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Ch 4: The Chemical Composition of Nutrients

About This Chapter

Use these video lessons to learn about the chemical composition of carbohydrates and lipids and the role they fulfill in nutrition. See the characteristics of amino acids and review the chemical structure of various types of proteins.

The Chemical Composition of Nutrients - Chapter Summary

This chapter's lessons will review the chemical structure of various nutrients needed by the human body. First, you'll go over the difference between organic and inorganic nutrients and why each is vital to good nutrition. Then our instructors move on to describe the structure and function of lipids and carbohydrates.

A series of lessons look at various types of proteins and their function. Amino acids get special attention, with a focus on structure, polymerization and peptide bonds. The characteristics of the 20 amino acids are detailed, too. After watching the video lessons, you should be prepared to:

  • State the purpose of both organic and inorganic nutrients
  • Analyze the composition of carbohydrates and lipids
  • Describe peptide bonds
  • Relate the role of protein in nutrition
  • Describe the structure of amino acids
  • Explain primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary structures of proteins

Our video and text lessons simplify the learning process. You can read through a transcript of the lesson if that's how you learn best, or use the transcript to supplement what you're watching. At the end of each lesson, test your learning with a multiple-choice quiz. If you miss a question, click on the video tag to go back to the area you need to review.

7 Lessons in Chapter 4: The Chemical Composition of Nutrients
Organic vs Inorganic Nutrients: Differences & Importance

1. Organic vs Inorganic Nutrients: Differences & Importance

The presence or absence of carbon is what differentiates organic nutrients from inorganic nutrients. Carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and vitamins have carbon in their structure, making them organic. Water and minerals do not, so they are inorganic.

Structure and Function of Carbohydrates

2. Structure and Function of Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are found in many foods that we eat and may be found as sugars, starches, or fiber. Learn more about these three distinct types of carbohydrates, and how they are distinguished through their chemical structures in this lesson.

Structure and Function of Lipids

3. Structure and Function of Lipids

Molecules called lipids have long hydrocarbon chains that determine the way they act. They can be fats, oils, or hormones, and even exist in our cell membranes. Learn more about the chemical structure and biological function of various lipids in this lesson.

Proteins I: Structure and Function

4. Proteins I: Structure and Function

We need our proteins, not just as a major food group but for the many useful roles that they play in our bodies. In our introductory lesson to proteins, you'll learn about the many functions we rely on them to perform.

Proteins II: Amino Acids, Polymerization and Peptide Bonds

5. Proteins II: Amino Acids, Polymerization and Peptide Bonds

In this lesson, we'll take a deeper look at amino acids. You'll learn what makes a peptide, and what separates a protein from other kinds of amino acid bonds.

Proteins III: Structure and Characteristics of the 20 Amino Acids

6. Proteins III: Structure and Characteristics of the 20 Amino Acids

How do amino acids form the intricate polypeptide chains found in proteins? It's a matter of chemistry. Join glycine, a special amino acid, as she sizes up the other amino acids.

Proteins IV: Primary, Secondary, Tertiary and Quaternary Structure

7. Proteins IV: Primary, Secondary, Tertiary and Quaternary Structure

How is progressing through higher order protein structures like crafting an essay? In this lesson, you'll explore everything from quaternary structures to denaturation as we show how the different structures are intertwined.

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