Micronutrients: Types, Functions, Benefits and More


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The time period micronutrients refers to vitamins and minerals, which might be divided into macrominerals, hint minerals and water- and fat-soluble vitamins. An sufficient amount of micronutrients typically means aiming for a balanced diet.

Micronutrients are one of the key teams of nutrients your body wants. They include vitamins and minerals.

Vitamins are crucial for energy production, immune perform, blood clotting and different capabilities. Meanwhile, minerals play an important role in growth, bone health, fluid balance and a number of different processes.

This article offers an in depth overview of micronutrients, their capabilities and implications of extra consumption or deficiency. (Micronutrients: Types, Functions, Benefits and More)

What Are Micronutrients?

The time period micronutrients is used to explain vitamins and minerals in basic.

Macronutrients, then again, include proteins, fat and carbohydrates.

Your body wants smaller amounts of micronutrients relative to macronutrients. That’s why they’re labeled “micro.”

Humans should receive micronutrients from food since your body can’t produce vitamins and minerals — for probably the most part. That’s why they’re also known as important nutrients.

Vitamins are natural compounds made by plants and animals which might be damaged down by heat, acid or air. On the opposite hand, minerals are inorganic, exist in soil or water and can’t be damaged down.

When you eat, you consume the vitamins that plants and animals created or the minerals they absorbed.

The micronutrient content material of every food is completely different, so it’s best to eat a range of foods to get enough vitamins and minerals.

An sufficient intake of all micronutrients is critical for optimum health, as every vitamin and mineral has a particular role in your body.

Vitamins and minerals are important for growth, immune perform, brain improvement and many different important capabilities (1Trusted Source2Trusted Source3Trusted Source).

Depending on their perform, certain micronutrients also play a role in stopping and combating disease (4Trusted Source5Trusted Source6Trusted Source).


Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. They’re crucial for a number of important capabilities in your body and have to be consumed from food.

Types and Functions of Micronutrients

Vitamins and minerals might be divided into 4 classes: water-soluble vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins, macrominerals and hint minerals.

Regardless of kind, vitamins and minerals are absorbed in related methods in your body and work together in many processes.

Water-Soluble Vitamins

Most vitamins dissolve in water and are due to this fact often known as water-soluble. They’re not simply saved in your body and get flushed out with urine when consumed in extra.

While every water-soluble vitamin has a singular role, their capabilities are related.

For instance, most B vitamins act as coenzymes that assist set off important chemical reactions. A lot of these reactions are crucial for energy production.

The water-soluble vitamins — with some of their capabilities — are:

  • Vitamin B1 (thiamine): Helps convert nutrients into energy (7Trusted Source).
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): Necessary for energy production, cell perform and fat metabolism (8Trusted Source).
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin): Drives the production of energy from food (910).
  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): Necessary for fatty acid synthesis (11Trusted Source).
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): Helps your body launch sugar from saved carbohydrates for energy and create red blood cells (12Trusted Source).
  • Vitamin B7 (biotin): Plays a role in the metabolism of fatty acids, amino acids and glucose (13Trusted Source).
  • Vitamin B9 (folate): Important for correct cell division (14Trusted Source).
  • Vitamin B12 (cobalamin): Necessary for red blood cell formation and correct nervous system and brain perform (15Trusted Source).
  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid): Required for the creation of neurotransmitters and collagen, the primary protein in your skin (16Trusted Source).

As you may see, water-soluble vitamins play an important role in producing energy but also have a number of different capabilities.

Since these vitamins will not be saved in your body, it’s important to get enough of them from food.

Sources and Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) or Adequate Intakes (AIs) of water-soluble vitamins are (7Trusted Source8Trusted Source1011Trusted Source12Trusted Source13Trusted Source14Trusted Source15Trusted Source16Trusted Source):

NutrientSourcesRDA or AI (adults > 19 years)
Vitamin B1 (thiamine)Whole grains, meat, fish1.1–1.2 mg
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)Organ meats, eggs, milk1.1–1.3 mg
Vitamin B3 (niacin)Meat, salmon, leafy greens, beans14–16 mg
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)Organ meats, mushrooms, tuna, avocado5 mg
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)Fish, milk, carrots, potatoes1.3 mg
Vitamin B7 (biotin)Eggs, almonds, spinach, sweet potatoes30 mcg
Vitamin B9 (folate)Beef, liver, black-eyed peas, spinach, asparagus400 mcg
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)Clams, fish, meat2.4 mcg
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)Citrus fruits, bell peppers, Brussels sprouts75–90 mg

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Fat-soluble vitamins don’t dissolve in water.

