While the dietary importance of proteins, essential fatty acids, vitamins and trace elements has been well recognised, the role of shadow nutrients, a class of metabolites, which are biosynthesized in the body and serve vital functions, such as lipoic acid, choline, inositol, taurine and carnitine, has not been adequately appreciated. There are reasons to believe that during infancy and in ageing, biosynthesis of these metabolites may be limited. The objective of this review is to highlight the essentiality of these nutrients and the need for their supplementation in the diets of infants and in elderly people. Provision of shadow nutrients where the necessary biosynthetic machinery might not have developed to full stature or might have slowed down, is a new concept in nutrition which needs attention.
Volume 46, 2021
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