finding suggests, but does not prove, that solid fats may present more digestive issues. It is important to note, however, that the study did not look directly at humans and used only one type of fat emulsion.

The type of fat is not the only factor determining how hard a food is to digest. Certain foods, such as fried foods, are more difficult for the body to digest and more likely to cause digestive problems.

Digestive issues can also result from food sensitivities in some cases, so people with a history of digestive problems may wish to try keeping a food diary to track their diet and symptoms.

Effective fat digestion is critical for overall health, as the body needs fat to carry out many of its functions. Effective fat digestion may even play a role in maintaining a moderate body weight. People may be able to improve their fat digestion by:

  • Eating a lower fat diet: A 2018 study found that a typical high fat Western diet may promote the development of bacteria in the gut that cause a person to absorb more fat, potentially leading to weight gain.
  • Eating healthful fats: People should aim to include healthful fats, such as avocados, nuts, coconut oil, and fish, in the diet. At the same time, they should reduce the intake of processed fats, red meats, and fried foods.
  • Treating health conditions: It is important to get treatment for any chronic or long-term medical conditions, especially those affecting the liver and digestive system. Problems with these organs can make it more difficult for the body to digest nutrients, including fat.
  • Protecting liver health: The liver makes bile salts that play a key role in digesting fat. People can help protect their liver by moderating their alcohol consumption and refraining from using recreational drugs.

Although some natural and alternative medicine proponents argue that taking certain digestive enzymes or supplements may improve fat digestion, there is not enough scientific evidence to support this claim.

Fat digestion is a complex process that takes time and requires a functioning liver, pancreas, stomach, and small intestine, as well as numerous digestive enzymes.

People who worry that they may not be properly digesting or absorbing fat should contact a doctor, as no home treatment can reliably improve fat digestion.

From the Mouth to the Stomach

There are four steps in the digestion process (Figure 2.5 “The Human Digestive System”). The first step is ingestion, which is the intake of food into the digestive tract. It may seem a simple process, but ingestion involves smelling food, thinking about food, and the involuntary release of saliva in the mouth to prepare for food entry. In the mouth, where the second step of digestion starts, the mechanical and chemical breakdown of food begins. The chemical breakdown of food involves enzymes, such as salivary amylase that starts the breakdown of large starch molecules into smaller components.

Mechanical breakdown starts with mastication (chewing) in the mouth. Teeth crush and grind large food particles, while saliva provides lubrication and enables food movement downward. The slippery mass of partially broken-down food is called a bolus, which moves down the digestive tract as you swallow. Swallowing may seem voluntary at first because it requires conscious effort to push the food with the tongue back toward the throat, but after this, swallowing proceeds involuntarily, meaning it cannot be stopped once it begins. As you swallow, the bolus is pushed from the mouth through the pharynx and into a muscular tube called the esophagus. As the bolus travels through the pharynx, a small flap called the epiglottis closes to prevent choking by keeping food from going into the trachea. Peristaltic contractions also known as peristalsis in the esophagus propel the food bolus down to the stomach (Figure 3.6 “Peristalsis in the Esophagus”). At the junction between the esophagus and stomach there is a sphincter muscle that remains closed until the food bolus approaches. The pressure of the food bolus stimulates the lower esophageal sphincter to relax and open and food then moves from the esophagus into the stomach. The mechanical breakdown of food is accentuated by the muscular contractions of the stomach and small intestine that mash, mix, slosh, and propel food down the alimentary canal. Solid food takes between four and eight seconds to travel down the esophagus, and liquids take about one second.

Figure 2.6 Peristalsis in the Esophagus

Chapter Notes: Nutrition and Digestive System, Class 10, Biology Class 10 Notes | EduRev


Nutrition is the process of acquiring energy and food materials. Nutrition is the provision, to cells and organisms, of the materials necessary (in the form of food) to support life. The human body contains chemical compounds, such as water, carbohydrates (sugar, starch, and fibre), amino acids (in proteins), fatty acids (in lipids), and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA). These compounds in turn consist of elements such as carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, manganese, and so on. All of these chemical compounds and elements occur in various forms and combinations (e.g. hormones, vitamins, phospholipids, hydroxyapatite), both in the human body and in the plant and animal organisms that humans eat.

What is Nutrient-A nutrient is a chemical that an organism needs to live and grow or a substance used in an organism's metabolism which must be taken in from its environment. They are used to build and repair tissues, regulate body processes and are converted to and used as energy.

Classification of Nutrient-: There are six major classes of nutrients- Carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, minerals, fats and water.


Nature- A Carbohydrate is an organic compound that consists only of Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen. It is divided into four chemical groupings: monosaccharide’s, disaccharides, oligosaccharides, and polysaccharides. For example, blood sugar is the monosaccharide glucose, table sugar is the disaccharide sucrose, and milk sugar is the disaccharide lactose.

