Basic Science

Sources, Functions and Deficiencies of Mineral Salts (Micro-nutrients)

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

Topics in Basic Science

Sources, Functions and Deficiencies of Mineral Salts (Macro-nutrients) Sources, Functions and Deficiencies of Mineral Salts (Micro-nutrients) Len Academy questions for Basic Science JSS1, second Term Len Academy mid-term test questions for Basic Science JSS1, 2nd Term Micro organisms causing food, water and air borne Diseases Vectors - Examples of Vectors, Vector borne Organisms and the Diseases they cause Human Skeleton - Functions and Bones of the Human Skeleton Meaning of Drugs, Type of Drugs and Side effects of Drugs Immunization, Processes involved in immunization and its importance Food: Carbohydrates and Sugars

Academic Questions in Basic Science

Please check out our Test Your Knowledge page to see all Questions and Answers

The ultimate source of energy is _____.

  1. plants
  2. sun
  3. food
  4. water
  5. air
  6. earth

The speed of wind is measured with a wind vane.


The nutrient majorly found in the liver is _____.

  • A. Carbohydrate
  • B. Starch
  • C. Protein
  • D. Fats
  • E. Oil
  • F. Lipids

A body at rest possess _____ energy.

  • A. Kinetic
  • B. Potential
  • C. Mechanical
  • D. Chemical

Sources, Functions and Deficiencies of Micro-nutrients:

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

  • Macronutrients or Macro-elements: They are needed in a relatively large amount (more than 100mg per day). These are Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium, Chlorine, Phosphorus and Sulphur.

  • Micronutrients or Micro-elements or Trace nutrients or Trace elements: They are needed in small to moderate amounts (less than 100mg per day). They include Iodine, Iron, Zinc, Copper, Fluorine, Selenium, Manganese, Chromium, Molybdenum and Cobalt.

Please read on Mineral salts, their Sources, Functions and Deficiencies (Macro-nutrients) here


Below are the Micro-nutrients, their sources, functions and deficiency symptoms



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



Sources: Seeds, Whole grains, Eggs, Legumes, Meat and Shell fish


  • Acts as a power antioxidant
  • Assist in wound healing
  • Helps in protein synthesis and collagen formation
  • Boosts the immune System
  • Acts as blood catalyst (in the conversion of carbonic acid into carbon(IV)oxide and water)

Deficiency Symptoms

  1. Impaired immune function
  2. Delayed sexual maturation, Impotence
  3. Loss of appetite, Diarrhea
  4. Lesions of the eye and skin
  5. Acne, eczema, xerosis (dry scaling skin) and alopecia (hair loss)
  6. Psychological disorders



Sources: Milk, Meat, Green vegetables, Oysters, Dark chocolate and Eggs


  • Catalyses the absorption of iron from the GIT (Gastro Intestinal Tract)
  • 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



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



Sources: Sea foods, Vegetables, Iodized salts, water and Beans


  • Required by the thyroid gland to make the thyroid hormones (thyroxine and triiodithyronine)

 Note: The thyroid hormone controls the body’s metabolism

Deficiency Symptoms

  1. Goiter (swollen neck)
  2. Poor mental development in children
  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



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)



Sources: Wine, Seafood, coffee, water containing fluorine and Tea


  • Prevention of tooth decay and dental caries
  • Required for bone mineralization and solidification. Please read on the types of bone here.
  • Required for the formational of enamel. The enamel is the white part of our teeth and it happens to be the strongest tissue in the human body. You can read on amazing facts in biology here.

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 breakdown food substances within our tooth
  3. Dental holes or holes in the gum



Sources: Beans, Peas, Nuts, Pumpkin, Waterleaf, and Fruits


  • Removal of toxins from the metabolism of sulphur
  • Cell protection against toxins
  • It helps in the activation of antioxidant enzymes
  • It helps the cell to produce energy (ATP) in the mitochondria

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.



Sources: Legumes, Wheat bread, Pineapple, Nuts and Dark chocolate


  • Required for the normal functioning of the nervous system
  • It is required as a cofactor for various bodily enzymes
  • It assists in the growth of bones
  • It contributes to the body's immune system
  • It is useful in the production of ATP in the cell's mitochondria

Deficiency Symptoms

  1. Poor development of the skeletal system
  2. Impaired reproductive activities
  3. Stunted growth
  4. Diabetes
  5. Improper carbohydrate and fat metabolism



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
  • Enhances carbohydrate, lipid and protein metabolism
  • Reduces the rate of hunger

Deficiency Symptoms

  1. Type 2 Diabetes (High blood glucose level)
  2. High blood cholesterol
  3. Heart diseses results
  4. Craving for sugary food
  5. Depression

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Alfred Ajibola is a Medical Biochemist, a passionate Academician with over 7 years of experience, a Versatile Writer, a Web Developer, a Cisco Certified Network Associate and a Cisco CyberOps Associate.

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