• These provide a solid base to metallurgical industries in the country
  1. Iron Ore
    • It is a metal of universal use, and backbone of modern civilization
    • Iron is taken out in form of ore, and different types of ore contains varying proportion of iron
      • Haematite: this has around 70% of metallic content
        • Found in Dharwad and Cuddapah rock systems of peninsular India
        • Most of it is found in states of Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh
        • In western section, major concentration is in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa
      • Magnetite
        • Second best ore, with metallic content varying from 60-70%
        • These have magnetic quality, and occur in Dharwad and Cuddapah systems
        • Most reserves are found in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamilnadu and Kerala
      • Limonite
        • These are inferior ores, which contain 40-60% iron metal
        • These are found in Raniganj coal field, Garhal in Uttarakhand, Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh and Kangra valley of Himachal Pradesh
      • Siderite
        • These contain concentration less than 40%
        • It contains many impurities and hence mining not economically viable
      • Reserves
        • Haematite and Magnetite are two most important iron ores in India
        • About 97% of magnetite ore resources are located in four states of Karnataka(73%), Andhra Pradesh(14%), Rajasthan(5%) and Tamilnadu(4.9%)
        • Major source of Haematite are located in Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh
      • Production and distribution
        • India is the 4th largest world producer ofiron ore
        • The major iron ore belts in India are listed below:
        • Odisha-Jharkhand belt
        • Durg-Bastar-Chandrapur belt in Chattisgarh
        • Ballari-Chitradurga-Chikkamagaluru-Tumakuru belt in Karnataka
        • Maharashtra-Goa belt
  • Orissa is the largest producer of Iron ore in India. Orissa accounts for over half of India’s iron ore production, produced 120 million tonnes during the 2019/2020 year.
  1. Manganese
    • It is an important mineral for making iron and steel; and it acts as a basic raw material for manufacturing alloys
    • India has second largest manganese ore reserves in the world after Zimbabwe
    • The total Manganese ores are distributed in Odisha(44%), Karnataka(22%), Madhya Pradesh(13%), Maharashtra(8%), Andhra Pradesh(4%) and Jharkhand & goa(3% each),
    • India is fifth largest producer of manganese ore after Brazil, Gabon, South Africa and Australia
    • Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are the major Manganese producing states
    • Over 4/5th of total production is consumed within the country, and less than 1/5th is exported
  2. Copper
    • Copper ore is found in ancient as well as in younger rock formations and occurs as veins, as dissemination and as bedded deposits
    • Mining for copper is a costly affair, as most ores contain a small percentage of the metal
    • Against the international average of metal content(in the ore) of 2.5%, Indian Ore grade averages less than 1%
    • Rajasthan has around 50% of total copper ore in the country; followed by Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand
    • The rest are accounted for by Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Odisha, Sikkim, Tamilnadu, Uttarakhand and West Bengal
    • When it comes to productionMadhya Pradesh is the largest producer of copper in India, followed by Rajasthan
    • The production of copper ore in the country always falls short of our requirements and India has to import copper from other countries; of which the major supply comes from USA, Canada, Zimbabwe, Japan and Mexico
  3. Nickel
    • It doesn’t occur free in nature and is found in association with copper
    • The important occurrences of Nickiliferous limonite are found in Jajapur district of Odisha
      • Nickel is found in Sulphide form in Jharkhand
      • Other important occurrences of Nickel are in Karnataka, Kerala and Rajasthan
    • About 92% of resources of Nickel are present in Odisha
      • Rest are distributed in Jharkhand, Nagaland and Karnataka
  1. Lead and Zinc
    • Lead is a widely used metal due to its malleability, softness, heaviness and bad heat conductivity
      • It doesn’t occur freely in nature, rather it occurs as a cubic sulphide known as galena
      • Galena is found in veins in limestones, calcareous slates and sandstones
    • Zinc is a mixed ore containing lead and zinc and is found in veins in association with galena and other sulphide ores
    • Rajasthan is endowed with the largest resources of lead-zinc ore, followed by Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Maharashtra
    • Resources are also established in Gujarat, Meghalaya, Odisha, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand and West Bengal
    • Almost entire production comes from Rajasthan
  2. Bauxite
    • This is an important ore for making Aluminium
    • Among states, Odisha accounts for 52% of country’s resources of bauxite followed by Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Chattisgarh, Maharashtra, Madhya pradesh and Jharkhand
    • When it comes to productionOdisha is the largest producer followed by Chattisgarh
  3. Gold
    • It is a valuable metal, used for making ornaments and is an international currency due to universal use
    • In term of metal content, Karnataka has the highest reserves followed by Rajasthan, reserves followed by Rajasthan, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand
    • In terms of productionKarnataka is the largest producer followed by Andhra Pradesh
    • Apart from the gold mines in the above mentioned areas, some gold is collected from the sands and gravels of several rivers
      • Such deposits are called placer deposits
    • Alluvial gold is obtained from sands of Subarnarekha, and other rivers in Kerala
  4. Silver
    • The chief ore mineral of silver are agentine, stephanite, pyargyrite
    • It is also found mixed with several other metals such as copper, lead, gold, zinc, etc
    • The main production comes from Zawar mines in Udaipur district of Rajasthan
    • Some silver is produced in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh as well

