Nutrients required to give birth to HEALTHY CHILD - 4

Nutrients required to give birth to Healthy child 4

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Main Functions

80% of the phosphorus in the body is present as calcium salts in the skeleton.

Calcium is the main constituent of hydroxyapatite, the principal mineral in bones and teeth. An adequate calcium intake is vital to health, particularly in times of growth, e.g. childhood, adolescence, pregnancy, and also during lactation.

Deficiency of calcium in bones can result from an inadequate supply of vitamin D, which is essential for its absorption. This condition is known as rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.
Iron is required for the formation of haemoglobin in red blood cells, which transport oxygen around the body.

A lack of iron leads to lower iron stores in the body and eventually to iron deficiency anaemia. Low iron status is associated with poor physical and mental performance.
Iodine is used to make thyroid hormones, which control many metabolic activities.

Lethargy and swelling of the thyroid gland in the neck to form a goitre. Nowadays this is rare in the UK. Infants born of severely iodine deficient mothers may be mentally retarded (cretinism).
It protects DNA, protein and lipid in cells against oxidation.

Keshan disease (type of heart disease).
Essential for growth, sexual maturation and immunity. Involved in enzyme activity and taste perception.

Dietary deficiency is rare; may cause delayed puberty and retarded growth.


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