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Inorganic Nutrients

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What are Nutrients?

IVSAT 2024

A nutrient is a substance that an organism requires in order to survive, grow, and reproduce. Animals, fungi, plants, as well as protists, must all consume dietary nutrients. Nutrients can be incorporated into cells for metabolic purposes, or they can be metabolised by cells to form non-cellular formations such as hair, scales, feathers, or exoskeletons.

Some nutrients, like carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and fermented products (ethanol or vinegar), can be metabolically transformed into smaller molecules in the process of releasing energy, resulting in end-products of water and carbon dioxide. Water is required by all organisms. Energy sources, some of the amino acids which are combined to form proteins, a subset of fatty acids, vitamin supplements, and certain minerals are all essential nutrients for animals.

Plants require a broader range of minerals absorbed through their roots, as well as carbon dioxide and oxygen absorbed through their leaves. Fungi feed on dead or living organic matter to meet their host's nutrient requirements.

Organic Nutrients

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Organic nutrients are the foundations for various cell components that some organisms cannot synthesise and must therefore obtain preformed. Carbohydrates, protein, and lipids are examples of these compounds. Other organic nutrients involve vitamins, which are needed in small amounts due to either their catalytic or regulatory contribution in metabolism.

Inorganic Nutrients

A variety of inorganic elements (minerals) are required for the development of living things. Boron, for example, has been shown to be necessary for the growth of many—possibly all—higher plants but has not been indicted as an essential component in the nutrition of microbes or animals. Fluorine traces (as fluoride) are unquestionably beneficial, if not essential, for proper tooth formation in higher animals.

Similarly, animals require iodine (as iodide) for the formation of thyroxine, the active form of an important regulatory hormone. Silicon (as silicate) is an important component of the outer skeletons of diatomaceous protozoans and other organisms, and it is required for normal growth. The need for silicon is much lower in higher animals.

Calcium is a less obvious example of a specialised mineral requirement; it is required in relatively large amounts by higher animals because it is a major component of bone and eggshells (in birds); calcium is an essential nutrient but only as a trace element for other organisms. Mineral elements of various types are present in trace amounts in almost all foods. It can't be assumed that non-essential mineral elements don't play a role in metabolism.


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Let’s know what carbohydrates are! Carbohydrates synthesised by plants are the most important nutrients in terms of quantity, as they provide the majority of the energy used by the animal kingdom. Sugars in mature fruit attract birds and other small animals. The seed coats in the fruit survive their rapid passage through the guts of these animals, scattering the plant's still viable seeds widely. Sucrose accumulates in the stems of sugarcane and the roots of sugar beet, acting as an energy reserve for each plant; both are used in the industrial production of table sugar.

Organic vs Inorganic Nutrients

The distinction is in "how" and "when" the plants absorb these nutrients. Using inorganic nutrients is akin to inserting an IV line into your plants' veins. Those nutrients are immediately available and are absorbed by the plant regardless of whether it requires or desires them at the time. Inorganic nutrients bypass the growing medium and reach the plant directly.

Organic nutrients follow nature's slower processes. Once in the soil, organic nutrients require/take time to degrade. Organic nutrients require the assistance of microbe life to break down organic material and make nutrients available. Once available, the plant will consume the nutrients as needed.

Organic nutrients feed the soil, which in turn feeds the plant. Inorganic nutrients are directly absorbed by the plant. There is a significant difference.

Inorganic Micronutrients

Vitamins and minerals, in general, are referred to as micronutrients. Macronutrients include proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.

In comparison to macronutrients, your body requires fewer micronutrients. That is why they are referred to as "micro." Humans must obtain micronutrients from food because, for the most part, your body cannot produce vitamins and minerals. That is why they are also known as essential nutrients.

Vitamins are organic compounds produced by plants and animals that are degraded by heat, acid, or air. Minerals, on the other hand, are inorganic and can only be found in soil or water. When you eat, you consume the vitamins produced by plants and animals, as well as the minerals they absorb.

Because the micronutrient content of each food varies, it is best to eat a variety of foods to ensure adequate vitamin and mineral intake. A sufficient intake of all micronutrients is required for optimal health, as each vitamin and mineral serves a specific function in your body.

Vitamins and minerals are essential for growth, immune function, brain development, and a variety of other processes. Certain micronutrients, depending on their function, also play a role in disease prevention and treatment.

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FAQs on Inorganic Nutrients

1. Are Vitamins Organic or Inorganic? What Makes Nutrients Organic?

Answer: Vitamins are organic substances (created by plants or animals), whereas minerals are inorganic elements derived from soil and water and absorbed by plants or consumed by animals. Some minerals, such as calcium, are required in greater quantities by your body in order to grow and maintain health.

Let's take a look at what makes a vitamin organic. Natural or organic vitamins, as the name implies, are derived from plant material that naturally contains the vitamin being supplemented. Vitamin E, for example, is derived from vegetable oils, and vitamin C is found in oranges and several other plants.

2. Are Minerals Organic or Inorganic?

Answer: Minerals are inorganic molecules derived from the earth that are also known as elements. Although inorganic minerals can be incorporated into the organic tissue, they ultimately return to the earth as inorganic minerals when excreted by the animal or as ash whenever the animal is buried or cremated.

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