Basic Science

Sources, functions and deficiencies of micronutrients

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

Topics in Basic Science

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, second Term Len Academy mid-term test questions for Basic Science JSS1, 2nd Term Micro organisms causing food, water and air borne diseases Vector borne organisms and the diseases they cause Bones of the Human Skeleton Meaning of Drugs, Type of Drugs and Side effects of Drugs What is immunization? How immunization works and the processes involved Food: What is food?

Academic Questions in Basic Science

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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

Disease causing organisms are termed _____.

  • A. Pests

  • B. Pathogens

  • C. Vectors

  • D. Insects

  • E. Disease carriers

  • F. All the above options are correct

____ is formed from a reaction utilizing oxygen and glucose in the mitochondria of cells.

  • A. Galactose

  • B. Fructose

  • C. Sucrose

  • D. AMP

  • E. ADP

  • F. ATP

Which of the following statement is false concerning carbohydrates?

  • A. They are composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen only

  • B. Carbon has the highest ratio of the constituent elements of carbohydrates

  • C. All carbohydrates are sugars

  • D. Fructose is a carbohydrate

  • E. Natural milk contains lactose and it's a carbohydrate

  • F. Fatty foods contains high calories of energy when compared to the same quantity of carbohydrate foods

Which of the following is a class of food?

  • A. Water

  • B. Fibre

  • C. Roughages

  • D. Latex

  • E. Tanins

  • F. Wax

Brachiation is a specialized form of movement exhibited by _____.

  • A. Human beings

  • B. Babbons

  • C. Chameleons

  • D. Toads

  • E. Millipedes

  • F. Birds

_____ is a form of locomotion whereby an organism move by means of its two hind limbs.

  • A. Pedalism

  • B. Duo Pedalism

  • C. Double Pedalism

  • D. Dual Pedalism

  • E. Bipedalism

  • F. Copedalism


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.

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Amazing facts in Basic Science

Cranberries - Len Academy

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

Tomatoes and Avocados are fruits, not vegetables

Sweat in itself doesn't smell. The smell that accompanies sweat is actually caused by the presence of bacteria on your skin. This bacteria breaks the sweat coming out of your sweat pores down into acids, thus making it smell.

Deodorants contains alcohol and are antibacterial. They work by killing the bacteria that makes sweat smell

Chewing aspirin during a heart attack may be a life saver. This is true because the drug inhibits platelets from forming a clot that can block an artery of the heart, thus stopping a heart attack

The kneecaps of newly born babies are not made of bone. Rather, they are little bits of cartilage which ossifies (turns from cartilages to bone) from age 2 to 6

Ice cubes - Len Academy

Ice cubes made with fresh water are white in color while those made with boiled water are crystal clear

Cats are unable to taste sweet things

Apples float on water. Other fruits that float on water include lemons, bananas, pears, and oranges

Rain water is said to be pure because it's colorless, odourless and tasteless. Interestingly, it also contains vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 is an important nutrient that keeps the blood cells and neurones healthy. It also assist in building the DNA (a genetic material present in the cell's nucleus). Vitamin B12 also aid in the prevention of megaloblastic anemia which makes people weak and tired

Rasceta is the name given to the lines on your palm


The uniqueness of man can be defined as that which makes man distinct from every other animal and living organism.

Humans are higher animals when compared to other animals.

Under the classification of living organisms, humans belong to an order termed primates and thus share the same characteristics (as primates). In addition to these features, they also have their unique characteristics.

Please read on man's uniqueness here

Waste Management can be defined as the process of collecting, processing, recycling and controlling any material considered as waste.

Improperly disposed waste litters on road sides, in land fills, gutters and ditches. They are generally bad for the following reasons:

Wastes can be classified into various types. These are:

  • Biodegradable waste

  • Non-Biodegradable waste

  • Refuse

  • Sewage

  • Recyclable waste

  • Electronic waste

  • Green waste

  • Biomedical waste

  • Metabolic waste

  • Radioactive waste

  • Chemical waste

  • Animal product waste

Please read the explanations on the classification of wastes here

The African Star Apple is a seasonal fruit that grows abundantly in Nigeria and other West African Countries. It's fondly called African Cherry, Agbalumo or Udara in some parts of Nigeria.

African Star Apple, Cherry, Agbalumo, Udara - Len Academy

Below are some benefits of the African Star Apple:

  • It contains high amount of vitamin C

  • It contains a high amount of calcium

  • It contains high amount of potassium

  • It is a powerful antioxidant

  • It aids in weight reduction

  • It contains a high amount of iron

  • Its leaves, fruits and seeds are medicinal

  • It aids digestion and prevents vomiting

Please read more on the african star apple here

Disaccharides are composed of two monosaccharides joined together; thus are also referred to as double sugars.

Disaccharides are often added as sweeteners to food; for instance, the table sugar called sucrose is a disaccharide often used by us to sweeten our tea.

Maltose is another disaccharide used as an ingredient for making malt drinks, chocolates and candies.

The breast milk contains the disaccharide -> lactose.

Lactose is very vital for the normal growth and development of infants.

In adults, disaccharides are non essential nutrients. This implies that we can live without them as adults.

Below is a summary of monosaccharides that make up disaccharides (double sugars).

  • Maltose = Glucose + Glucose

  • Lactose = Glucose + Galactose

  • Sucrose = Glucose + Fructose

Other examples of disaccharides include trehalulose and isomaltulose