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Vitamins - Minerals - Acids - Herbs
dietary supplement is intended to supply nutrients such as vitamins,
minerals, fatty acids, and herbal supplements that are missing
or not consumed in sufficient quantity. Dietary supplement regulations
require labeling as "dietary supplement" ensuring supplements
are not misrepresented as a food, meal or diet. A dietary supplement
must have one or more of the following ingredients:
An essential amino acid is an amino acid that cannot be synthesized
and therefore must be supplied in the diet. All essential amino
acids may be obtained from plant sources, and even strict vegetarian
diets can provide all dietary requirements, although most vegetarians
may not be so thorough. Nine amino acids are generally regarded
as essential for humans.
Vitamins are organic compounds that are required in tiny amounts
for essential metabolic reactions in a living organism. Vitamins
are bio-molecules that act both as catalysts and substrates in
chemical reactions. When acting as a catalyst, vitamins are bound
to enzymes and are called cofactors. Vitamins also act as coenzymes
to carry chemical groups between enzymes. Until the 1900s, vitamins
were obtained solely through food intake, and changes in diet
could alter the types and amounts of vitamins ingested. Vitamins
have been produced as commodity chemicals allowing supplementation
of the dietary intake.
Dietary minerals are the chemical elements required by living
organisms, other than the four elements carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen,
and oxygen. Some dieticians recommend ingesting specific foods
that are enriched. Sometimes these "minerals" come from
natural sources such as ground oyster shells. Sometimes minerals
are added to the diet separately from food, such as mineral supplements,
the most famous being iodine in "iodized salt." Dietary
minerals classified as "macro mineral" are required
in relatively large amounts and "micro minerals"
or "trace minerals" are required relatively in minute
Herbs are seed-bearing plants without woody stems, which die down
to the ground after flowering. They have a variety of uses including
the green, leafy part of the plant, but herbal medicine makes
use of the roots, flowers, seeds, root bark, inner bark, berries
or other portions. Some herbs contain phytochemicals that when
consumed in small quantities can be healthy, yet in large quantities
can be toxic to the liver.
Vegetarianism and Veganism
is the practice of not consuming any animals. Many vegetarians
also choose to refrain from wearing clothing that has involved
the death of animals, such as leather and fur. Veganism excludes
all animal products from diet whether or not the production of
clothing or items has involved the actual death of an animal including
dairy, eggs, honey, wool, silk and down feathers.
There are a variety of different practices of
is a diet of only fruit, nuts, seeds, and other plant matter
that can be gathered without harming the plant.
- Macrobiotic Diet
is a diet of mostly whole grains and beans. Not all macrobiotics
are vegetarians as some consume fish.
- Raw Veganism
is a diet of fresh and uncooked fruit, nuts, seeds, and vegetables.
- Dietary Veganism
is where vegans don't use animal products of any kind, dietary
vegans restrict their veganism to their diet.
- Pescetarianism is
a diet in which the only animals consumed are fish or other
is a diet in which the only animals consumed are fowl.
is a diet that consists primarily of vegetarian food, but
that allows occasional exceptions.
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