Function- Carbohydrates perform numerous roles in living organisms. Polysaccharides serve for the storage of energy (e.g., starch and glycogen), and as structural components (e.g., cellulose in plants and chitin in arthropods). The 5-carbon monosaccharide ribose is an important component of coenzymes (e.g., ATP, FAD, and NAD) and the backbone of the genetic molecule known as RNA. The related deoxyribose is a component of DNA. Saccharides and their derivatives include many other important biomolecules that play key roles in the immune system, fertilization, preventing pathogenesis, blood clotting, and development.

Source-Starch (such as cereals, bread, and pasta) or simple carbohydrates, such as sugar (found in candy, jams, and desserts).

Fats consist of a wide group of compounds that are generally soluble in organic solvents and generally insoluble in water. Fats can be categorized into saturated fats and unsaturated fats.

Function-Fat provides needed energy. It is difficult to eat the large amounts of food in a very low fat diet to get all the energy you need.

  • Fat is needed to prevent essential fatty acid deficiency.
  • Fat is needed so your body can absorb the fat soluble vitamins A, S, E, K, and prevent deficiencies of these vitamins.
  • Fat provides flavor and texture to help prevent food from being bland and dry.
  • Fat may help your body produce endorphins (natural substances in the brain that produce pleasurable feelings).

Source- Mutton, Milk, Egg Etc. are rich in fat.

Just like vitamins, minerals help your body grow, develop, and stay healthy. The body uses minerals to perform many different functions — from building strong bones to transmitting nerve impulses. Some minerals are even used to make hormones or maintain a normal heartbeat.

Function-Minerals such as calcium, zinc and potassium are needed by the body for a number of processes such as breaking down, digesting and releasing energy from food, strengthening bones, nails and teeth and regulating fluid and cholesterol in the body. There are 16 essential minerals required by the body, which are divided into macro minerals, or minerals that are needed in fairly large quantities, micro minerals, which are needed in smaller quantities and trace elements, which are needed in minute quantities but which are still vital for the body's well-being.

The benefits of some minerals cannot be seen without the presence of certain minerals and vice versa, for example, vitamin D is required in order to absorb calcium and when foods containing vitamin C are consumed, iron is absorbed more efficiently. A short description of some important minerals has been given:-

Calcium is the top macro mineral when it comes to your bones. This mineral helps build strong bones, so you can do everything from standing up straight to scoring that winning goal. It also helps build strong, healthy teeth, for chomping on tasty food.

Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, canned salmon and sardines with bones, leafy

green vegetables, such as broccoli, calcium-fortified foods — from orange juice to cereals and

crackers are rich source of Calcium.

The body needs iron to transport oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. Your entire body

needs oxygen to stay healthy and alive. Iron helps because it's important in the formation of haemoglobin

(say: HEE-muh-glo-bun), which is the part of your red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the

body. Meat, especially red meat, such as beef, tuna and salmon, eggs, beans, baked potato with skins,

dried fruits, like raisins, leafy green vegetables, such as broccoli, whole and enriched grains, like wheat

or oats are examples of food which are rich in Iron.

Potassium keeps your muscles and nervous system working properly. Potassium helps make sure the

amount of water is just right between cells and body fluids.

Bananas, tomatoes, potatoes and sweet potatoes, with skins, green vegetables, such as spinach

and broccoli, citrus fruits, like oranges, low-fat milk and yogurt, legumes, such as beans, split

peas, and lentils are good source of Potassium.

Zinc helps your immune system, which is your body's system for fighting off illnesses and infections. It

also helps with cell growth and helps heal wounds, such as cuts. Beef, pork, and dark meat chicken, nuts,

such as cashews, almonds, and peanuts, legumes, such as beans, split peas, and lentils are rich source of

When people don't get enough of these important minerals, they can have health problems. For

instance, too little calcium — especially when you're a kid — can lead to weaker bones. Some kids may

take mineral supplements, but most kids don't need them if they eat a nutritious diet. So eat those

minerals and stay healthy!

Protein-Proteins are large biological molecules consisting of one or more chains of amino acids.

Function- Proteins perform a vast array of functions within living organisms, including

catalyzing metabolic reactions, replicating DNA, responding to stimuli, and transporting

molecules from one location to another.

Source-Meats, milk, fish and eggs, as well as in plant sources such as whole grains, pulses,

legumes, soy, fruits, nuts and seeds are good source of protein.

A Vitamin is an organic compound required by an organism as a vital nutrient in limited

amounts. An organic chemical compound (or related set of compounds) is called a vitamin

when it cannot be synthesized in sufficient quantities by an organism, and must be obtained

Function: Vitamins have diverse biochemical functions. Some have hormone-like functions as

regulators of mineral metabolism (such as vitamin D), or regulators of cell and tissue growth

and differentiation (such as some forms of vitamin A). Others function as antioxidants (e.g.,

vitamin E and sometimes vitamin C). The largest number of vitamins such as B complex vitamins

functions as precursors for enzyme cofactors that help enzymes in their work as catalysts in

Function- Water is a carrier, distributing essential nutrients to cells, such as minerals, vitamins

and glucose. Its five top functions are as following:-

2) Chemical and metabolic reactions,

4) Body temperature regulation,


The human digestive system is a complex series of organs and glands that processes food. In order to

consume the food we eat, our body has to break the food down into smaller molecules that it can

process it also has to excrete waste.

