Water

Water makes up the last class of nutrients, though the fact that it is considered a nutrient is surprising to many people. Water, however, has many necessary functions in the human body. Some of its actions include its use as a solvent (a substance that other substances dissolve in), as a lubricant, as a conduction system for transportation of vital nutrients and unnecessary waste, and as a mode of temperature regulation.

There are many available sources of water other than tap water and bottled water. Some foods have a high water content, including many fruits and vegetables. In addition, the body can make small amounts of water from various metabolic prcesses that result in molecules of water as a by-product. This, however, is by no means sufficient for the body's needs of water. It is generally recommended that people drink eight cups (or nearly 2 liters) of water a day to maintain an adequate supply. see also Carbohydrates; Fats; Kwashiorkor; Marasmus; Minerals; Nutritional Deficiency; Protein; Vitamins, Fat-Soluble; Vitamins, Water-Soluble; Water.

Susan S. Kim Jeffrey Radecki

Bibliography

Harper, A. (1999). "Defining the Essentiality of Nutrients." In Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 9th edition, ed. M. E. Shills, et al. Baltimore, MD: Williams and Wilkins.

Morrison, Gail, and Hark, Lisa (1999). Medical Nutrition and Disease, 2nd edition. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Science.

Subar, A. F., et al. (1998). "Dietary Sources of Nutrients in the U.S. Diet, 1989 to 1991." Journal of the American Dietetic Association 98:537.

Wardlaw, Gordon M., and Kessel, Margaret (2002). Perspectives in Nutrition, 5th edition. Boston: McGraw-Hill.

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