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Nutrients Needed for Cell Growth and Repair

author image Lynne Sheldon
Lynne Sheldon has over 12 years of dance experience, both in studios and performance groups. She is an avid runner and has studied several types of yoga. Sheldon now works as a freelance writer, editor and book reviewer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and art history from Boston University and recently completed her Master of Fine Arts in writing from Pacific University.
Nutrients Needed for Cell Growth and Repair
Two doctors speaking to one another Photo Credit: Thomas Northcut/DigitalVision/Getty Images

Cells make up every part of your body, and they require many nutrients to grow and repair properly. While all the vitamins and minerals you eat contribute to healthy cells, certain ones play a larger role in cell functions, such as vitamin A, phosphorus and zinc. Talk to your doctor about your intake of these nutrients to ensure that you are getting an adequate amount every day and maintaining the integrity of your bodily cells.

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Vitamin A

Vitamin A has several necessary functions, including aiding in the health of your cells. It helps ensure that all of your cells can grow and reproduce normally, a process known as cellular differentiation, and it contributes to healing and repair as well. During pregnancy, vitamin A is essential for the healthy development of all of a fetus’s cells. For men, the recommended dietary allowance or RDA for this vitamin is 3,000 IU a day, and it is 2,333 IU for women who are not pregnant, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Foods like dark leafy greens, carrots, eggs, whole milk and cheese are good sources of vitamin A.


Phosphorus can be found in cells throughout your body, though the majority of it is in your bones and teeth. All of your cells need this mineral to grow, repair and maintain their functions, and phosphorus also helps balance your levels of other nutrients required for healthy cells, such as zinc and vitamin D. The University of Maryland Medical Center states that adults need 700 mg of this mineral a day, and you can meet this RDA by eating foods like meat, fish, dairy products, nuts, dried fruit, whole grains and carbonated beverages.


Zinc is a trace mineral, but it can also be found in all the cells in your body. It plays a large role in the way your cells divide and grow, and it contributes to the healing and repair of wounds and cells as well. This mineral is needed especially during pregnancy, infancy and childhood to ensure the proper growth and development of all your cells and other body parts. Males need 11 mg of zinc a day, and females need 8 mg a day, according to MedlinePlus. Good food sources of this mineral include beef, pork, lamb, legumes, whole grains and nuts.

Additional Considerations

While each of these nutrients is essential for cell growth and repair, ingesting high doses of them in the form of supplements can have toxic effects. Talk to your doctor before you take new supplements or exceed the RDA of any vitamin or mineral. On the other hand, deficiencies in these nutrients can be harmful to your health as well and inhibit your cells’ abilities to function properly. If you are concerned about your vitamin or mineral intake, discuss this with your health care provider.

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