The digestive system is essentially a long, twisting tube that runs from the mouth to the anus, plus a few

other organs (like the liver and pancreas) that produce or store digestive chemicals.


The digestive process begins in the mouth. Food is partly broken down by the process of chewing and by

the chemical action of salivary enzymes (these enzymes are produced by the salivary glands and break

down starches into smaller molecules).


After being chewed and swallowed, the food enters the oesophagus. The oesophagus is a long tube that

runs from the mouth to the stomach. It uses rhythmic, wave-like muscle movements (called peristalsis)

to force food from the throat into the stomach.


The stomach is a large, sack-like organ that releases the gastric acid to digest the food. Food in the

stomach that is digested in the stomach and mixed with stomach acids is called chime.


After being in the stomach, food enters the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine. It then

enters the jejunum and then the ileum (the final part of the small intestine). In the small intestine, bile

(produced in the liver and stored in the gall bladder), pancreatic enzymes, and other digestive enzymes

produced by the inner wall of the small intestine help in the breakdown of food.


After passing through the small intestine, food passes into the large intestine. In the large intestine,

some of the water and electrolytes (chemicals like sodium) are removed from the food. Many

microbes (bacteria like Bactericides, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Escherichia coli, and Klebsiella) in

the large intestine help in the digestion process. The first part of the large intestine is called the

cecum (the appendix is connected to the cecum). Food then travels upward in the ascending

colon. The food travels across the abdomen in the transverse colon, goes back down the other

side of the body in the descending colon, and then through the sigmoid colon. Solid waste is

then stored in the rectum until it is excreted via the anus.

In general, enzymes are large protein-based molecules that help chemical reactions take place

faster than they otherwise would, explain Reginald Garrett and Charles Grisham in their book

"Biochemistry." Your body cells run a wide array of chemical reactions, nearly all of which are

enzyme-dependent. Specifically, digestive enzymes help you break down large nutrient

molecules in your food into smaller nutrient molecules that you can absorb.

Pepsin is secreted by the gastric glands and is responsible for breaking down proteins into

smaller pieces, called polypeptides. Pepsin is secreted in its inactive form, known as

pepsinogen, and is converted into its active form in the acidic environment of the stomach. The

acidic environment of the stomach also alters the shape of proteins, allowing pepsin access to

break the peptide bonds holding them together. Pepsin's role in breaking protein down into

polypeptides allows enzymes in the small intestines to further break down these polypeptides

into amino acids for use by the body, according to the University of Cincinnati Clermont

Protein digestion is initiated by pepsin in the stomach but is finished by proteases in the small

intestines. Proteases are secreted by the pancreas and function to break down polypeptides, or

broken down proteins, into amino acids -- the building blocks critical to life. Trypsin and

chymotrypsin are the two primary proteases secreted by the pancreas, according to Colorado

Bile is a digestive fluid primarily involved in the digestion of fats. Secreted by the liver and

stored in the gallbladder, bile is a complex mixture of bile acids, potassium and sodium,

cholesterol and bilirubin -- a byproduct from the breakdown of red blood cells. In the small

intestine, the bile acids break down dietary fat and fat-soluble vitamins into fatty acid

components, which can then be absorbed by the body. Bile acids are synthesized from

cholesterol and thus play a large role in the breakdown and elimination of cholesterol from the


 Abdomen - the part of the body that contains the digestive organs. In human beings,

this is between the diaphragm

 Pelvis alimentary canal - the passage through which food passes, including the mouth,

esophagus, stomach, intestines, and anus.

 Anus - the opening at the end of the digestive system from which feces (waste) exits the

 Appendix - a small sac located on the cecum.

 Ascending colon - the part of the large intestine that run upwards it is located after the

 Bile - a digestive chemical that is produced in the liver, stored in the gall bladder, and

secreted into the small intestine.

 Cecum - the first part of the large intestine the appendix is connected to the cecum.

 Chyme - food in the stomach that is partly digested and mixed with stomach acids.

Chyme goes on to the small intestine for further digestion.

 Descending colon - the part of the large intestine that run downwards after the

transverse colon and before the sigmoid colon.

 Digestive system - (also called the gastrointestinal tract or gi tract) the system of the

body that processes food and gets rid of waste.

 Duodenum - the first part of the small intestine it is c-shaped and runs from the

 Epiglottis - the flap at the back of the tongue that keeps chewed food from going down

the windpipe to the lungs. When you swallow, the epiglottis automatically closes.

When you breathe, the epiglottis opens so that air can go in and out of the windpipe.

 Esophagus - the long tube between the mouth and the stomach. It uses rhythmic

muscle movements (called peristalsis) to force food from the throat into the stomach.

