Difference between Micronutrients and Macronutrients

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Plants and humans, including animals, require nutrients to maintain their growth and health. There are mainly two types of nutrients called macronutrients and micronutrients, and both can be obtained from different diets and supplements that are consumed by humans in particular. These include whole foods in the form of cereals, vegetables, meat, eggs, fruits and eggs among other diets. Although macronutrients and micronutrients can be obtained from the same source, they differ significantly in several ways. The main differences between macronutrients and micronutrients are related to the aspect of the amount required to ensure optimal health and its functions in the body.

Main characteristics of macronutrients

Macronutrients are required in large quantities to ensure optimal functioning of the entire body. Carbohydrates, for example, are macronutrients and these are often consumed in large quantities. Carbohydrates are rich in fiber and should be consumed in large quantities to promote growth in humans. The same applies to meat and fish that contain high levels of protein, therefore, should be consumed in large quantities. Unlike micronutrients, macronutrients are specifically designed to improve growth.

They contain calories that help provide energy to the body. For example, fats, proteins and carbohydrates are examples of macronutrients and help provide energy to different parts of the body, such as the kidneys, heart and brain. This energy is specially designed to ensure that these organs operate at an optimal level to ensure the best functionality of the body and quality health. For the body to function normally, it must have enough energy to maintain the functions of the different organs, otherwise, insufficient energy can cause fatigue. The main types of foods that are rich in macronutrients include the following: meat, cereals, potatoes, yams, nuts, fish, water and oilseeds, among others.

The other notable aspect is that excessive consumption of macronutrients in the form of saturated fats and carbohydrates can lead to health problems such as obesity or diabetes. Dental problems can also be experienced due to the high levels of acid that can result in excessive consumption of macronutrients. In other words, these must be consumed at proportional levels to achieve optimal health among different human beings.

Main characteristics of micronutrients

Micronutrients are required in small amounts, unlike macronutrients. The main reason for this can be attributed to the source where the micronutrients are obtained. Micronutrients come mainly from minerals that exist in smaller quantities, so they can not be consumed in large quantities.

Micronutrients do not contain energy-calming calories in contrast to macronutrients, but are mainly composed of high volumes of antioxidants. Essentially, these antioxidants play a key role in protecting the body against various diseases. They also help eliminate toxins that can negatively affect the health of human beings, thus promoting a long life between them. In addition to that, it can be observed that micronutrients are also vital in the creation of enzymes, as well as other components that help improve the different functions of the body. Examples of micronutrients include minerals and vitamins that are often required in small amounts. Examples of different types of foods that are rich in micronutrients include the following:

Research has shown that there is no effect on health from excessive consumption of macronutrients. These usually exist in small amounts and are good for detoxifying the body against unwanted elements. However, deficiencies in micronutrients can have a negative impact on health. They can cause problems such as fatigue, poor vision or health problems related to mental health. If micronutrient deficiency is detected, recommendations can be made to improve health. For example, iodine can be recommended to improve the health of the thyroid.

Summary of the main differences between macronutrients and micronutrients

As discussed above, it can be seen that the macronutrients and micronutrients differ significantly due to a number of factors. These are summarized in broad categories below to facilitate understanding.


  • Macronutrients are required in large quantities to ensure optimal health and body performance. These are usually found in large quantities in different types of food, therefore, the reason why they are also required in large quantities.
  • In contrast, micronutrients are generally required in small amounts in the human body. They often exist in small quantities in different types of foods.


  • Examples of macronutrients include the following: carbohydrates for energy storage, fat for storing vitamins, as well as for maintaining adequate body temperature and proteins that are responsible for maintaining enzymes and acid balance.
  • Examples of micronutrients include vitamins and minerals and these play a critical role in promoting the healthy growth of hair, teeth, skin, cells, bones and the development of a strong immune system that is capable of combating different diseases in the body. Essentially, micronutrients are the main responsible for the prevention of diseases and the promotion of quality health.

Effect on health

  • Excessive consumption of macronutrients can be harmful to health, as it can cause problems such as obesity and diabetes, among others. These significantly affect the normal functioning of the body and such a scenario is not recommended. The lack of sufficient macronutrients in the body can also cause problems such as malnutrition and kwashiorkor.
  • On the contrary, there are no data that show the effect of excessive consumption of macronutrients in the body. However, there are certain health-related problems that can be caused by inadequate micronutrients in the body. For example, scurvy and goiter are two diseases that can be caused by the deficiency of micronutrients in the body.

In general, it is imperative to maintain a balanced diet to ensure that the body has sufficient macronutrients and micronutrients for optimal health to be achieved. There is a risk of negatively impacting the body if adequate measures are not taken to ensure that balanced nutrients are always consumed.

Table showing the differences between macronutrients and micronutrients

Macronutrients Micronutrients
Required in large quantities Required in small quantities
Provide body with energy Plays a fundamental role in the prevention of diseases
Examples of micronutrients include proteins, carbohydrates and fats Examples of micronutrients include minerals and vitamins
Excessive macronutrient consumption leads to obesity and diabetes No data showing the impact of excessive micronutrient consumption
The macronutrients are obtained mainly from the following foods: potatoes, cereals, fish and nuts, among others. Micronutrients are mainly obtained from vegetables, fruits as well as eggs


Los cuerpos humanos requieren nutrientes que se pueden obtener a partir de una variedad de dietas para que puedan alcanzar una salud óptima. Como se señaló, los nutrientes se dividen en dos grandes categorías, a saber, macronutrientes y micronutrientes. Aunque tanto los macronutrientes como los micronutrientes se obtienen de la misma fuente en algún caso, difieren significativamente en muchos aspectos. La principal diferencia entre los dos es que los macronutrientes se requieren en grandes cantidades en el cuerpo, mientras que los micronutrientes se requieren en pequeñas cantidades. Por otro lado, los macronutrientes están específicamente destinados a proporcionar energía y apoyar el crecimiento del cuerpo, mientras que los micronutrientes son responsables de la prevención de enfermedades. Como se destacó anteriormente, el consumo excesivo de macronutrientes puede tener efectos negativos en el cuerpo, ya que pueden causar problemas relacionados con la salud como la obesidad o la diabetes. Macronutrientes insuficientes pueden causar problemas de salud como desnutrición y kwashiorkor. Sin embargo, no hay datos que demuestren que el consumo excesivo de micronutrientes pueda causar impactos negativos en la salud. Se ha observado que las deficiencias en micronutrientes pueden tener un impacto negativo en la salud y causar problemas como escorbuto, mala visión y articulaciones débiles, entre otros. Se debe hacer un esfuerzo para asegurar que se cree un buen equilibrio entre el consumo de macronutrientes y micronutrientes para promover una salud óptima entre las diferentes personas. En la mayoría de los casos, la dieta de los individuos determina su estado de salud.


[0] “Macronutrients against micronutrients” https://ifeelgood247.com.au/blog/2017/02/macronutrients-vs-micronutrients/

[1] “Image credit: http://ocw.tufts.edu/Content/47/lecturenotes/531592/531662”

[2] “Image credit: https://biology-esl.wikispaces.com/NUTRITION+-+Minerals?responseToken=0157f07117db79aa7c29e743177453b1e”

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