Micronutrients are mineral salts that are required for the normal functioning of human body. The metal ions are the functional portions. Sodium, potassium, and calcium are the most profuse among them. They are required in higher quantities in mgs/dl of blood. Other mineral ions are needed in traces and called trace nutrients.
Sodium: It is a systemic electrolyte and plays an important part in regulating ATP Adenosine triphosphate is the energy store of a cell and its metabolism gives the cells all the energy it needs. There are different reactions in the metabolism of ATP and chosen depending on the situation. Hyponatremia, low sodium, causes the cells to malfunction and extremely low levels can be fatal. Hypernatremia, high sodium can cause hypertension, malfunction of cells and in extreme cases cause death.
Potassium: A systemic electrolyte, co-coordinator of ATP. with sodium, critical role in RNA synthesis. Both deficiency hypokalemia and excess hyperkalemia profoundly affect nerve cells and heart.
Calcium: Important for proper functioning and health of muscle, digestive system and heart. Deficiency, hypocalcemia, leads to muscle cramps, including abdominal spasms and deep tendon reflex. Hypercalcemia creates constipation, muscle weakness, urinary calculi, impaired renal function, inefficient iron absorption and anemia and subdued electric conduction of electricity in the heart.
Magnesium: It helps in processing ATP. and is essential for bone formation. Hypomagnesemia leads to nerve irritability and muscular spasms of hand, feet, larynx and twitching of muscles. Hypomagnesemia causes nausea, vomiting and breathing difficulty and low blood pressure. It very rarely happens in renal problems.
Chloride: Very necessary for hydrochloric acid synthesis in the stomach. Required for the proper functioning of the cellular pump. Hypochloremia can be dangerous for health. Hyperchloremia, on the other hand, has no symptom and is usually caused by excessive fluid loss.
The other ions, called trace nutrients, are essential for good health in extremely low concentrations.
Zinc: Required by several enzymes. Deficiency creates short stature, anemia enlarged liver, spleen immune deficiency etc. Excess inhibits copper and iron absorption.
Iron: Essential requirement for proteins, especially, hemoglobin, and enzymes. Deficiency causes anemia. Excess causes deposits in organs especially heart.
Manganese: Needed for the proper working of enzymes. Deficiency causes fainting, hearing loss, and rarely diabetes. Excess interferes with iron and copper absorption.
Iodine: Essential for proper functioning of the thyroid.
Selenium: Essential for the functioning of antioxidant enzymes.
Molybdenum: Critical for the operation of enzymes.