A Christian Guide to Body Stewardship, Diet and Exercise

Chapter 2: Basic Nutrition 26 Micronutrients Unlike macronutrients (excluding water), micronutrients do not provide energy (calories). Additionally, although vital for normal growth and development, micronutrients are only required in trace amounts. Micronutrients can be divided into four categories: water-soluble vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins, major minerals and trace minerals. Vitamins are any group of organic compounds, either acquired from food or produced by the body, that are necessary for the regulation of certain metabolic processes. For example, vitamins help to support bone health, heal wounds, and bolster your immune system. There are two types of vitamins: water-soluble and fat-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins include vitamin C and the B vitamins. Fat- soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, E and K. Any excess of water-soluble vitamins will be excreted in the urine; whereas excess of fat-soluble vitamins will be stored in the liver or fat tissue. Table 2.10 provides a complete listing of the different water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins. Table 2.12 provides the recommended daily intake, sources, functions and signs of deficiency for the various vitamins (University of Michigan Health, 2019a). Table 2.10. Water-Soluble and Fat-Soluble Vitamins Water-Soluble Fat-Soluble Thiamine (Vitamin B1) Pantothenic Acid Folic Acid Vitamin A Vitamin K Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) Biotin Cobalamin (Vitamin B12) Vitamin D - Niacin (Vitamin B3) Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) Vitamin E - Minerals are solid inorganic substances acquired from food that are essential to certain metabolic functions. The body uses minerals to perform many different functions ranging from building strong bones, transmitting nerve impulses, manufacturing hormones to maintaining a normal heart rhythm. Major minerals are required in amounts greater than 100 mg per day; whereas trace minerals are required in amounts less than 100 mg per day. Electrolytes are minerals dissolved in the body fluids that help to regulate nerve and muscle function, rehydrate, balance blood acidity and pressure, and rebuild damaged tissue. Some of the major electrolytes include sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphate. Table 2.11 provides a complete listing of the different major minerals and trace minerals.