ask mattrab Visit www.askmattrab.com for more academic resources.

Micro nutrients and Balanced diet


Nutrients required in very little amount but are significant to our body are called micronutrients.

They are of the following types :

1.       Vitamins

Based on solubility, they are classified as follows :

 a.       Vitamin  A

 Source: Egg, milk, yellow and dark green vegetables. Fish and liver oil is the richest source of it.

   Daily need: for males 1000RE And for  females 800 RE  ( 1RE= 1 MICROGRAMS )

    Functions :

·         Forms retinol for vision in the eye.

·         For epithelial integrity.

·         For growth and anti-infective via modulating the immune system.

·         They aid spermatogenesis.

Deficiency: ·       

  Xerophthalmia: It means to have dry eyes. Here it may include night blindness, bitot spot. Night blindness is the earliest sign of deficiency.

·         Impotence, anorexia, follicular hyperkeratosis.

Toxicity: caused when the vitamin is consumed more

·         Yellow, pruritic skin, weight loss, bone pain, hypocalcemia.

Prevention :

·        Be part of a vitamin A program for children between 6 months to 5 years recurring every 6 months.

·        Don’t skip vegetables or any other prominent sources in your diet and don’t let others too.


B) Vitamin B Complex

This complex possesses the following vitamins :


1.       Vitamin B1 /Thiamine

Source:  yeast, seeds, pulses, meats, cereals.

They are lost after rapid cooking or milling. So, polished and over-cooked rice is devoid of this vitamin.


        Daily needs: for adult:  1 – 1.5 mg


  • Utilization of carbohydrates

  • Synthesis of acetylcholine

  • Acts as a cofactor in the carboxylation process.

Deficiency disease

  • Beri Beri:  Its symptoms are irritability, fatigue, headache, emotional disturbances, and polyneuritis. The wet Beri Beri involves the cardiovascular system and its symptoms including palpitation, tachycardia, and edema.

  •  Wernicke korsaff syndrome: This collection of symptoms occurs in chronic alcoholics and critically ill children. This syndrome is characterized by ataxia, apathy, dementia, and to and fro motion of the Eyes.      



2. Vitamin B2 / Riboflavin 

 It  Is the constituents of flavoproteins. It is also known as yellow enzymes.


 milk, egg, liver, green leafy vegetables, meat, and fish.

 Daily requirements:0.6 mg per kilocalorie of energy intake

 Functions: it is a cofactor enzyme for carbohydrates and fat metabolism; this is also required for cellular oxidation and synthesis of rhodopsin in rod cells of the retina.

 Deficiency disease

  • Cheilosis: this is a medical term for cracking at the angle of the mouth.

  • Glossitis: This is inflammation of the tongue

  •  Photophobia

  •  Keratitis

  •  Blurring of vision


 3. Vitamin B / Pantothenic acid 


: liver eggs pulses and whole-grain cereals

 Daily requirements

:  about 10 mg


  • This is a component of coenzyme a

  •   it is necessary for the synthesis of cholesterol and steroid hormones

  • Necessary for fatty acid synthase. Formation 

Deficiency disease 

  •  Dermatitis 

  • Burning Foot syndrome

  •  Alopecia: baldness 

  •  adrenal insufficiency

4. Vitamin B5 / Niacin 

Niacin is the generic name for nicotinic acid and nicotinamide, this is also known as the pellagra preventing factor.

 Sources: yeast, liver, cereals, pulses. These are basically synthesized in the body from amino acid; tryptophan.

Daily Need: 6.6 MG per thousand kilocalories of energy intake.

 functions: this is an important component of coenzymes which are involved in oxidation-reduction reactions of Carbohydrates fat and protein metabolism.

 Deficiency disease: this causes pellagra; whose symptoms are: Dermatitis, diarrhea, and dementia. @3D (for convenient mugging )

5.Pyridoxine/Vitamin B6 : 

Sources: Green vegetables, eggs, yeast, wheat.

Daily Requirements: For adults, it should be 2 MG per day while during pregnancy and lactation it must be 2.5 mg per day.

Functions: This vitamin acts as coenzymes for several enzymes of amino acid metabolism and glycogenolysis; for others, it is required for the proper functioning of the nervous system and conversion of tryptophan to nicotinic acid.

