Micronutrients: The Key to Good Health

Linkages Between Micronutrients and Health

Author(s): Shashi A. Chiplonkar

Pp: 172-238 (67)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815040258122010008

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Micronutrients perform a key role in almost all vital body functions like those related to vision, immunity, bone formation, brain function and many others that help in proper growth and maintaining good health. Deficiency of any one or more of the micronutrients can have a negative impact on the overall health. The causes of micronutrient deficiencies and their signs and symptoms are explained in this chapter in a precise manner. Plant and animal food sources with high micronutrient contents with ready-to-eat food supplements per serving size are illustrated for each micronutrient. These can serve as a guideline for preventive measures and diet therapy. Micronutrients are increasingly used as an adjunct therapy in managing various health problems. Effective therapeutic uses of vitamins and minerals are exemplified for a ready reference. Overdose of synthetic supplements of micronutrients and certain environmental conditions may result in toxic effects. To address this, the upper limit for micronutrient intakes and toxic effects of excess micronutrient intakes are also described. The relevance of the yogic concept of ‘sattvic’ diet in modern nutrition and the potential of yoga for micronutrient absorption is also highlighted. The approach of yoga towards healthy diet and the relation between diet and psychological health is explained based on experimental data. The importance of specific micronutrients in health at different stages of life, from pregnancy to old age, is elucidated and remedial measures are suggested. Lastly, evidence for micronutrient supplements as an adjunct therapy for COVID-19 is briefly described. 

Keywords: Alopecia, Cognitive dysfunction, Deficiency causes, Depression, Diet therapy, Diabetes, Health complaints, Hypothyroidism, Immune deficiency, Insomnia, Life stages, Metabolic syndrome, Micronutrient deficiency, Obesity, Preventive measures, Ready-to-eat foods, Symptoms, Therapeutic use, Toxic effects, Yoga.

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