 Gall bladder - a small, sac-like organ located by the duodenum. It stores and releases

bile (a digestive chemical which is produced in the liver) into the small intestine.

 Gastrointestinal tract - (also called the GI tract or digestive system) the system of the

body that processes food and gets rid of waste.

 Ileum - the last part of the small intestine before the large intestine begins.

 Intestines - the part of the alimentary canal located between the stomach and the anus.

 Jejunum - the long, coiled mid-section of the small intestine it is between the

 Liver - a large organ located above and in front of the stomach. It filters toxins from the

blood, and makes bile (which breaks down fats) and some blood proteins.

 Mouth - the first part of the digestive system, where food enters the body. Chewing and

salivary enzymes in the mouth are the beginning of the digestive process (breaking

 Pancreas - an enzyme-producing gland located below the stomach and above the

intestines. Enzymes from the pancreas help in the digestion of carbohydrates, fats and

proteins in the small intestine.

 Peristalsis - rhythmic muscle movements that force food in the oesophagus from the

throat into the stomach. Peristalsis is involuntary - you cannot control it. It is also what

allows you to eat and drink while upside-down.

 Rectum - the lower part of the large intestine, where faces are stored before they are

 Salivary glands - glands located in the mouth that produce saliva. Saliva contains

enzymes that break down carbohydrates (starch) into smaller molecules.

 Sigmoid colon - the part of the large intestine between the descending colon and the

 Stomach - a sack-like, muscular organ that is attached to the oesophagus. Both chemical

and mechanical digestion takes place in the stomach. When food enters the stomach, it

is churned in a bath of acids and enzymes.

 Transverse colon - the part of the large intestine that runs horizontally across the

From the Small Intestine to the Large Intestine

The process of digestion is fairly efficient. Any food that is still incompletely broken down (usually less than ten percent of food consumed) and the food’s indigestible fiber content move from the small intestine to the large intestine (colon) through a connecting valve. A main task of the large intestine is to absorb much of the remaining water. Remember, water is present not only in solid foods and beverages, but also the stomach releases a few hundred milliliters of gastric juice, and the pancreas adds approximately 500 milliliters during the digestion of the meal. For the body to conserve water, it is important that excessive water is not lost in fecal matter. In the large intestine, no further chemical or mechanical breakdown of food takes place unless it is accomplished by the bacteria that inhabit this portion of the intestinal tract. The number of bacteria residing in the large intestine is estimated to be greater than 1014, which is more than the total number of cells in the human body (1013). This may seem rather unpleasant, but the great majority of bacteria in the large intestine are harmless and many are even beneficial.

Iodine deficiency during pregnancy can have a negative impact on fetal growth and development, possibly leading to brain and central nervous system damage. Low intakes of iodine can also cause hypothyroidism and goiter, which is an enlarged thyroid gland in the neck. The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine sets the dietary reference intake for adults at 150 micrograms per day. Women who are pregnant need 220 mcg per day, and women who are breastfeeding need 290 mcg per day.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, iodine supplements are used to prevent goiter, help treat fibrocystic breast disease and reduce the risk of thyroid cancer after radiation exposure. Iodine might interact with anti-thyroid drugs, lithium and warfarin. High doses might damage the thyroid gland and increase your risk of thyroid diseases. Speak to your doctor before taking iodine supplements.

Iodine is a trace mineral that is naturally found in the human body and is also derived from food sources such as dairy products, kelp, haddock, cod, perch and sea bass. In the United States, table salt is typically fortified with iodine. Multivitamins and potassium iodide supplements also serve as sources of this mineral. In rare cases, overconsumption of iodine can lead to toxicity.

Conclusion and future directions

Recent discoveries in the structure and function of the microbiome suggested that diet may have a direct impact on the intestinal microbiota and human or animal health status, and disruptions of microbe–man relationships may result in different disease states, including chronic inflammation, autoimmunity and neurological disorders.

Probiotics have been proposed as preventive and therapeutic measures, in order to restore the healthy composition and function of the gut microbiome. However, data from human microbiome studies may lead to identification of novel indigenous microbial species and tools to positively induce alterations in the gut microbial communities. Well-designed experiments in appropriate experimental models (in vitro or in vivo) may yield insights into the biology and potential manipulation of the microbiome in the human host. Metagenomic, metatranscriptomic and metabonomics can be deployed to globally examine interactions between probiotics, intestinal microbes and the mammalian gastrointestinal tract. New types of probiotics or medicinal compounds derived from the microbiome may be used as future strategies to promote health, prevent disease, and treat different disorders.

How to use Prebiothrive?

Prebiothrive supplements are available in powder form and you would like to mix them with a few different liquids. It is easy and quite simple to use. A dose-measuring device is included in the package.

To experience the full benefits of PrebioThrive, you can preferably use this prebiotic supplement every morning by mixing it in a glass of water or any other beverage of your choice. Take one scoop of prebiothrive every day with a drink or combination drink, ideally with probiotics to create a symbiotic effect. Always use it for the best results.