Deficiency  disease

  • Peripheral neuritis

  •   Hyper irritability

 6.  Vitamin B7/ biotin 

   Sources:  Yeast, egg, yolk, tomato, pulses are even synthesized by intestinal bacteria.

Daily requirements 

1.5 to 3 grams 

Functions:  act as coenzymes in carboxylation reaction where it acts as carbon dioxide carrier

Deficiency :

  • dermatitis 

  • glossitis 

  • alopecia 

  • muscle pain

 The raw egg white contains avidin which prevents absorption of biotin and may cause biotin deficiency.

7.Folic acid /vitamin B9

 Sources:  green leafy vegetables, yeast, liver, and eggs 

Daily requirements: for adults 100 to 200 micrograms per day; for pregnant women 400 micrograms per day.

Function: it acts as coenzymes in methylation reaction involved in the synthesis of amino acid and nucleic acid. This is also necessary for the maturation of red blood cells 

Deficiency disease :

  • megaloblastic Anaemia

  • glossitis

  •  diarrhea 

  • causes neural tube defects in fetus born to followed the deficient women like spina bifida 

8.Cobalamin /vitamin B12 

This is synthesized only by microorganisms and is found only in animals .so, the vegans are highly prone to be deficient in vitamin B12. The intrinsic factor is required for intestinal absorption of vitamin B12.

Sources:  Liver, milk, eggs, and meat.

Daily requirements: one microgram per day.

Function: This acts as coenzymes in amino acid metabolism and cooperates with foliate  for DNA synthesis and synthesize fatty acids in Myelin and normal erythropoiesis 

Deficiency disease:

  • Megaloblastic anemia is a particularly pernicious type of anemia if this deficiency is due to lack of intrinsic factor demyelinating disease of spinal cord ascorbic acid.

C.Vitamin C

 This is the earliest known vitamin and most sensitive vitamin to heat sources.

Sources:  citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, and germinating pulses. Amla or Indian gooseberry is the richest source of vitamin C.

 Daily requirements: 60 mg per day 


  • This is necessary for hydroxylation of Proline and lysine in collagen synthesis. 

  • It is involved in the degradation of tyrosine synthesis of epinephrine and bile acid formation.

  • It increases the absorption of iron from the intestine and is an important antioxidant 

Deficiency disease :

This causes Scurvy which is characterized by small and spongy bleeding gums, losing teeth, bruising skin, swollen joints, delayed wound healing, and anemia, and muscular weakness.

  1. Vitamin D /Calciferol.

 It is a fat-soluble vitamin essential for calcium and phosphorus metabolism. This occurs as ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol  .Ergocalciferol is formed from the ergosterol of plants and cholecalciferol is formed from the cholesterol of animals by the action of ultraviolet rays.

Sources: food like fish, liver, egg yolk butter, and oils are good sources of vitamin D .fish liver oil is the richest source of vitamin D.

 Sunlight:  vitamin D is synthesized in our skin by the action of UV rays on 7 dehydrocholesterol. So,  the sun is not a source of vitamin D rather it is a helper for gaining it.

Daily requirements:  5 micrograms cholecalciferol is for adults and children pregnant and lactating mothers require 10 micrograms cholecalciferol per day.

 Functions: It is required for the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus and the normal mineralization of bone s.It increases intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphorus. Deficiency disease:

  •  Rickets: (in children)disease due to reduced calcification of growing bones which is characterized by Curved legs deformed pelvis, square-shaped head, and muscular hypotonia.

  •  osteomalacia( in adults )due to demineralization of pre-existing bone leading to increased susceptibility to fracture. 

Toxicity:  if vitamin D is taken at an excess amount there may be anorexia, nausea vomiting, thirst, constipation, and drowsiness. Hypercalcemia is due to increased absorption from the intestine and leads to metastatic calcification and high chances of renal stones.

Prevention: children should be regularly exposed to sunlight especially in the early morning and pregnant and lactating mothers and children must encourage consumption of foods rich in vitamin D and prevent them from skipping meals. 

e.Vitamin E/ Tocopherol: 


This Acts as an antioxidant and anti sterility hormone. This is also called a beauty vitamin.

Sources:  vegetables, oils, liver, egg, milk, butter, and green leafy vegetables are important sources of vitamin E.

 Daily requirement : 

 10 mg for males and 8 mg for females.