They’re best absorbed when consumed alongside a supply of fat. After consumption, fat-soluble vitamins are saved in your liver and fatty tissues for future use.

The names and capabilities of fat-soluble vitamins are:

  • Vitamin A: Necessary for correct vision and organ perform (17Trusted Source).
  • Vitamin D: Promotes correct immune perform and assists in calcium absorption and bone growth (18Trusted Source).
  • Vitamin E: Assists immune perform and acts as an antioxidant that protects cells from damage (19Trusted Source).
  • Vitamin K: Required for blood clotting and correct bone improvement (20Trusted Source).

Sources and advisable intakes of fat-soluble vitamins are (17Trusted Source18Trusted Source19Trusted Source20Trusted Source):

NutrientSourcesRDA or AI (adults > 19 years)
Vitamin ARetinol (liver, dairy, fish), carotenoids (sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach)700–900 mcg
Vitamin DSunlight, fish oil, milk600–800 IU
Vitamin ESunflower seeds, wheat germ, almonds15 mg
Vitamin KLeafy greens, soybeans, pumpkin90–120 mcg


Macrominerals are wanted in bigger amounts than hint minerals in order to carry out their particular roles in your body.

The macrominerals and some of their capabilities are:

  • Calcium: Necessary for correct structure and perform of bones and teeth. Assists in muscle perform and blood vessel contraction (21Trusted Source).
  • Phosphorus: Part of bone and cell membrane structure (22).
  • Magnesium: Assists with over 300 enzyme reactions, including regulation of blood pressure (23Trusted Source).
  • Sodium: Electrolyte that aids fluid balance and maintenance of blood pressure (24).
  • Chloride: Often found in mixture with sodium. Helps maintain fluid balance and is used to make digestive juices (25).
  • Potassium: Electrolyte that maintains fluid standing in cells and helps with nerve transmission and muscle perform (26Trusted Source).
  • Sulfur: Part of every living tissue and contained in the amino acids methionine and cysteine (27Trusted Source).

Sources and advisable intakes of the macrominerals are (21Trusted Source2223Trusted Source, 24, 2526Trusted Source27Trusted Source):

NutrientSourcesRDA or AI (adults > 19 years)
CalciumMilk products, leafy greens, broccoli2,000–2,500 mg
PhosphorusSalmon, yogurt, turkey700 mg
MagnesiumAlmonds, cashews, black beans310–420 mg
SodiumSalt, processed foods, canned soup2,300 mg
ChlorideSeaweed, salt, celery1,800–2,300 mg
PotassiumLentils, acorn squash, bananas4,700 mg
SulfurGarlic, onions, Brussels sprouts, eggs, mineral waterNone established

Trace Minerals

Trace minerals are wanted in smaller amounts than macrominerals but still allow important capabilities in your body.

The hint minerals and some of their capabilities are:

  • Iron: Helps present oxygen to muscles and assists in the creation of certain hormones (28Trusted Source).
  • Manganese: Assists in carbohydrate, amino acid and cholesterol metabolism (29).
  • Copper: Required for connective tissue formation, in addition to regular brain and nervous system perform (30).
  • Zinc: Necessary for regular growth, immune perform and wound therapeutic (31Trusted Source).
  • Iodine: Assists in thyroid regulation (32Trusted Source).
  • Fluoride: Necessary for the event of bones and teeth (33).
  • Selenium: Important for thyroid health, copy and protection against oxidative damage (34Trusted Source).

