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 organisms. 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 such as food.

There are two different types of nutrients essential for the body:

  • Macro-nutrients.
  • Micro-nutrients.

The nutrients that are essential for 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 macronutrients and micronutrients:

Micro-nutrients Macronutrients
Required in very minute quantities. Required in larger quantities.
Prevents diseases. Provides energy.
Consequences of Deficiency
Deficiency results in Anemia, Goiter, Scurvy, etc. Deficiency results in Kwashiorkor, Marasmus, Malnutrition,  etc.
Consequences of Overconsumption
Overconsumption of Vitamins leads to liver and nerve damage. Overconsumption of macro-nutrients results in cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, etc.
Available in a minute concentration in the body, less than 1 mg/gm. Available in high concentration in the body, equal to 1 mg or 1000 microgram.
Also called trace elements. Also known as major elements.
Vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Carbohydrate, protein and fats.
Antioxidants, Minerals, and Vitamins are examples of macro-nutrients. Proteins, fibre, carbohydrates, and fats are examples of micro-nutrients.
Are found in fruits, vegetables, eggs, fermented foods, green leafy vegetables, etc. Are found abundantly in cereals, fish, legumes, meat, nuts, oilseeds, potatoes, yam, etc.
Micro-nutrients contribute to body growth and disease prevention. Provides energy required for the metabolic system.

Macro and Micro-nutrients


The plant-based nutrients which are essential 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.


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.


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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