Difference Between Micronutrients and Macronutrients

Nutrients are chemical substances that are required for the proper functioning of cells, tissues and different organs in all living organism. Our body requires an adequate amount of nutrients which are mainly required for various functions of the body, including growth, repair, and protection against disease-causing microbes. Since our body cannot synthesize these nutrients on its own, these need to be supplied through external sources as food.

There are two different types of nutrients required by the body:

  • Macro-nutrients.
  • Micro-nutrients.

The nutrients that are required by the body in lesser amounts are known as micro-nutrients, whereas the nutrients that are required by the body in greater amounts are known as macro-nutrients.

Also Read: Nutrients

Let us have a detailed look at the difference between macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients.

Difference between Micronutrients and Macro-nutrients

Following are the important difference between macro-nutrients and micronutrients:

Micro-nutrients Macronutrients
Requirements
Required in minute quantities. Required in large quantities.
Functions
Play a crucial role in the prevention of diseases. Play a crucial role in providing energy.
Consequences of Deficiency
Deficiency results in Anemia, Scurvy, Goiter, etc. Deficiency results in Malnutrition, Kwashiorkor, marasmus, etc.
Consequences of Over consumption
Over consumption of Vitamins leads to liver and nerve damage. Over consumption of macro-nutrients results in cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, etc.
Concentration
Available in minute inside the body. Less than 1 mg/gm. Available in high concentration inside the body. Equal to 1 mg or 1000 micro gram.
Composition
Also called trace elements. Also called as major elements.
Types
vitamins, minerals and trace elements. carbohydrate, protein and fats.
Examples
Antioxidants, Minerals, and Vitamins are examples of macro-nutrients. Proteins, fiber, carbohydrates, and fats are examples of micro-nutrients.
Sources
Are found in vegetables, fruits, eggs, green leafy vegetables, fermented foods, etc. Are found abundantly in cereals, legumes, meat, fish, yams, potatoes, nuts, oil seeds, etc.
Advantages
Micro-nutrients contribute to body growth and disease prevention. Provides energy required for the metabolic system.

Macro and Micro-nutrients

Macro-nutrients

The plant-based nutrients which are required in large quantities as our body cannot produce by its self. These macro-nutrients providing energy and supports the different metabolic system, growth, and development of the body. Macro-nutrients include fats, proteins,  carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

Micro-nutrients

The plant-based nutrients which are required in very small quantities and are mainly responsible for repairing damaged cell and tissues, prevention of infectious diseases by fighting against the disease-causing pathogens including bacteria, virus, fungi, etc. Micro-nutrients include calcium, iron, vitamins, iron, minerals and vitamin C.

Conclusion

The excessive consumption or the deficiency of both the macro and micro-nutrients have a negative impact on the health. Therefore, it is important to have a balanced diet which includes an equal and required quantity of both macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients.

Also Read: Functions of Macronutrients and Micronutrients

Learn more about macro and micro-nutrients, its differences  and other related topics at BYJU’S Biology

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