 Functions: to prevent molecular oxygen and free radicals induced by oxidation of membrane lipids. It is required for smart spermatogenesis and maintenance of pregnancy in mammals.

Deficiency disease :
Deficiency of Vitamin usually occurs in premature infants leading to a more realistic anemia reproductive failure in mammals and muscular degeneration may also occur.

F. Vitamin K

 It consists of a group of compounds obtained from naphthoquinone. 

Sources of Vitamin K1 are found in green leafy vegetables, cabbage, and cauliflower while vitamin K2 is synthesized by intestinal bacterial Flora.

 Sources: It is found in liver and egg yolk.

 Daily requirements: It is required about 70 to 150 micrograms per day.

 Functions: It is necessary for the formation of prothrombin and other clotting factors in the liver so it is known as an antihemorrhagic factor.

 Deficiency disease: It can lead to hypoprothrombinemia leading to hemorrhagic disease.

Toxicity:  prolonged administration of large doses of vitamin K can result in hemolytic anemia and jaundice.



Found in the human body constituting 4% of the human body they are essential for growth repair and regulation of important body function. More than 50 minerals have been found in the human body.

Depending upon their  requirements minerals can be divided into major minerals and trace mean element/

  • Major Minerals: they are required in larger proportion usually more than 100 mg. The major minerals include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium

  • Trace elements: They are required in small amounts that are less than a few MG  per day. For instance: iron, iodine, fluorine, zinc, copper, chromium, manganese molybdenum, Selenium, Nickel.


calcium constituents of about 1.5 to 2% of the bodyweight of humans.  more than 98% of body calcium is found in bones. Blood contains about 10 mg of calcium per hundred ml of its diet.

 Sources:  Milk and Milk products like cheese curd and water are the richest source of calcium. Rice is the most efficient in calcium. Sitafal is a good source of calcium.

Daily requirement: infants require 500 mg of calcium per day.While children and adults require 400 mg per day.

 Functions:  calcium is required for the formation and maintenance of bones and teeth; it is also required for the calculation of blood contraction of muscles, cardiac functions, and neuromuscular transmission. 

Deficiency disease: low level of ionized calcium in the blood leads to tetany. Also, calcium deficiency may lead to osteoporosis and rickets.

 Other minerals in the below table.

Major minerals:

Trace minerals:

Balanced diet

A balanced diet is a diet that contains a variety of foods in proper quantity and quality that can satisfy every requirement of all the macro and micronutrients of our body.

For proper physical, mental and emotional health, a balanced diet is a must. 

The requirement for it depends upon person to person.

But in general, for healthy vegetarian adults doing moderate work the balanced diet would be as follows : 



 The term nutrition is meant as bad nutrition or incorrect nutrition. It is also referred to as a pathological state resulting from a relative or absolute deficiency or excess of one or more essential nutrients. Excess nutrition or inadequate nutrition both lies on dermal nutrition. malnutrition can be of two types: 

  1. Undernutrition: This refers to the inadequate intake of various nutritions and is called after deficiency disease of various nutrients. of many times one time of undernutrition would be PEM which means protein-energy malnutrition.

 Protein Energy Malnutrition :(PEM)

Extreme forms of malnutrition are marasmus and kwashiorkor.

 we can know detail about them through the following differences : 

  1. Overnutrition: the excess intake of one or more nutrients which may cause various kinds of diseases is called overnutrition. The following are the important diseases caused due to  overnutrition : 

  1. Obesity: this refers to the accumulation of excess fat in the body. the mathematics that determines obesity, will be body mass index shortly termed as (BMI).

 Mathematically ,

 BMI = WEIGHT IN kg / (height in meters )^2

The normal BMI lies between 20 to 25 kg per meter square. Obesity is associated with greater risk for Hypertension diabetic coronary heart disease, gallstones, osteoarthritis, and cancer: regular physical exercise and balanced food intake are some preventive measures for preventing obesity.

     2 . Hypercholesterolemia:  This is the condition in which blood level of cholesterol is high and usually occurs when there is a high intake of fats especially, saturated ones such as fats from animal Origins like ghee, butter, cheese, eggs, and meat.

Hypercholesterolemia causes atherosclerosis which refers to the deposition of fat on the walls of blood vessels.

 Its effects can be hypertension and coronary artery disease.

Close Open App