We all often see the mouth ulcers in children, which gives them pain and make them skip the meal. Even their caretakers cannot help them with these mouth ulcers. Doctors medicate those Vitamin tablets which give temporary relief and the ulcers cycle continues timely and so is Tablet story.
The mouth ulcer is one case where caretakers of children are warned of their child’s vitamin deficiency. But irony lies is the negligence of all these Micronutrients and their importance to a child’s healthy life, cognitive behaviour and sustained future life.
What are Micro Nutrients?
Micronutrients are the components of the foods or acquired in nature by other forms by organisms, these are required in trace amounts for growth and development of an organism.
Though their requirement is in minuscule amount; but, the role they play is massive. The requirement of micronutrients for humans is as important as the macronutrients. They act as cofactors in the regulation of metabolism, activation of the immune system, regulation of body temperature and pH.
List of Micronutrients
Micronutrients can be further classified as minerals and vitamins. Vitamins are the organic compounds whereas minerals are inorganic compounds.
Vitamin B complex
Vitamin B1 (thiamin)
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
Vitamin B3 (niacin)
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
Vitamin B6 group:
Vitamin B7 (biotin)
Vitamin B8 (ergadenylic acid)
Vitamin B9 (folic acid)
Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin)
Vitamin A (e.g. retinol
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)
Vitamin E (tocopherol)
Role of Minerals
Boron helps to keep the bone density; thereby helps to avoid arthritis and bone-related disorders, it in cofactor in testosterone production and helps improve brain function and concentration, thereby helps cognition.
Calcium is a very important component of teeth and bones, Calcium is necessary for muscle movement and its very important mineral in the transmission of messages from the brain to every part of the body. Calcium also helps blood vessels to move blood throughout the body and thereby helps in the release of hormones and enzymes. Calcium affects every function in the human body directly or indirectly.
Cobalt is a cofactor for the activation of many enzymes and its main part of vitamin B12(cyanocobalamin) thereby helps in the regulation of metabolism.
It is called the queen of electrolytes. It is essential for the electrolyte balance in our body. It maintains Blood PH. It is an essential factor in the maintenance of Blood Pressure (BP).
Chromium acts as an essential cofactor in sugar and fat metabolism hence play an essential role in the blood glucose level regulation.
Copper is an important trace element that decides food assimilation and digestion process. It helps in iron assimilation thereby promotes oxygen transport. It is an essential cofactor for the activation of certain immune factors and influences brain function and avoids damage of free radicals to proteins.
Iodine is an essential factor in the synthesis of T4 and T3 hormones secreted by the thyroid gland. These hormones called triiodothyronine and thyroxines are responsible for the normal growth of the brain, especially in the infant’s up to 3 years of age. These hormones in-turn triggers the pituitary gland to release hormones; which leads the important life processes.
Iron is an important element for carrying oxygen by blood to each cell; it is a co-factor in synthesis and repair mechanism of DNA. It is a cofactor for various metabolic processes including Electron transport chain which is responsible for the synthesis of the ATP-energy currency of a cell.
Lithium gives you a mood-stabilizing activity which shows its neurobiological benefits for humans. Lithium is very important to avoid bi-polar disorders. Lithium has a neuron protection activity which eliminates suicidal tendencies and neuron degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease.
Magnesium is a cofactor in more than 300 enzymatic reactions. The major one is the synthesis of ATP-the energy currency of the cell. Without magnesium DNA and RNA are not synthesized. Magnesium plays an important role in muscle contraction and relaxation, regulation of blood pressure, insulin metabolism and regulation, cardiac excitability and nerve transmission.
Magnesium deficiency leads to cardiac and nervous disorders. This is associated with diseases like diabetes, cardiac arrest, strokes, Alzheimer’s diseases, migraine, headache, Attention disorders, strain and stress.
Manganese acts as a cofactor in many of the enzymes involved in the synthesis of neuronal cells. Manganese is essential in the formation of bones, it plays important in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, blood sugar regulation and calcium absorption.
Over and underexposure of manganese leads to neuronal diseases like hallucinations and Parkinson’s disease.
Phosphorous is the most abundant mineral found in our body. Maintaining balance phosphorous (Phosphate) level is very crucial in bone health. Imbalance in the level of Phosphorous results in the vascular calcification. This is one of the main reasons for cardiovascular diseases and chronic kidney diseases.
Potassium is an important mineral necessary for the proper functioning of the cells. It conducts electricity in the body together with sodium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium. It acts as an electrolyte in maintaining blood pH and electrolyte balance. It is necessary to smooth me in the functioning of the heart.
Potassium diet imbalance is associated with the imbalance in blood pressure. Potassium malnutrition may lead to weak bones, paralysis and heart-related diseases.
Selenium maximizes the activity of an enzyme called Glutathione peroxidase which acts as an antioxidant. Selenium deficiency is associated with ageing and stress. Selenium intake above the recommended daily intake is proven beneficial in prolonging the life of patients suffering from fatal diseases like HIV and prostate cancer.
Sodium is a vital nutrient that is required for the normal functioning of our body. It is required for normal brain signalling, Sodium control body’s blood volume and blood pressure. If sodium or blood volume exceeds limit it will be added pressure to the kidney to excrete excess sodium. To be healthy it is very important to balance the sodium levels in the body.
Sulfur is thirst abundant mineral in the body. It is a vital component of many amino acids, thereby constitutes the overall homeostasis of the body. Sulfur is very essential; in the production of all the hormones including Insulin. Together with Vitamin C, it regenerates cells. Regeneration helps in the healing of the wounds.
Deficiency of sulfur halts production of antioxidants like glutathione. This leads to ageing of cells. Sulfur deficiency is associated with the Arthritis, Diabetes, lack of memory power, brittle bones and acne-like skin problems.
Zinc plays a major role in the function of the Immune system like other minerals Zinc acts as a cofactor in enzymatic activity. Zinc is very important in wound healing, Insulin action.
Zinc deficiency in pregnant women causes problems in the growth of the Immune system. Zinc deficient humans are often susceptible to the common cold. Zinc deficient humans often face problems with the regulation of blood glucose level.
Minerals play a vital role in the normal functioning of our body. All the minerals act as the cofactors in regulating the enzymatic activity, which is essential for the life processes. Deficiency of minerals can cause disease ranging from common illness to Diabetes, Immune deficiency like severe consequences.