Micronutrients are called micronutrients due to the fact that only minute amount of these are essential for the body. These are very important for the growth, development and overall performance of the body. At cellular level, these micronutrients are required for the synthesis of hormones, enzymes and other vital substances. When these micronutrients are not consumed as required, the consequences may be severe.
Micronutrients and their importance:
Micronutrients include trace elements, organic acids, macrominerals and vitamins. They are important for:
Calcium: Bones, muscles, metabolism
Chloride: Acid/base balance, fluid regulation, impulse transmission in neurons
Magnesium: Nuclear material, ATP production, brain fluid, enzymes
Phosphorus: Nuclear material, ATP production, bone, enamel of the teeth, cellular structures
Potassium: Impulse transmission in neurons, muscles, osmotic balance
Sodium: Blood pressure, osmotic balance, importance cellular activities
Iron: Blood cells, oxygen transport, muscle cells
Sulphur: Proteins and co-factors, metabolism
Acetic acid, Citric acid, Malic acid, Lactic acid Taurine and Choline are the organic acids that have certain important role in the body.
Vitamin A (retinol): Visual cycle, reproduction, growth, epithelial tissue maintenance, metabolic functions.
Vitamin B complex: Nervous tissue, ATP and NADP, proteins, important co-enxymes
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid): Collagen formation, connective tissue, anti-oxidants
Vitamin D: Calcium regulation.
Vitamin E (tocopherol): Anti-oxidants, muscles strength
Vitamin K: Blood clotting
Boron, Chromium, Fluoride, Manganese, Molybdenum, Selenium, Zinc, Cobalt, Copper and Iodine are important trace elements that should be taken in diet in small amount. Deficiency of iodine leads to thyroid gland abnormalities.