Minerals(Classification, Examples, Types) Brief Explained.

Before going to the types of minerals first of all we need to discuss minerals. Minerals are inorganic solid compounds found in nature that are formed by geological processes. Different types of minerals are found in the earth’s crust some of them are unnamed as well. And among the minerals found only 30 of them are most common and important. It is found in most of the earth’s parts and so it is very important in our daily life.

Minerals can also be called natural chemicals as they are found in nature. We use many methods of mining to extract important materials from minerals for example metal, coal, oil, sands, etc. Some minerals are found in excess in the earth’s crust and some are least abundant minerals, silica is found mostly in the earth’s crust.

Classification of minerals

They are being naturally found so they are classified according to their chemical composition and crystalline structure. So the classification of minerals are:

  • Native elements: silver, graphite, diamond, silver, etc. are native elements.
  • Oxides: corundum, hematite, spinel, etc. are oxide minerals.
  • Sulfides: Pyrite, Galena, sphalerite, etc.
  • Sulfates: Baryte, gypsum
  • Hydroxides: Goethite, brucite
  • Carbonates: Calcite, magnesite, dolomite
  • Halides: Fluorite, halite
  • Phosphates: Apatite, monozite
  • Framework silicates: Quartz, zeolites, feldspars
  • Sheet silicates: Muscovite mica, clay minerals.
  • Ortho silicates: Garnet, olivine

Examples of minerals

A mineral is a solid substance that is present in a crystalline form where the atoms fit together in it. For a given type of crystal, the chemical composition is the same for all the crystals of that type. Some of the examples of minerals are calcite, diamond, gold, graphite, etc. Many of these minerals have resemblance to one another like quartz looks like a diamond and green colored plastic looks like an emerald. But their chemical compositions are entirely different even though they are identical in their physical appearances.

Mineral Quartz

Mineral Dimond

Calcite Mineral

Different types of minerals

Based on the crystalline form, the chemical composition and structure of minerals are classified into two. It is mainly classified into two types that are metallic and nonmetallic minerals. Of which the metallic minerals are classified into ferrous and nonferrous minerals.

Metallic minerals definition

The minerals that consist of metals in their chemical composition are metallic and they possess a metallic luster in their physical appearance. It is the main source of metal and metals can be extracted from these minerals by the process of mining. Based on the chemical composition of metallic minerals they are found in earth crust as oxides, sulfides, carbonates, halides, etc. Of the metallic minerals, gold is the only one that is found in the pure form.

Some of the examples of metallic minerals are bauxite, magnetite, iron ore, bauxite, etc. are some of the metallic minerals. Bauxite ores are normally found in deeply weathered rocks and also volcanic rocks contain bauxite deposits in certain regions. The very important mineral is iron ore and iron metal is extracted from the ore of iron and through the extraction and the elimination of impurities iron can be easily extracted from iron ore. The ore which has a silvery appearance and is brittle in nature are manganese ore they are found in many forms and are found extensively in nature.