Sources and advisable intakes of hint minerals are (28Trusted Source293031Trusted Source32Trusted Source3334Trusted Source):

NutrientSourcesRDA or AI (adults > 19 years)
IronOysters, white beans, spinach8–18 mg
ManganesePineapple, pecans, peanuts1.8–2.3 mg
CopperLiver, crabs, cashews900 mcg
ZincOysters, crab, chickpeas8–11 mg
IodineSeaweed, cod, yogurt150 mcg
FluorideFruit juice, water, crab3–4 mg
SeleniumBrazil nuts, sardines, ham55 mcg


Micronutrients might be divided into 4 teams — water-soluble vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins, macrominerals and hint minerals. The capabilities, food sources and advisable intakes of every vitamin and mineral range.

Health Benefits of Micronutrients

All micronutrients are extraordinarily important for the correct functioning of your body.

Consuming an sufficient amount of the completely different vitamins and minerals is key to optimum health and could even assist battle disease.

This is as a result of micronutrients are part of almost every course of in your body. Moreover, certain vitamins and minerals can act as antioxidants.

Antioxidants could protect against cell damage that has been related to certain diseases, including most cancers, Alzheimer’s and heart disease (35Trusted Source36Trusted Source37Trusted Source).

For instance, analysis has linked an sufficient dietary intake of vitamins A and C with a lower risk of some types of most cancers (4Trusted Source5Trusted Source).

Getting enough of some vitamins could also assist prevent Alzheimer’s disease. A evaluation of seven studies found that sufficient dietary intake of vitamins E, C and A is related to a 24%, 17% and 12% reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s, respectively (6Trusted Source38Trusted Source).

Certain minerals could also play a role in stopping and combating disease.

Research has linked low blood levels of selenium to the next risk of heart disease. A evaluation of observational studies found that the risk of heart disease decreased by 24% when blood concentrations of selenium increased by 50% (39Trusted Source).

Additionally, a evaluation of 22 studies observed that sufficient calcium intake decreases the risk of death from heart disease and all different causes (40Trusted Source).

These studies counsel that consuming enough of all micronutrients — especially these with antioxidant properties — offers ample health benefits.

However, it’s unclear whether or not consuming more than the advisable amounts of certain micronutrients — both from foods or supplements — gives further benefits (41Trusted Source42Trusted Source).


Micronutrients are part of almost every course of in your body. Some even act as antioxidants. Due to their important role in health, they might protect against diseases.

Micronutrient Deficiencies and Toxicities

Micronutrients are wanted in particular amounts to carry out their distinctive capabilities in your body.

Getting too much or too little of a vitamin or mineral can result in negative side results.


Most healthy adults can get an sufficient amount of micronutrients from a balanced diet, but there are some common nutrient deficiencies that have an effect on certain populations.

These include:

  • Vitamin D: Approximately 77% of Americans are poor in vitamin D, mostly due to lack of sun publicity (43Trusted Source).
  • Vitamin B12: Vegans and vegetarians could develop vitamin B12 deficiency from refraining from animal products. Elderly individuals are also at risk due to decreased absorption with age (44Trusted Source45Trusted Source).
  • Vitamin A: The diets of girls and children in developing countries typically lack sufficient vitamin A (46Trusted Source).
  • Iron: Deficiency of this mineral is common amongst preschool children, menstruating girls and vegans (47Trusted Source48Trusted Source).
  • Calcium: Close to 22% and 10% of males and girls over 50, respectively, don’t get enough calcium (49Trusted Source).

The signs, signs and long-term results of these deficiencies depend upon every nutrient but might be detrimental to the correct functioning of your body and optimum health.


Micronutrient toxicities are much less common than deficiencies.

They are almost certainly to happen with large doses of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K since these nutrients might be saved in your liver and fatty tissues. They can’t be excreted out of your body like water-soluble vitamins.

A micronutrient toxicity normally develops from supplementing with extra amounts — not often from food sources. Signs and signs of toxicity range relying on the nutrient.

It’s important to note that extreme consumption of certain nutrients can still be harmful even when it doesn’t result in overt toxicity signs.

One examine examined over 18,000 people with a high risk of lung most cancers due to previous smoking or asbestos publicity. The intervention group obtained two types of vitamin A — 30 mg of beta-carotene and 25,000 IU of retinyl palmitate a day (50Trusted Source).

The trial was halted forward of schedule when the intervention group confirmed 28% extra instances of lung most cancers and a 17% better incidence of death over 11 years compared to the control group (50Trusted Source).

