Key messages

• Nutrients can be divided into macronutrients, such as proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, which are consumed in gram quantities, and micronutrients, which are consumed in microgram or milligram quantities but are essential for the metabolism of macronutrients.

• Nitrogen retention increases when either nitrogen or energy intake is increased.

• Energy is derived from all three macronutrients, namely proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

• The metabolic rate is increased within an hour of eating or infusing nutrients.

• Trace elements and vitamins are essential for regulating metabolic processes as constituents of enzyme complexes required for the utilization of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

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