Both vitamins and minerals are essential in the diet in small quantities. The term ‘vitamin’ was not coined until early in the 20th century, to describe those chemicals in food without which a pattern of deficiency symptoms (often called a deficiency syndrome) occurs. Minerals, also called mineral elements, are those elements other than carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen that are found in the body.

This free course, Nutrition: Vitamins and minerals, looks at the two main groups of vitamins: the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, and the water-soluble vitamins, those of the B group (numbered B1, B2, etc.) and vitamin C. It also examines the major mineral elements, and the importance of fluid balance in the body.

Learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • Understand certain minerals are required in the body and that some minerals form essential structural components of tissues
  • Understand that sodium, potassium, calcium and chloride ions are important in maintaining the correct composition of cells and of the tissue fluids around them (homeostasis)
  • Understand that some minerals are essential components of important molecules such as hormones and enzymes
  • Understand that the correct fluid balance is essential for normal functioning of the body
  • Understand that tapwater, and not just mineral water, contains minerals.

Course Curriculum

1. Vitamins
Introduction to vitamins and why we need them 01:30:00
Vitamin A 01:30:00
Vitamin D 01:30:00
Vitamin E 01:30:00
Vitamin K 01:30:00
Vitamin B 01:30:00
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) 01:30:00
2. Minerals and fluids
Introduction to minerals and why we need them 01:30:00
Major minerals 01:30:00
Calcium (Ca) 01:30:00
Phosphorus (P), magnesium (Mg) and sulphur (S) 01:30:00
Sodium (Na), chlorine (Cl) and potassium (K) 01:30:00
Trace elements 01:30:00
Fluorine (F) 01:30:00
Iodine (I) 01:30:00
Iron (Fe) 01:30:00
Selenium (Se) and Zinc (Zn) 01:30:00
Fluid balance 01:30:00
Acknowledgements – Vitamins 00:10:00
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