Top 10 Secrets To Alkalizing The Body For Radiant Health

Dr. Robert Young author of "The pH Miracle: Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health" has shown that fat is actually an over-acidification problem. What does that mean?

The body creates fat cells to carry acids away from your vital organs, so these acids literally don't choke your organs to death. Fat is saving your life! Fat is actually a response from the body to an alarming over-acidic condition.

Here are some aspects regarding pH, you may find useful. The body’s pH is measured on a scale of 0 – 14. Midrange at 7 is where the pH is balanced.

Anything below 7 is acidic and a state where your body does not function as designed. Above 7 is called Alkaline. Alkaline is the state in which your body thrives. Disease cannot live in an alkaline environment.

With that said: when you remove acid toxins from your body, you will:

Flush fat fast, resulting in easy weight loss, muscle mass gain, watch your skin glow and enjoy maximum energy all day, everyday.

Here’s how to rid your body of that over-acidic state:

Alkalizing Secret #1 -- Drink Pure Alkaline Water – lots of it! Pure water meaning water that is filtered. At a minimum, you should be drinking 7 ounces of water for every 10 lbs of your body weight. So, if you weigh 130lbs, you need to drink a minimum of 91 ounces of pure water (that’s about 3 liters).

The finest choice is a Jupiter alkaline ionization unit (see below) If you don’t have this resource available, distilled water is a great choice. Otherwise, an alkaline water pitcher (see below) is the next best option.

Alkaline water means water with a pH over 7.5. Alkaline water adds oxygen to your water and helps to neutralize acids. A simple way to alkalize your water is with a dash of baking soda. There are also wonderful alkalizing agents you can purchase to buffer and alkalize the water.

(P.S. Avoid: coffee, black tea and sodas. – These drinks are highly acidic and do not count towards your daily water intake)

Alkalizing Secret #2 --- Eat Celery . This is one of the most alkaline foods you can eat. It quickly neutralizes acids. Eat it before, after or during a meal. Celery is so high in water content that is also works as an excellent thirst quencher. Celery is excellent for digestion.

Alkalizing Secret #3 -- Eat Green Salads – forget the cheese and croutons! Always have a green salad on hand.

Make a huge salad every 3 days and keep it in your fridge to make it very easy to alkalize your body. Some greens that have the highest water content are: cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, celery, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, cauliflower, carrots, and onions.

A great dressing would be cold pressed extra virgin olive oil with some lemon juice. Keep this in a bowl in your fridge (tip: add cucumbers and tomatoes right before eating). Eat a HUGE salad before or with every meal!

Alkalizing Secret #4 - Switch from cow’s milk, to almond, soy, or rice milk. Cows milk has shown to produce an abundance of mucous in the human body. There are also few adults who can metabolize the protein in cow’s milk properly.

This protein, casein, is what a cow’s metabolism needs for proper health, not for a human beings health. Also note that most dairy cows are injected with hormones such as the Bovine Growth Hormone to increase their milk production.

Many of these hormones have potentially serious side effects that can be passed on when consumed. Almond, soy and or rice milk are excellent alternatives to dairy. They are well worth trying out.

Alkalizing Secret #5 – Avoid artificial sweeteners! This includes: NutraSweet, Sucralose, Aspartame, Saccharin . Not only are these acidic they also have other highly detrimental effects on the nervous system and neurological disease. Saccharin even tells you right on the package that it may cause cancer.

There is one natural sugar substitute that has had no reported side effects: Stevia.

Alkalizing Secret #6 - Eat a grapefruit in the morning wait 15 minutes before ingesting a carb or protein. Grapefruit, similar to lemons, is also alkalizing when ingested. Some people believe grapefruit to be a miracle fruit and I tend to support that group.

This recommendation applies to eating any fruit – fruit shouldn’t be combined with any other food type. Once eaten, wait 15 before consuming any other food type ie: protein or carbohydrate).

Alkalizing Secret #7 - Eliminate consumption of red meat, pork, lamb substitute chicken, turkey or fresh fish in small quantities. Red meats, pork and lamb are highly acidic a very low water content, not to mention being hard on the digestive system.

If you must have meat, opt for chicken or turkey. Fresh wild fish is another excellent route to take.

Alkalizing Secret #8 - Reduce stress daily by adding yoga, tai chi, meditation, and proper breathing. An additional factor that adds to acidosis (acidic bodies) is stress. When the body moves into stress mode the digestive system shuts down and toxins cease to be eliminated.

Thus, the more toxins you keep in your system, the more the body will store them away (acids) in fat cells! Anything we can do to calm the mind/body will have a huge impact on alkalizing the body.

Alkalizing Secret #9 - Drink a top quality super green supplement. : Organic super greens are known to be some of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. They infuse the body with easily absorbed vitamins, minerals, amino acids chlorophyll, enzymes, phytonutients and alkaline salts that help neutralize acids in the blood and tissues.