Hematite or iron ore

Metallic minerals are classified into ferrous minerals and nonferrous minerals. Since iron is the most commonly found on the earth’s crust. So those elements that contain iron in their chemical compositions are ferrous minerals and that one does not contain iron in their chemical composition or nonferrous minerals.

Non-metallic minerals

Those minerals which do not contain metals in their chemical composition are non-metallic and they possess a nonmetallic luster or shine in their physical appearance. So it cannot be used for the extraction of metals as it does not contain metals and their chemical composition. Gypsum, limestone, mica, etc. are examples of nonmetallic minerals.

Of the types of minerals, metallic minerals have much application. After all, it does not contain metals to extract but it is still useful for human needs. Silica is the most extensively found nonmetallic mineral and is used in the construction field. Coal is used to produce electric power in thermal power plants. And diamond is a mineral that can be used for jewelry.

Gypsum Mineral

Identification of minerals

By using a simple hand specimen minerals can be easily identified and since there are only two types of minerals. They have distinctive physical properties like specific gravity, streak, so can be easily distinguished from their appearance. The pieces of information obtained are not so detailed one so a detailed examination is needed to get a better understanding of minerals.

So by examining with the help of a microscope thin section will enable detailed information since their optical properties are unique and different. The use of XRD, microprobe analysis, mass spectrometry, etc., and many other analytical identification methods can be undertaken to get an accurate result.

Minerals and their uses

  • Hematite

One of the very important ores that can be used to extract iron is hematite. It is also known as iron oxide, Fe2O3 since it is easily found in its oxide form. Iron is a very important metal for our daily life activities.

  • Gold

Gold is the only mineral that is found in its pure form or elemental form. Gold is used as jewelry. And it has some other applications in chemical reactions.

  • Coal

It is a mineral that consists of carbon and is the most commonly used fossil fuel. It is now extensively used to produce electricity in thermal power stations and also used as a domestic fuel.

  • Diamond

It is also an allotrope of carbon that contains carbon mainly. It is used as jewelry since it is a very lustrous material. And also it is used as a cutter for industrial applications.

Difference between metallic and nonmetallic minerals

Metallic minerals contain metals in their chemical composition.Nonmetallic minerals do not contain metals in the chemical composition of minerals.
They have a shiny appearance.They do not have a shiny appearance.
These are most commonly found in igneous rocks.Nonmetallic minerals are generally found in sedimentary rocks.
They are malleable.They are not malleable.
Ores of iron, aluminum, silver, gold, etc. are examples of metallic minerals.Diamond, mica, etc. are examples of non-metallic minerals.

Minerals list

Some of the minerals are given below.

  • Fluorite
  • Gypsum
  • Sodalite
  • Magnetite
  • Quartz
  • Mica
  • Pyrite
  • Calcite
  • Labradorite
  • Hematite
  • Bauxite
  • Carnallite
  • Diamond

Nutrients (What are Nutrients? Essential nutrients).


The foods we eat contain nutrients. Nutrients are substances required by the body to perform its basic functions. Nutrients must be obtained from our diet since the human body can not make them. Nutrients have one or more of three basic functions: they provide energy, contribute to body structure, and/or regulate chemical processes in the body. These basic functions allow us to detect and respond to environmental surroundings, move, excrete wastes, breathe, grow, and reproduce. There are six classes of nutrients required for the body to function and maintain overall health. These are carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, water, vitamins, and minerals. Foods also contain non-nutrient that may be harmful such as natural toxins common in plant foods and additives like some dyes and preservatives or beneficial like antioxidants.


ProteinNecessary for tissue formation, cell reparation, and hormone and enzyme production. It is essential for building strong muscles and a healthy immune system.
CarbohydratesProvide a ready source of energy for the body and provide structural constituents for the formation of cells.
FatProvides stored energy for the body, functions as structural components of cells, and signaling molecules for proper cellular communication. It provides insulation to vital organs and works to maintain body temperature.
VitaminsRegulate body processes and promote normal body-system functions.
MineralsRegulate body processes, are necessary for proper cellular function, and comprise body tissue.
WaterTransports essential nutrients to all body parts, transports waste products for disposal, and aids with body temperature maintenance.


