Tufts OpenCourseware
Author: Diane McKay

Tufts OpenCourseWare
Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
Foundations of Nutrition Science, Fall 2012
D. McKay, PhD, FACN



  • List the major functions of water in the body.
  • Describe water balance, and list the body’s major water sources (water in) and routes of water loss (water out)
  • Describe the general difference between minerals and vitamins
  • Describe the general difference between the major minerals and trace minerals
  • Describe the role of calcium in the body and the factors that enhance or limit its absorption
  • List the hormones needed to maintain blood calcium levels
  • Identify food sources of calcium, and describe the effects of calcium deficiency.
  • Identify the risk factors for the development of osteoporosis and the roles of physical activity and calcium intake.
  • Identify the major roles of phosphorus in the body, and food sources in the diet
  • Identify the role of magnesium in the body, and major food sources
  • Define electrolyte, and list the 3 major electrolyte minerals
  • Identify the role of sodium in the body, the effects of excessive intake, and major food sources
  • Identify the role of potassium in the body, the effects of inadequate intake, and major food sources.
  • Describe the DASH diet, and specify who might benefit from such a diet.
  • Identify the major role of chloride during digestion.


  • Identify the major functions of iron in the body
  • Compare the availability of iron from plant vs. animal sources
  • Describe the role of zinc in the body, major food sources, and consequences of a zinc deficiency 
  • Describe the effects of insufficient and excess iodine intake.
  • Describe the use of chromium in the body and its relationship to diabetes. 
  • Describe the use of selenium in the body and the role of selenium in cancer protection.
  • Explain the use of fluoride in the body and its role in dental caries prevention.
  • List major phytochemicals that might protect the body from cancer and heart disease

Required readings:

  • Whitney & Rolfes, Chapters 12 and 13; Highlight 12 (skip 13)

Supplementary reading: