Basic Science

Sources, functions and deficiencies of micronutrients

len Alfred Ajibola - Tue, 13th August, 2019 @ 12:34 PM

Topics in Basic Science

What is science? Qualities of a scientist Resources from living things Resources from animals Importance of immunization Types of Carbohydrates: Monosaccharides and Polysaccharides Carbohydrates: Disaccharides and Oligosaccharides Len Academy Examination Questions for Basic Science, JSS2, 2nd Term Len Academy Examination Questions for Basic Science, JSS3, 3rd Term Len Academy Examination Questions for Basic Science, JSS3, 2nd Term Primates: Characteristics of Primates Effects of improper waste management Waste Management: Causes of waste in the society Concept of mass and weight Mineral Salts: Sources, functions and deficiencies of macronutrients Sources, functions and deficiencies of micronutrients Len Academy questions for Basic Science JSS1 Len Academy mid-term test questions for Basic Science JSS1, 2nd Term Microorganisms causing food, water and air borne diseases Vector borne organisms and the diseases they cause Bones of the Human Skeleton

Academic Questions in Basic Science

Please click here to see all Questions and Answers

Which of the following diseases is associated with river blindness?

  • A. Anthrax

  • B. Lawnmower Disease

  • C. Onchocerciasis

  • D. Devil's Crunch

  • E. Trypanosomiasis

  • F. Tularemia

The vector for yellow fever is _____.

  • A. Aedes Mosquito

  • B. Female Anopheles Mosquito

  • C. Plasmodium

  • D. Flavivirus

  • E. Black Fly

  • F. Bacillus Anthracis

The bones of the head and face make up the skull. These bones are _____ in number.

  • A. 12

  • B. 14

  • C. 16

  • D. 18

  • E. 20

  • F. 22

Bacteria are not a constituent of our environment.

  • A. True

  • B. False

Below are types of drugs. Which of these is considered as pain killers?

  • A. Stimulants

  • B. Depressants

  • C. Opiods and Morphine Derivatives

  • D. Hallucinogens

  • E. Anabolic Steroids

  • F. Cannabinoids

Which of the following statement is false concerning drugs?

  • A. Drugs can be inhaled

  • B. Drugs can be injected directly into the bloodstream 

  • C. Drugs can be eaten

  • D. Drugs exist exclusively in the forms of tablets and syrups

  • E. Drugs can be placed under the tongue

  • F. Drugs can be taken with water or another liquid

Vaccination involves a process of introducing pathogens or germs into a person in order to prevent such person from the diseases they cause.

  • A. True

  • B. False

With regards to the human health, foreign bodies are best regarded as _____.

  • A. International bodies

  • B. Antilators

  • C. Antibodies

  • D. Antigens

  • E. Antibiotics

  • F. Antidotes


Minerals salts are generally classified into two types based on the amount required by the body (on a daily basis). These are:

  1. Macronutrients: They are also referred to as macro elements.
  2. They are needed in a relatively large amount (more than 100mg per day).

    Macronutrients include calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chlorine, phosphorus and sulphur.

    Please read on macronutrients, their sources, functions and deficiencies here.

  3. Micronutrients: They are also referred to as micro elements or trace elements or trace nutrients.
  4. They are needed in small to moderate amounts (less than 100mg per day).

    The micronutrients include iodine, iron, zinc, copper, fluorine, selenium, manganese, chromium, molybdenum and cobalt.


Sources, Functions and Deficiencies of Micronutrients

Below are the micronutrients, their sources, functions and deficiency symptoms:

  • Iron

Sources: Liver, kidneys, meat, vegetables and eggs.


Deficiency Symptoms:

  1. Anemia (reduced oxygen circulation in the blood).
  2. General body weakness.
  3. Soreness of the tongue.
  4. Inflammation.
  5. Headaches.


  • Zinc

Sources: Seeds, whole grains, eggs, legumes, meat and shell fish.


Deficiency Symptoms:

  1. Impaired immune function.
  2. Delayed sexual maturation, Impotence.
    Please read on the male reproductive system here.
  3. Loss of appetite and Diarrhea.
  4. Lesions of the eyes and skin.
  5. Acne, eczema, xerosis (dry scaling skin) and alopecia (hair loss).
  6. Psychological disorders.


  • Copper

Sources: Milk, meat, green vegetables, oysters, dark chocolate and eggs.


  • Catalyses the absorption of iron from the Gastro Intestinal Tract (GIT).
  • Needed for aerobic respiration in some organisms.

Deficiency Symptoms:

  1. Anemia (reduced blood oxygen).
  2. Low white blood cell count.
  3. Connective tissues disorders.
  4. Neurological problems.


  • Cobalt

Sources: Oats, spinach, broccoli, fish and nuts.


  • Assists in the absorption and processing of vitamin B12.
  • Helps in blood production.
  • Acts as catalyst for the production of thyroid hormones.

Deficiency Symptoms:

  1. Deficiency of vitamin B12.
  2. Numbness and fatigue.
  3. Tingling sensation of the hands and feet.


  • Iodine

Sources: Sea foods, vegetables, iodized salts, water and beans.


  • Required by the thyroid gland to make the thyroid hormones. These are thyroxine and triiodithyronine. The thyroid hormone controls the body’s metabolism.

You can read on homeostasis here.

Deficiency Symptoms:

  1. Goiter (swollen neck).
  2. Poor mental development in children.
    Please read on the uniqueness of man here.
  3. Cretinism (severely stunted physical and mental growth).
  4. Fatigue and weakness.
  5. Increased risk of pregnancy loss.
  6. Hair loss, dry and flaky skin.


  • Selenium

Sources: Beans, nuts, white meat, sea food; eggs and pork.


  • It reduces the damages caused by excessive free radicals.
  • It acts as a catalyst for vitamin E.

Deficiency Symptoms:

  1. Myodegenerative diseases and muscular weakness.
  2. Depression, anxiety and confusion.
  3. Male infertility.
  4. Kashin-Beck disease (joint swellings and pains).
    You can read on the bones of the human skeleton here.


  • Fluorine

Sources: Wine, seafood, coffee, water containing fluorine and Tea.


Deficiency Symptoms:

  1. Osteoporosis (weakness and brittleness of bones).
  2. Dental caries or tooth decay. Dental caries are caused from the acids produces by bacteria when they breakdown food substances within our tooth.
    Please read more on acids here.
  3. Dental holes or holes in the gum.


  • Molybdenum

Sources: Beans, peas, nuts, pumpkin, waterleaf, and fruits.


Deficiency Symptoms:

  1. Sulfate toxicity of the body cells.
  2. Nausea, headache and vomiting.

Note: Molybdenum deficiency is very rare since it is required by the body in very minute quantities. Also, it is present in a variety of food.


  • Manganese

Sources: Legumes, wheat bread, pineapples, nuts and dark chocolate.


Deficiency Symptoms:

  1. Poor development of the skeletal system.
    Please read on skeletal saterials and the differences between bones and cartilages here.
  2. Impaired reproductive activities.
  3. Stunted growth.
  4. Diabetes.
  5. Improper carbohydrate and fat metabolism.


  • Chromium

Sources: Apples, bananas, potatoes, pumpkin, chicken, beef and dairy products.


  • It is needed for the synthesis of cholesterol.
  • It supports the utilization and breakdown of glucose.
    Please read on carbohydrates and sugars here.
  • Enhances carbohydrate, lipid and protein metabolism.
  • Reduces the rate of hunger.

Deficiency Symptoms:

  1. Type 2 Diabetes. That is; high glucose level n the blood.
  2. High blood cholesterol.
  3. Heart diseses results.
  4. Craving for sugary food.
  5. Depression.

Kindly share this article via the links below:


Please click here to contact Alfred if you require any of the following services:

  • If you need a standard website at an affordable price.

  • Online training on the academic subjects: biology, chemistry and basic science.

  • If you require an advanced smart school management system (web application) for your school.

Click here to read on Len Academy Smart School Software.

Please click here to follow Len Academy on Google News.

Please Register here or Login here to contribute to this topic by commenting in the box below.

Amazing facts in Basic Science

According to scientific research, if the first tear drop comes from the right eye, it’s tears of joy. If it comes from the left eye, then it is as a result of pain

Dentistry is the oldest profession in the world. This is considered true because a research conducted by the University of Bologna, Italy on a 14,000-year-old skull found that one rotten tooth in the jaw had been deliberately scoured and scraped with a dental tool

Scientific research has it that the human nose can distinguish more than a trillion different odors

Tiger fur and skin - Len Academy

Tigers have striped fur. So also is their skin

Red-Billed Quelea - Len Academy

The most common wild bird in the world is native to Africa, and it's the red-billed quelea with a population estimated to be around 1.5 billion

Of all animals, mosquitoes hold the record of killing most humans annually. They are responsible for the deaths of 725,000 - 1,000,000 persons yearly

Antibiotics fights and kills bacteria. However, they do nothing to a virus

All insects have six legs. However, dragonfly has six legs but can't walk

The chin is defined as the protruding part of the face below the mouth, formed by the apex of the lower lip. It is shown below:

Chin - Len Academy

Interestingly, humans are the only animals with chin

Cranberries - Len Academy

Ripe cranberries will bounce like a ball. For this reason, they are nicknamed 'bounceberries'. They will also float in water

Notable points in Basic Science

We have six classes of food. These are:

  1. Carbohydrates

  2. Proteins

  3. Fats and Oils

  4. Vitamins

  5. Mineral Salts

  6. Water

In humans, roughages are not classified as one of the classes of food. This is so because they aren't digested. Instead, roughages facilitate the movement of bowels in the large intestine (colon); and for this reason, they can become useful in treating constipation.

Food refers to anything that is ingested by living organisms, giving them nutrients and thus enabling them to stay alive.

As an instance, 99% of a panda's diet is bamboo. In this case, bamboo is considered as food to a panda since it provides a source of nutrient and keeps it alive. This is shown in the image below:

Panda eating bamboo - Len Academy

Please read more on food here

The only process in nature that actively enriches our atmosphere with oxygen is photosynthesis. Every other process like respiration, burning and combustion takes away oxygen from it. In addition, they introduce carbon(IV)oxide (CO2) into the atmosphere.

Photosynthesis is also the only process that takes away carbon(IV)oxide (CO2) from the atmosphere.

Photosynthesis is defined as a process by which green plants manufacture food by utilizing carbon(IV)oxide and water in the presence of sunlight.

Oxygen is given off as a by-product of photosynthesis. In regards to this, it is recommended that each person plants a tree.

Matter is composed of particles which can be:

  1. Tightly packed together (as seen in solids).

  2. Loosely packed together (as seen in liquids).

  3. Completely separated (as seen in gases).

The movement of the particles of matter is a function of the overall kinetic energy present in them. You can think of kinetic energy as energy in motion.

An increase in the particles' vibrational, rotational or translational motion will imply an increase in temperature while a decrease in the particles motion (vibrational, rotational and translational) will mean a decrease in temperature. Based on this knowledge, we can therefore define temperature as the measure of the average kinetic energy possessed by the particles of matter.

You can read on the concept of matter here

Intelligence Quotient (IQ) is a score derived from a set of standardized tests developed to measure a person's cognitive abilities in relation to their age group.

IQ may also be defined as the ratio of mental age (MA) to chronological age (CA) multiplied by 100.

Below are some formulas pertaining Intelligence Quotient:

  • IQ = MA x 100 ÷ CA

  • MA = Mental age

  • CA = Chronological age

  • IQ above 100 = Brilliance

  • IQ that equals 100 = Average

  • IQ below 100 = Below Average