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posted Jan 27, 2015, 2:54 AM by   [ updated Dec 1, 2015, 2:29 PM by Upali Salpadoru ]

Micro Nutrients.

Vitamins, Trace elements and phytochemicals are considered as micronutrients as they are required only in minute quantities. 

The vitamins are identified as A, B, C, D, E and K.  The trace elements include Boron,Manganese,Copper,Iodine,Selenium etc. Nutritionists have not included Phytochemicals as essential but many projects have shown their benefits.


Trace Elements

Element or ion

RDA for adults.




       20.0 mg

Increases mental powers, Helps building bones, treating osteoporosis, assists building muscles and increasing testosterone levels, and muscle coordination.

Raisins are among the top 50 contributors to total dietary boron in the U.S. diet”.






2.0 mg.

Helps the body form connective tissue, bones, blood clotting factors, and sex hormones.

nuts, legumes, seeds, tea, whole grains,



       900 µg

Helps the formation of blood cells. Keeps the blood vessels and immune system healthy.

Excess can be poisonous.


Shell fish, whole grains, beans, nuts, potatoes,  Dark leafy greens, dried fruits, black pepper, and yeast.


150 µg

Prevents goitre.

A tea spoon of Iodized salt has  400 µg of Iodine.


55 µg

Making antioxidant enzymes,

Protection after a vaccination .

Probable but not proven:-

Preventing certain cancers

Prevent cardiovascular disease

Help protect the body from the poisonous effects of heavy metals and other harmful substances

Shell fish, red meat, grains, eggs, chicken, liver, and garlic, Brewer's yeast, wheat germ


45 µg

an essential cofactor of enzymes and aids in the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates

Dark green vegies, Legumes, peas, and beans are also foods that are rich in molybdenum.


20 µg

Enhances insulin function. Helps metabolism.

Molasses, wheat germ, eggs.


1.5 µg

This is part of Vitamin B 12.

fish nuts green leafy vegetables, cereals, and chocolate.


These are Chemicals produced by plants to protect themselves against herbivores, parasites and disease. None is  considered as an essential nutrient but research seems to show that they can even protect us against disease. Scientists believe that there are many thousands of such chemicals of which only a few have been identified. 

Some Phytochemicals and how they help.




Plant source

Useful function

Allyl sulfides

 Onions, leeks, garlic

Some molecules react with oxygen and form ‘free radicals’ These  particles have electrical charges (as ions). They can offer the charge to vital molecules such as DNA, changing their nature.         They could become carcinogenic or cause undue ageing.

Antioxidants can neutralize ‘free radicals’.


Carrots, fruits,


Tea, grapes.


fruits, vegetables,

Hormonal action -


Soy bean and other legumes.,


Reduces menopausal symptoms and osteoporosis acting as the hormone estrogen. Prevents breast and prostrate cancer.

Stimulation of enzymes


- Cabbages, Other phytochemicals, which interfere with enzymes, are


stimulate enzymes that make the estrogenic less effective and could reduce the risk for breast cancer.

Protease inhibitors

Soy and other beans

These can attack viruses inside the body.


Pine trees. (turpentine)

Citrus fruits and cherries.

Building blocks for certain, hormones, vitamins, pigments, steroids, and odours.

Interference with DNA replication




Interferes with the replication of cell DNA preventing the multiplication of cancer cells.


Hot peppers, (Capsicum)

Protects DNA from carcinogens

Cancer prevention and cure



Lycopene and vitamin E, treatment suppresses prostrate cancer.



Yellow powder from the roots seem to be having a positive effect on curing several types of cancer.

Essential Vitamins


Function / Deficiency / Excess.

Sources  /  Recommended Daily Allowance   (RDA)

A Retinol.

Functions:                                                                   Helps to form light sensitive cells in the eye

Deficiency:                                                                       night-blindness.

Excess:                                                                        stored in the liver, but can be toxic in large doses, leads to an increase in bone fractures.

 Sources:                                     Cream, butter, fish liver oils, eggs. (Beta carotene in Carrots and vegies can be converted to Vit –A.)

RDA:                                              Females 700 µg                         Males  900 µg

B1 Thiamine


Deficiency:                                                          beriberi. common among alcoholics.

Excess:                                                                         excess easily excreted.


Sources:                               meat, yeast, unpolished cereal grains, enriched bread and breakfast cereals.

RDA:                                       Females- 1.1 mg.                 Males – 1.2 mg.

B2 Riboflavin,

Function:                                                    An antioxidant., important for normal vision. It may prevent cataract.

Deficiency:                                          fatigue; slow growth; digestive problems; cracks and sores around the corners of the mouth; swollen magenta-colored tongue; eye fatigue; swelling and soreness of the throat; and sensitivity to light.

Destroyed by light not by heat unless fried.. it can be lost in water when foods are boiled or soaked.

Sources:                          brewer's yeast, almonds,  whole grains, wheat germ, mushrooms, soybeans, milk, yogurt, eggs, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and spinach.                                        (This vitamin is added to all flours)


RDA:                               Females 1.1 mg.                   Males: 1.3 mg

B3        Niacin

Function:                                                                For the formation of some enzymes..

Deficiency:                                                         pellagra (producing skin lesions);

Excess:                                                                quickly excreted.


Sources:                                          meat, yeast, milk, enriched bread and breakfast cereals.


B5 Pantothenic acid


RDA:                                    5mg


Function: Helps toproduce enzymes.

Deficiency:                                                            common  during pregnancy.


Sources: liver, egg yolks, corn ,and intestinal bacteria.



Folic acid


Deficiency:                                                           anemia, birth defects.

Excess:                                                                water soluble and any excess easily excreted

Sources:                                        leafy vegetables okra, asparagus, fruits, beans, yeast, mushrooms, meat                                         (destroyed by cooking.)

RDA:                                        Pregnant women needs 400 µg.


Function:                                                               needed for DNA synthesis.

Deficiency:                                                                pernicious anaemia.



Sources:                                        liver, eggs, milk;.

RDA:                                                 2.4 µg



Ascorbic acid

Functions:                                                             coenzyme in the synthesis of collagen..

Deficiency:                                                       causes scurvy.

Excess:                                                                      No danger.


Sources:                                            Fruits, (mainly citrus) green vegetables, tomatoes;                 (destroyed by cooking.)


Female  75 mg                          Males:    90 mg.


Function;                                                          Formation and maintenance of bones.

Deficiency:                                                          rickets .. inadequate conversion of cartilage to bone  in children;  Softening of bones in adults.

Excess:                                                                     this fat-soluble vitamin is dangerous in high doses, especially for infants,                            (Used as a rat poison)

Sources:                                         Fish oil,                                            Produced by the skin when exposed to Sun light and UV rays.

RDA:                                                  Females and males:   15 µg

E Tocopherol

Function:                                                                   acts as an antioxidant in cells.

Deficiency:                                                       anaemia, damage to the retinas.

Excess:                                                                     high dose can be toxic.

Sources:                                     vegetable oils, nuts, spinach.

RDA:                                                      Females and Males: 15 mg.


Function:                                                         needed for the synthesis of blood clotting factors.

Deficiency:                                                            bleeding problems.

Excess:                                                                   high doses can be toxic especially  for children..


Sources:                                          spinach and other green leafy vegetables; synthesized by intestinal bacteria  


Females  90 µg                             Males:


120 µg