Micronutrients

Micronutrients explained - definition & tips for purchase & use

from Mag. Margit Weichselbraun
on 20.06.2023

Biogena is more than the sum of its parts. Sound specialist knowledge, responsible action, and the will to achieve uncompromising quality are the cornerstones of our mission to enable all people worldwide to enjoy better health. The BIOGENA preparations and their various applications form the basis for this. Learn everything you need to know about micronutrients here.

What are micronutrients?

Micronutrients are substances in our food without which human beings could not survive. Unlike macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fat), they do not provide energy. As the tools of our metabolism, they are involved in the basic biological functions of our body. Depending on the area of application, they ensure that we live, grow and “are human” in all our possible manifestations. Since micronutrients cannot be produced by our body or only in insufficient concentrations, these substances must be supplied through food – and regularly and in sufficient quantities.

What micronutrients are there?

Micronutrients primarily include vitaminsminerals and trace elements. In an expanded interpretation of the term micronutrients, other substances are also included – among others proteinogenic amino acids and omega fatty acids, but also vitamin-like substances (= vitaminoids), phytonutrientsenzymesfibre and special bacterial cultures such as intestinal bacteria.

The difference between macro and micronutrients

Macronutrients (= carbohydrates, protein, fat) are the main components of our food. They are required in large quantities by our body, which uses them as fuel or – after conversion – building materials. In contrast, there are – depending on the definition – around 45 micronutrients that our bodies need in significantly smaller amounts. These substances generally do not provide energy, but are essential for the smooth running of our metabolism and thus for our lives.

What micronutrients does the body need & what are their tasks?

Micronutrients are the cogs of our lives. Whether your nails are growing, your heart beating, you’re having a light-bulb moment or just sneezing, micronutrients are involved in every aspect of these actions.

For everything in our body to run smoothly, each of the essential micronutrients must be available in optimal concentrations in the right place and at the right time. We can imagine these substances as the gears of a highly complex watch. Thousands of small and large gears keep the human “clock” running. If only one of them is missing or weakened in its task, the entire mechanism will suffer.
In addition to the essential (= vital) micronutrients, there are also semi-essential micronutrients (e.g. arginine, glutamine). These substances are normally produced by our body in sufficient quantities. However, in certain life situations (growth, exceptional stress, etc.), the need can exceed the body's own supply and an additional external supplement is necessary.

Test micronutrients in your blood

If you are interested in health, nutrition and/or micronutrients, you will at some stage wonder how well your body is supplied with micronutrients. Special laboratory diagnostic tests, preferably carried out on whole blood, can answer this question in more detail and show you the state of your own micronutrient supply and where you need more.

Micronutrients in your diet – in food & as supplements

Eating isn’t just for enjoyment. Every food we eat also provides an individual, more or less broad range of nutrients. In order to provide the body with micronutrients in the best possible way, the DGE (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung [German Nutrition Society]) recommends eating a balanced and wholesome diet. Here, diversity should be emphasised, the most natural foods (e.g. fruit, vegetables, grain products, high-quality oils and protein suppliers) should be used and a gentle preparation should be used (e.g. steaming, boiling).

In addition to nutrition, nutritional supplements can also assist with the supply of micronutrients in a targeted way. Since these products are often taken over several weeks to months, high-quality products that are as free from unnecessary additives as possible should be given preference.
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Dosage forms: Liquid, capsules or tablets?

If you search the internet for a micronutrient preparations, you will find a multifaceted kaleidoscope of powders, capsules, tablets, drops, sprays or even more unusual pharmaceutical forms. The great advantage of capsules, as produced at BIOGENA using manufacturing standards, is that unnecessary additives (e.g. binding agents, anti-caking agents, coatings) can be dispensed with. Powder or liquid capsules are characterised by their hygiene and neutral taste thanks to their encapsulation and the possibility of precise dosing and are easier to take on the go. Depending on the micronutrient, liquid pharmaceutical forms as drops or sprays are very expedient and pleasant to use, especially for people who do not like swallowing capsules.

Tips for consuming dietary supplements

The right time

Certain micronutrients must be consumed at an optimal time. As an orientation, please follow the consumption recommendation on the label or the recommendation of your doctor or therapist. This ensures the best possible intake.

EXAMPLES

Iron: This should preferably be consumed on an empty stomach or 1 to 2 hours after a meal.
Zinc:  It is best to consume zinc in the evening because tolerance and absorption will be better then.
Plant extracts: Consume immediately before or with a meal.
Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A, D, E, and K: Consume with a (fatty) meal.

The right duration of use

Many people hope for an immediate result after consuming a micronutrient preparation. However, a bit of patience is required, especially in the case of a deficiency. This will pay off in the long run.

  • In most cases, the depleted reserves must first be replenished. This process usually takes several weeks or months.
  • Micronutrients should generally be consumed over a longer period of time.
  • Irregular supplementation is less successful than regular and consistent supplementation.

The right dose

A sensible combination and balanced dosage of vitamins, minerals, trace elements, plant extracts, enzymes, and reproductive bacterial cultures is crucial. Please follow the recommendations on the label or the advice of your doctor or therapist.

Biogena is the specialist in product formulation. The dosage and composition of each individual preparation is well documented.

  • Combination preparations: several ingredients in one product – can be used for a wide range of applications
  • Monopreparations: only one ingredient in the product – used for targeted and individualised micronutrient supply

Synergy effect and complex formation

The optimal interaction of vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients is the basis for a lasting positive influence on well-being.

EXAMPLES

 

Vitamin D, magnesium, and vitamin K2Vitamin D can only be converted into its active form when magnesium is present. Only active vitamin D increases the formation of osteocalcin – an important hormone for bone formation – which is then converted by vitamin K2 so that it can bind calcium in the bone.

Iron: The absorption of iron is significantly improved in combination with vitamin C. Calcium and magnesium can impair iron absorption.

FAQs

A healthy and varied diet with the freshest possible, most wholesome and gently prepared food forms the basis for a good supply of micronutrients.

Fibre is not defined as a micronutrient.

Because micronutrients are essential, in other words “indispensable”, every single micronutrient is important in its own way.

For micronutrients, a ranking would be out of place. Because every single micronutrient takes on specific tasks in the body and is therefore indispensable in its own way.

Micronutrients primarily include vitamins, minerals, trace elements, proteinogenic amino acids and essential omega fatty acids, as defined.

Good suppliers of micronutrients include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, herbs and mushrooms. Lean meat and fish are also high in essential nutrients.
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