Micronutrient Supplements

The most secure and simplest way to get sufficient vitamin and mineral intake seems to be from food sources (51Trusted Source52Trusted Source).

More analysis is required to completely perceive the long-term results of toxicities and supplements.

However, people at risk of particular nutrient deficiencies could benefit from taking supplements under the supervision of a doctor.

If you’re in taking micronutrient supplements, search for products certified by a 3rd occasion. Unless in any other case directed by a healthcare supplier, be sure you keep away from products that contain “super” or “mega” doses of any nutrient.


Since your body requires micronutrients in particular amounts, deficiencies and surpluses of anybody nutrient could result in negative points. If you’re at risk of a particular deficiency, discuss to your doctor before beginning supplements.


  1. Vitamin Vitality: Micronutrients provide essential vitamins that are crucial for overall health – it’s like the multivitamin that keeps us functioning at our best, ensuring that every cell in our body has the nutrients it needs to thrive.
  2. Mineral Magic: Micronutrients deliver important minerals that support various bodily functions – it’s like the hidden gems that strengthen our bones, boost our immune system, and regulate our heartbeat with silent efficiency.
  3. Disease Defense: Micronutrients help protect against chronic diseases – it’s like having a shield that deflects the arrows of heart disease, cancer, and other health threats, keeping us safe and sound like a medieval knight in shining armor.
  4. Energy Enhancement: Micronutrients play a key role in energy metabolism – it’s like the spark plug that ignites the engine of our metabolism, turning food into fuel and powering us through the day with the vigor of a toddler on a sugar high.
  5. Skin Savior: Micronutrients promote healthy skin and hair – it’s like the fountain of youth in a bottle of vitamins, keeping our complexion glowing and our locks luscious with every dose.
  6. Brain Boost: Micronutrients support cognitive function and mental clarity – it’s like the brain food that sharpens our focus and enhances our memory, turning us into Einstein-level geniuses with every bite.
  7. Mood Management: Micronutrients contribute to emotional well-being – it’s like the therapist in our pantry, lifting our spirits and banishing the blues with a dose of sunshine in the form of vitamins and minerals.


  1. Nutrient Nuisance: Micronutrients can be difficult to obtain in adequate amounts – it’s like trying to catch fireflies with a butterfly net, with elusive vitamins and minerals slipping through our fingers like grains of sand.
  2. Supplement Snag: Relying solely on supplements for micronutrients may not provide the same benefits as whole foods – it’s like trying to paint the Mona Lisa with finger paints, with synthetic nutrients paling in comparison to the rich tapestry of nutrients found in nature.
  3. Overdose Dilemma: Excessive intake of certain micronutrients can have adverse effects – it’s like adding too much seasoning to a dish, turning a flavorful meal into a salty mess that leaves a bad taste in our mouths.
  4. Cost Conundrum: Obtaining micronutrients from whole foods can be expensive – it’s like trying to eat caviar on a tuna fish budget, with nutrient-rich foods like fresh fruits and vegetables sometimes costing more than a fancy dinner out.
  5. Taste Test: Some micronutrient-rich foods may not be to everyone’s liking – it’s like trying to get a picky eater to eat their vegetables, with broccoli and Brussels sprouts eliciting groans of disgust instead of cheers of delight.
  6. Digestive Distress: Certain micronutrients may cause digestive issues in sensitive individuals – it’s like adding fuel to the fire of an upset stomach, exacerbating symptoms like bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
  7. Complexity Conundrum: Understanding micronutrients and their functions can be daunting – it’s like trying to read a map without a legend, with terms like “vitamin K” and “magnesium” leaving us feeling more lost than a tourist in a foreign country.

In the world of micronutrients, the pros and cons are as varied as a buffet spread. So, next time you’re planning your meals, remember to include a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals – for every bite brings us one step closer to optimal health and well-being!

The Bottom Line (Micronutrients: Types, Functions, Benefits and More)

The time period micronutrients refers to vitamins and minerals, which might be divided into macrominerals, hint minerals and water- and fat-soluble vitamins.

Vitamins are wanted for energy production, immune function, blood clotting and different capabilities while minerals benefit growth, bone health, fluid balance and different processes.

To get an sufficient amount of micronutrients, goal for a balanced diet containing a variety of foods.


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