Alkalizing Secret #10 – Minimize/Avoid . processed and refined foods. That means anything made with white flour and white sugar or food coloring. Our bodies were not designed to digest these chemicals and so it must do one of three things:

1. Eliminate them (if you are not hydrating properly this is very hard to do) or

2. Neutralize them by pulling alkaline buffers where it can – like from your bones leaching calcium, or from your blood, leaching iron. Or:

3. Park them away (in fat cells). Bottom line here – stay away from processed food as much as possible.

In Summary: If you will start out by going down the list of tips and add one secret each day, there’s a tremendous possibility that you will be amazed with what you experience. Simply increasing the amount and type of water you drink can and often will be a HUGE shift in how you feel.

Let me tell you – it only gets better! And remember the name of the game is progress not perfection. Be gentle with yourself – for many people, these secrets represent a huge life change. I urge you to educate yourself on pH balance with the acid/alkaline dance.

Note: The information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat an illness.

By Dawn Sanders : Dawn Sanders, pH Weight Loss Coach, is results oriented having learned on a personal level the magic of balancing the body’s pH for weight loss and for an extraordinary life. She follows Dr. Robert Young’s “pH Miracle” and “The New Biology”. Visit her website at:

More on Acidic-Alkaline Balance.

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BIO 140 - Human Biology I - Textbook

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Chapter 5

Nutrition and Diet

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Explain how different foods can affect metabolism
  • Describe a healthy diet, as recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • List reasons why vitamins and minerals are critical to a healthy diet

The carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins in the foods you eat are used for energy to power molecular, cellular, and organ system activities. Importantly, the energy is stored primarily as fats. The quantity and quality of food that is ingested, digested, and absorbed affects the amount of fat that is stored as excess calories. Diet&mdashboth what you eat and how much you eat&mdashhas a dramatic impact on your health. Eating too much or too little food can lead to serious medical issues, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, anorexia, and diabetes, among others. Combine an unhealthy diet with unhealthy environmental conditions, such as smoking, and the potential medical complications increase significantly.

Food and Metabolism

The amount of energy that is needed or ingested per day is measured in calories. The nutritional Calorie (C) is the amount of heat it takes to raise 1 kg (1000 g) of water by 1 °C. This is different from the calorie (c) used in the physical sciences, which is the amount of heat it takes to raise 1 g of water by 1 °C. When we refer to "calorie," we are referring to the nutritional Calorie.

On average, a person needs 1500 to 2000 calories per day to sustain (or carry out) daily activities. The total number of calories needed by one person is dependent on their body mass, age, height, gender, activity level, and the amount of exercise per day. If exercise is regular part of one&rsquos day, more calories are required. As a rule, people underestimate the number of calories ingested and overestimate the amount they burn through exercise. This can lead to ingestion of too many calories per day. The accumulation of an extra 3500 calories adds one pound of weight. If an excess of 200 calories per day is ingested, one extra pound of body weight will be gained every 18 days. At that rate, an extra 20 pounds can be gained over the course of a year. Of course, this increase in calories could be offset by increased exercise. Running or jogging one mile burns almost 100 calories.

The type of food ingested also affects the body&rsquos metabolic rate. Processing of carbohydrates requires less energy than processing of proteins. In fact, the breakdown of carbohydrates requires the least amount of energy, whereas the processing of proteins demands the most energy. In general, the amount of calories ingested and the amount of calories burned determines the overall weight. To lose weight, the number of calories burned per day must exceed the number ingested. Calories are in almost everything you ingest, so when considering calorie intake, beverages must also be considered.

To help provide guidelines regarding the types and quantities of food that should be eaten every day, the USDA has updated their food guidelines from MyPyramid to MyPlate. They have put the recommended elements of a healthy meal into the context of a place setting of food. MyPlate categorizes food into the standard six food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, dairy, and oils. The accompanying website gives clear recommendations regarding quantity and type of each food that you should consume each day, as well as identifying which foods belong in each category. The accompanying graphic (Figure 1) gives a clear visual with general recommendations for a healthy and balanced meal. The guidelines recommend to &ldquoMake half your plate fruits and vegetables.&rdquo The other half is grains and protein, with a slightly higher quantity of grains than protein. Dairy products are represented by a drink, but the quantity can be applied to other dairy products as well.

Figure 1. The U.S. Department of Agriculture developed food guidelines called MyPlate to help demonstrate how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. provides extensive online resources for planning a healthy diet and lifestyle, including offering weight management tips and recommendations for physical activity. It also includes the SuperTracker, a web-based application to help you analyze your own diet and physical activity.

Everyday Connections

Metabolism and Obesity Obesity in the United States is epidemic. The rate of obesity has been steadily rising since the 1980s. In the 1990s, most states reported that less than 10 percent of their populations was obese, and the state with the highest rate reported that only 15 percent of their population was considered obese. By 2010, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that nearly 36 percent of adults over 20 years old were obese and an additional 33 percent were overweight, leaving only about 30 percent of the population at a healthy weight. These studies find the highest levels of obesity are concentrated in the southern states. They also find the level of childhood obesity is rising.