Nutrients that are needed in large amounts are called macronutrients. There are three classes of macronutrients: carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins. These can be metabolically processed into cellular energy. The energy from macronutrients comes from their chemical bonds. This chemical energy is converted into cellular energy used to perform work, allowing our bodies to conduct their basic functions.  A unit of measurement of food energy is the calorie. On nutrition food labels, the amount given for “calories” is actually equivalent to each calorie multiplied by one thousand. A kilocalorie (Calorie) is the amount of heat generated by a particular macronutrient that raises the temperature of 1 kilogram of water 1 degree Celsius.  On the Nutrition Facts panel, the calories within a particular food are expressed as kilocalories, which is commonly denoted as “Calories” with a capital “C” (1 kcal = 1 Calorie = 1,000 calories). Water is also a macronutrient in the sense that you require a large amount of it, but unlike the other macronutrients, it does not provide calories.


Carbohydrates are molecules composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. The major food sources of carbohydrates are grains, milk, fruits, and starchy vegetables, like potatoes. Non-starchy vegetables also contain carbohydrates but in lesser quantities. Carbohydrates are broadly classified into two forms based on their chemical structure: simple carbohydrates, simple sugars, and complex carbohydrates.

Simple carbohydrates consist of one or two basic units. Examples of simple sugars include sucrose, the type of sugar you would have in a bowl on the breakfast table, and glucose, the type of sugar that circulates in your blood.

Complex carbohydrates are long chains of simple sugars that can be unbranched or branched. During digestion, the body breaks down digestible complex carbohydrates into simple sugars, mostly glucose. Glucose is then transported to all our cells, stored, used to make energy, or used to build macromolecules. Fiber is also a complex carbohydrate, but digestive enzymes cannot break it down in the human intestine. As a result, it passes through the digestive tract undigested unless the bacteria that inhabit the colon or large intestine break it down.

One gram of digestible carbohydrates yields four kilocalories of energy for the body’s cells to perform work. Besides providing energy and serving as building blocks for bigger macromolecules, carbohydrates are essential for the nervous system’s proper functioning, heart, and kidneys. As mentioned, glucose can be stored in the body for future use. In humans, the storage molecule of carbohydrates is called glycogen, and in plants, it is known as starch. Glycogen and starch are complex carbohydrates.


Proteins are macromolecules composed of chains of subunits called amino acids. Amino acids are simple subunits composed of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen. Food sources of proteins include meats, dairy products, seafood, and various plant-based foods, most notably soy. The word protein comes from a Greek word meaning “of primary importance,” which is an apt description of these macronutrients; they are also known colloquially as the “workhorses” of life. Proteins provide four kilocalories of energy per gram; however, providing energy is not protein’s most important function. Proteins provide structure to bones, muscles, and skin and play a role in conducting most of the chemical reactions that take place in the body. Scientists estimate that greater than one-hundred thousand different proteins exist within the human body. The genetic codes in DNA are basically protein recipes that determine the order in which 20 different amino acids are bound together to make thousands of specific proteins.


Lipids are also a family of molecules composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, but they are insoluble in water, unlike carbohydrates. Lipids are found predominantly in butter, oils, meats, dairy products, nuts, seeds, and processed foods. The three main types of lipids are triglycerides (triacylglycerols), phospholipids, and sterols. The main job of lipids is to provide or store energy. Lipids provide more energy per gram than carbohydrates (nine kilocalories per gram of lipids versus four kilocalories per gram of carbohydrates). In addition to energy storage, lipids serve as a major component of cell membranes, surround and protect organs (in fat-storing tissues), provide insulation to aid in temperature regulation, and regulate many other body functions.


