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From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary
noun, plural: essential nutrients
A nutrient in which an organism must obtain from the environment or from a dietary source since the organism is unable to synthesize it (or can produce but inadequately)
Nutrients may be classified as essential and nonessential. In humans, essential nutrients include essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins and dietary minerals. Humans cannot produce these nutrients and therefore derive them in a diet.