Obesity is defined by the body mass index (BMI) , which is a measure of an individual&rsquos weight-to-height ratio. The normal, or healthy, BMI range is between 18 and 24.9 kg/m 2 . Overweight is defined as a BMI of 25 to 29.9 kg/m 2 , and obesity is considered to be a BMI greater than 30 kg/m 2 . Obesity can arise from a number of factors, including overeating, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, limited sleep, genetic factors, and even diseases or drugs. Severe obesity (morbid obesity) or long-term obesity can result in serious medical conditions, including coronary heart disease type 2 diabetes endometrial, breast, or colon cancer hypertension (high blood pressure) dyslipidemia (high cholesterol or elevated triglycerides) stroke liver disease gall bladder disease sleep apnea or respiratory diseases osteoarthritis and infertility. Research has shown that losing weight can help reduce or reverse the complications associated with these conditions.


Vitamins are organic compounds found in foods and are a necessary part of the biochemical reactions in the body. They are involved in a number of processes, including mineral and bone metabolism, and cell and tissue growth, and they act as cofactors for energy metabolism. The B vitamins play the largest role of any vitamins in metabolism ( Table and Table ).

You get most of your vitamins through your diet, although some can be formed from the precursors absorbed during digestion. For example, the body synthesizes vitamin A from the &beta-carotene in orange vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes. Vitamins are either fat-soluble or water-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, are absorbed through the intestinal tract with lipids in chylomicrons. Vitamin D is also synthesized in the skin through exposure to sunlight. Because they are carried in lipids, fat-soluble vitamins can accumulate in the lipids stored in the body. If excess vitamins are retained in the lipid stores in the body, hypervitaminosis can result.

Water-soluble vitamins, including the eight B vitamins and vitamin C, are absorbed with water in the gastrointestinal tract. These vitamins move easily through bodily fluids, which are water based, so they are not stored in the body. Excess water-soluble vitamins are excreted in the urine. Therefore, hypervitaminosis of water-soluble vitamins rarely occurs, except with an excess of vitamin supplements.

Table 1. Fat-soluble Vitamins

Vitamin and alternative name Sources Recommended daily allowance Function Problems associated with deficiency
retinal or &beta-carotene
Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, dark green leafy vegetables, eggs, milk, liver 700&ndash900 µg Eye and bone development, immune function Night blindness, epithelial changes, immune system deficiency
Dairy products, egg yolks also synthesized in the skin from exposure to sunlight 5&ndash15 µg Aids in calcium absorption, promoting bone growth Rickets, bone pain, muscle weakness, increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, asthma in children, cancer
Seeds, nuts, vegetable oils, avocados, wheat germ 15 mg Antioxidant Anemia
Dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage 90&ndash120 µg Blood clotting, bone health Hemorrhagic disease of newborn in infants uncommon in adults

Table 2. Water-soluble Vitamins

Vitamin and alternative name Sources Recommended daily allowance Function Problems associated with deficiency
Whole grains, enriched bread and cereals, milk, meat 1.1&ndash1.2 mg Carbohydrate metabolism Beriberi, Wernicke-Korsikoff syndrome
Brewer&rsquos yeast, almonds, milk, organ meats, legumes, enriched breads and cereals, broccoli, asparagus 1.1&ndash1.3 mg Synthesis of FAD for metabolism, production of red blood cells Fatigue, slowed growth, digestive problems, light sensitivity, epithelial problems like cracks in the corners of the mouth
Meat, fish, poultry, enriched breads and cereals, peanuts 14&ndash16 mg Synthesis of NAD, nerve function, cholesterol production Cracked, scaly skin dementia diarrhea also known as pellagra
pantothenic acid
Meat, poultry, potatoes, oats, enriched breads and cereals, tomatoes 5 mg Synthesis of coenzyme A in fatty acid metabolism Rare: symptoms may include fatigue, insomnia, depression, irritability
Potatoes, bananas, beans, seeds, nuts, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dark green leafy vegetables, soy, organ meats 1.3&ndash1.5 mg Sodium and potassium balance, red blood cell synthesis, protein metabolism Confusion, irritability, depression, mouth and tongue sores
Liver, fruits, meats 30 µg Cell growth, metabolism of fatty acids, production of blood cells Rare in developed countries symptoms include dermatitis, hair loss, loss of muscular coordination
folic acid
Liver, legumes, dark green leafy vegetables, enriched breads and cereals, citrus fruits 400 µg DNA/protein synthesis Poor growth, gingivitis, appetite loss, shortness of breath, gastrointestinal problems, mental deficits
Fish, meat, poultry, dairy products, eggs 2.4 µg Fatty acid oxidation, nerve cell function, red blood cell production Pernicious anemia, leading to nerve cell damage
ascorbic acid
Citrus fruits, red berries, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, dark green leafy vegetables 75&ndash90 mg Necessary to produce collagen for formation of connective tissue and teeth, and for wound healing Dry hair, gingivitis, bleeding gums, dry and scaly skin, slow wound healing, easy bruising, compromised immunity can lead to scurvy


Minerals in food are inorganic compounds that work with other nutrients to ensure the body functions properly. Minerals cannot be made in the body they come from the diet. The amount of minerals in the body is small&mdashonly 4 percent of the total body mass&mdashand most of that consists of the minerals that the body requires in moderate quantities: potassium, sodium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and chloride.