There is one other nutrient that we must have in large quantities: water. Water does not contain carbon but is composed of two hydrogens and one oxygen per molecule of water. More than 60 percent of your total body weight is water. Without it, nothing could be transported in or out of the body, chemical reactions would not occur, organs would not be cushioned, and body temperature would fluctuate widely. On average, an adult consumes just over two liters of water per day from food and drink combined. Since water is so critical for life’s basic processes, the amount of water input and output is significant, a topic we will explore in detail


Micronutrients are nutrients required by the body in lesser amounts but are still essential for carrying out bodily functions. Micronutrients include all the essential minerals and vitamins. There are sixteen essential minerals and thirteen vitamins. In contrast to carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins, micronutrients are not sources of energy (calories), but they assist in the process as cofactors or components of enzymes (i.e., coenzymes). Enzymes are proteins that catalyze chemical reactions in the body and are involved in all aspects of body functions, from producing energy to digesting nutrients to building macromolecules. Micronutrients play many essential roles in the body.


Minerals are solid inorganic substances that form crystals and are classified depending on how much of them we need. Trace minerals, such as molybdenum, selenium, zinc, iron, and iodine, are only required in a few milligrams or less. Macrominerals, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and phosphorus, are required in hundreds of milligrams. Many minerals are critical for enzyme function. Others are used to maintain fluid balance, build bone tissue, synthesize hormones, transmit nerve impulses, contract and relax muscles, and protect against harmful free radicals in the body that can cause health problems such as cancer.

MineralsMajor Functions
SodiumFluid balance, nerve transmission, muscle contraction
ChlorideFluid balance, stomach acid production
PotassiumFluid balance, nerve transmission, muscle contraction
CalciumBone and teeth health maintenance, nerve transmission, muscle contraction, blood clotting
PhosphorusBone and teeth health maintenance, acid-base balance
MagnesiumProtein production, nerve transmission, muscle contraction
SulfurProtein production
IronCarries oxygen, assists in energy production
ZincProtein and DNA production, wound healing, growth, immune system function
IodineThyroid hormone production, growth, metabolism
CopperCoenzyme, iron metabolism
FluorideBone and teeth health maintenance, tooth decay prevention
ChromiumAssists insulin in glucose metabolism


The thirteen vitamins are categorized as either water-soluble or fat-soluble. The water-soluble vitamins are vitamin C and all the B vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, biotin, folate, and cobalamin. The fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E, and K. Vitamins are required to perform many functions in the body, such as making red blood cells, synthesizing bone tissue, and playing a normal vision, nervous system function, and immune system function.

VitaminsMajor Functions
Thiamin (B1)Coenzyme, energy metabolism assistance
Riboflavin (B2 )Coenzyme, energy metabolism assistance
Niacin (B3)Coenzyme, energy metabolism assistance
Pantothenic acid (B5)Coenzyme, energy metabolism assistance
Pyridoxine (B6)Coenzyme, amino acid synthesis assistance
Biotin (B7)Coenzyme, amino acid, and fatty acid metabolism
Folate (B9)Coenzyme, essential for growth
Cobalamin (B12)Coenzyme, red blood cell synthesis
C (ascorbic acid)Collagen synthesis, antioxidant
AVision, reproduction, immune system function
DBone and teeth health maintenance, immune system function
EAntioxidant, cell membrane protection
KBone and teeth health maintenance, blood clotting

Eating a balanced diet

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health, and can help you feel your best.

This means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions, and consuming the right amount of food and drink to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.

This page covers healthy eating advice for the general population.

People with special dietary needs or a medical condition should ask their doctor or a registered dietitian for advice.

Food groups in your diet
The Eatwell Guide shows that to have a healthy, balanced diet, people should try to:

eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day (see 5 A Day)
base meals on higher fibre starchy foods like potatoes, bread, rice or pasta
have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks)
eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other protein
choose unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat them in small amounts
drink plenty of fluids (at least 6 to 8 glasses a day)
If you’re having foods and drinks that are high in fat, salt and sugar, have these less often and in small amounts.

Try to choose a variety of different foods from the 5 main food groups to get a wide range of nutrients.

Most people in the UK eat and drink too many calories, too much saturated fat, sugar and salt, and not enough fruit, vegetables, oily fish or fibre.

The Eatwell Guide does not apply to children under the age of 2 because they have different nutritional needs.