The most common minerals in the body are calcium and phosphorous, both of which are stored in the skeleton and necessary for the hardening of bones. Most minerals are ionized, and their ionic forms are used in physiological processes throughout the body. Sodium and chloride ions are electrolytes in the blood and extracellular tissues, and iron ions are critical to the formation of hemoglobin. There are additional trace minerals that are still important to the body&rsquos functions, but their required quantities are much lower.

Like vitamins, minerals can be consumed in toxic quantities (although it is rare). A healthy diet includes most of the minerals your body requires, so supplements and processed foods can add potentially toxic levels of minerals. Table and Table provide a summary of minerals and their function in the body.

Table 3. Major Minerals

Mineral Sources Recommended daily allowance Function Problems associated with deficiency
Potassium Meats, some fish, fruits, vegetables, legumes, dairy products 4700 mg Nerve and muscle function acts as an electrolyte Hypokalemia: weakness, fatigue, muscle cramping, gastrointestinal problems, cardiac problems
Sodium Table salt, milk, beets, celery, processed foods 2300 mg Blood pressure, blood volume, muscle and nerve function Rare
Calcium Dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables, blackstrap molasses, nuts, brewer&rsquos yeast, some fish 1000 mg Bone structure and health nerve and muscle functions, especially cardiac function Slow growth, weak and brittle bones
Phosphorous Meat, milk 700 mg Bone formation, metabolism, ATP production Rare
Magnesium Whole grains, nuts, leafy green vegetables 310&ndash420 mg Enzyme activation, production of energy, regulation of other nutrients Agitation, anxiety, sleep problems, nausea and vomiting, abnormal heart rhythms, low blood pressure, muscular problems
Chloride Most foods, salt, vegetables, especially seaweed, tomatoes, lettuce, celery, olives 2300 mg Balance of body fluids, digestion Loss of appetite, muscle cramps

Table 4. Trace Minerals

Mineral Sources Recommended daily allowance Function Problems associated with deficiency
Iron Meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, dark leafy green vegetables 8&ndash18 mg Transport of oxygen in blood, production of ATP Anemia, weakness, fatigue
Zinc Meat, fish, poultry, cheese, shellfish 8&ndash11 mg Immunity, reproduction, growth, blood clotting, insulin and thyroid function Loss of appetite, poor growth, weight loss, skin problems, hair loss, vision problems, lack of taste or smell
Copper Seafood, organ meats, nuts, legumes, chocolate, enriched breads and cereals, some fruits and vegetables 900 µg Red blood cell production, nerve and immune system function, collagen formation, acts as an antioxidant Anemia, low body temperature, bone fractures, low white blood cell concentration, irregular heartbeat, thyroid problems
Iodine Fish, shellfish, garlic, lima beans, sesame seeds, soybeans, dark leafy green vegetables 150 µg Thyroid function Hypothyroidism: fatigue, weight gain, dry skin, temperature sensitivity
Sulfur Eggs, meat, poultry, fish, legumes None Component of amino acids Protein deficiency
Fluoride Fluoridated water 3&ndash4 mg Maintenance of bone and tooth structure Increased cavities, weak bones and teeth
Manganese Nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes 1.8&ndash2.3 mg Formation of connective tissue and bones, blood clotting, sex hormone development, metabolism, brain and nerve function Infertility, bone malformation, weakness, seizures
Cobalt Fish, nuts, leafy green vegetables, whole grains None Component of B12 None
Selenium Brewer&rsquos yeast, wheat germ, liver, butter, fish, shellfish, whole grains 55 µg Antioxidant, thyroid function, immune system function Muscle pain
Chromium Whole grains, lean meats, cheese, black pepper, thyme, brewer&rsquos yeast 25&ndash35 µg Insulin function High blood sugar, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels
Molybdenum Legumes, whole grains, nuts 45 µg Cofactor for enzymes Rare

Chapter Review

Nutrition and diet affect your metabolism. More energy is required to break down fats and proteins than carbohydrates however, all excess calories that are ingested will be stored as fat in the body. On average, a person requires 1500 to 2000 calories for normal daily activity, although routine exercise will increase that amount. If you ingest more than that, the remainder is stored for later use. Conversely, if you ingest less than that, the energy stores in your body will be depleted. Both the quantity and quality of the food you eat affect your metabolism and can affect your overall health. Eating too much or too little can result in serious medical conditions, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Vitamins and minerals are essential parts of the diet. They are needed for the proper function of metabolic pathways in the body. Vitamins are not stored in the body, so they must be obtained from the diet or synthesized from precursors available in the diet. Minerals are also obtained from the diet, but they are also stored, primarily in skeletal tissues.