Between the ages of 2 and 5 years, children should gradually move to eating the same foods as the rest of the family in the proportions shown in the Eatwell Guide.

Fruit and vegetables: are you getting your 5 A Day?
Fruit and vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals and fibre, and should make up just over a third of the food you eat each day.

It’s recommended that you eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. They can be fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juiced.

There’s evidence that people who eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers.

Eating 5 portions is not as hard as it sounds.

A portion is:

80g of fresh, canned or frozen fruit and vegetables
30g of dried fruit – which should be kept to mealtimes
150ml glass of fruit juice or smoothie – but do not have more than 1 portion a day as these drinks are sugary and can damage teeth
Just 1 apple, banana, pear or similar-sized fruit is 1 portion each.

A slice of pineapple or melon is also 1 portion, and 3 heaped tablespoons of vegetables is another portion.

Adding a tablespoon of dried fruit, such as raisins, to your morning cereal is an easy way to get 1 portion.

You could also swap your mid-morning biscuit for a banana, and add a side salad to your lunch.

In the evening, have a portion of vegetables with dinner and fresh fruit with plain, lower fat yoghurt for dessert to reach your 5 A Day.

Find out more about what counts towards your 5 A Day

Starchy foods in your diet
Starchy foods should make up just over a third of everything you eat. This means your meals should be based on these foods.

Choose wholegrain or wholemeal varieties of starchy foods, such as brown rice, wholewheat pasta, and brown, wholemeal or higher fibre white bread.

They contain more fibre, and usually more vitamins and minerals, than white varieties.

Potatoes with the skins on are a great source of fibre and vitamins. For example, when having boiled potatoes or a jacket potato, eat the skin too.

Find out more about starchy foods

Milk and dairy foods (and alternatives)
Milk and dairy foods, such as cheese and yoghurt, are good sources of protein. They also contain calcium, which helps keep your bones healthy.

Go for lower fat and lower sugar products where possible.

Choose semi-skimmed, 1% fat or skimmed milk, as well as lower fat hard cheeses or cottage cheese, and lower fat, lower sugar yoghurt.

Dairy alternatives, such as soya drinks, are also included in this food group.

When buying alternatives, choose unsweetened, calcium-fortified versions.

Find out more about milk and dairy foods

Beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins
These foods are all good sources of protein, which is essential for the body to grow and repair itself.

They’re also good sources of a range of vitamins and minerals.

Meat is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc and B vitamins. It’s also one of the main sources of vitamin B12.

Choose lean cuts of meat and skinless poultry whenever possible to cut down on fat. Always cook meat thoroughly.

Try to eat less red and processed meat like bacon, ham and sausages.

Find out more about including meat in your diet

Eggs and fish are also good sources of protein, and contain many vitamins and minerals. Oily fish is particularly rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Aim to eat at least 2 portions of fish a week, including 1 portion of oily fish.

You can choose from fresh, frozen or canned, but remember that canned and smoked fish can often be high in salt.

Pulses, including beans, peas and lentils, are naturally very low in fat and high in fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals.

Nuts are high in fibre, and unsalted nuts make a good snack. But they do still contain high levels of fat, so eat them in moderation.

Oils and spreads
Some fat in the diet is essential, but on average people in the UK eat too much saturated fat.

It’s important to get most of your fat from unsaturated oils and spreads.

Swapping to unsaturated fats can help lower cholesterol.

Remember that all types of fat are high in energy and should be eaten in small amounts.

Find out more about the different types of fats

Eat less saturated fat, sugar and salt
Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which increases your risk of developing heart disease.

Regularly consuming foods and drinks high in sugar increases your risk of obesity and tooth decay.

Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure, which increases your risk of getting heart disease or having a stroke.

See 8 tips for healthy eating to find out more about why you need to cut down on saturated fat, sugar and salt, which foods they’re found in, and how to make healthier choices.

Find out more about how to eat less saturated fat

Need to lose weight?
Most adults in England are overweight or obese. Check whether you’re a healthy weight using the BMI calculator.

If you need to lose weight, you can use the NHS weight loss plan. It’s a free 12-week diet and exercise plan to help you lose weight and develop healthier habits. It has been designed to help you lose weight safely, and keep it off.

Food Molecules(What is Food, Types of Food, Fats, Carbohydrates, Proteins).

What is Food?

Food is any substance normally eaten or drunk by living things. The term food also includes liquid drinks. Food is the main source of energy and of nutrition for animals, and is usually of animal or plant origin. There are 4 (four) basic food energy sources: fats, proteins, carbohydrates and alchol.

Historical development

Humans are omnivorous animals that can consume both plant and animal products. We changed from gatherers to hunter gatherers. After the experience of the Ice Age it is probable that humans wanted to create some feeling of security by controlling what plants were growing and which animals were available. This led to agriculture, which has continually improved and altered the way in which food is obtained.

Types of Food?


In biochemistry, fat is a generic term for a class of lipids. Fats are produced by organic processes in animals and plants. All fats are insoluble in water and have a density significantly below that of water (i.e. they float on water.) Fats that are liquid at room temperature are often referred to as oil. Most fats are composed primarily of triglycerides; some monoglycerides and diglycerides are mixed in, produced by incomplete esterification. These are extracted and used as an ingredient.Products with a lot of saturated fats tend to be solid at room temperature, while products containing unsaturated fats, which include monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, tend to be liquid at room temperature. Predominantly saturated fats (solid at room temperature) include all animal fats (e.g. milk fat, lard, tallow), as well as palm oil, coconut oil, cocoa fat and hydrogenated vegetable oil (shortening). All other vegetable fats, such as those coming from olive, peanut, maize (corn oil), cottonseed, sunflower, safflower, and soybean, are predominantly unsaturated and remain liquid at room temperature. However, both vegetable and animal fats contain saturated and unsaturated fats. Some oils (such as olive oil) contain in majority monounsaturated fats, while others present quite a high percentage of polyunsaturated fats (sunflower, rape).

Myristic AcidPalmitic Acid
Oleic AcidArachidonic Acid
Palmitoleic AcidCholesterol
Omega-6Lauric Acid
Linoleic AcidPhosphatidyl Choline
Trans Fatty AcidsOmega-3
Butyrate Omega-7
Stearic Acid


A protein is a complex, high molecular weight organic compound that consists of amino acids joined by peptide bonds. Protein is essential to the structure and function of all living cells and viruses. Many proteins are enzymes or subunits of enzymes. Other proteins play structural or mechanical roles, such as those that form the struts and joints of the “cytoskeleton.” Proteins are also nutrient sources for organisms that do not produce their own energy from sunlight. Proteins differ from carbohydrates chiefly in that they contain much nitrogen and a little bit of sulfur, besides carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. Proteins are a primary constituent of living things.

In carnivores protein is one of the largest component of the diet. The metabolism of proteins by the body releases ammonia, an extremely toxic substance. It is then converted in the liver into urea, a much less toxic chemical, which is excreted in urine. Some animals convert it into uric acid instead.

Protein nutrition in humans
In terms of human nutritional needs, proteins come in two forms: complete proteins contain all eight of the amino acids that humans cannot produce themselves, while incomplete proteins lack or contain only a very small proportion of one or more. Humans’ bodies can make use of all the amino acids they extract from food for synthesizing new proteins, but the inessential ones themselves need not be supplied by the diet, because our cells can make them ourselves. When protein is listed on a nutrition label it only refers to the amount of complete proteins in the food, though the food may be very strong in a subset of the essential amino acids. Animal-derived foods contain all of those amino acids, while plants are typically stronger in some acids than others. Complete proteins can be made in an all vegan diet by eating a sufficient variety of foods and by getting enough calories. It was once thought that in order to get the complete proteins vegans needed to do protein combining by getting all amino acids in the same meal (the most common example is eating beans with rice) but nutritionists now know that the benefits of protein combining can be achieved over the longer period of the day. Ovo-lacto vegetarians usually do not have this problem, since egg’s white and cow’s milk contain all essential amino acids. Peanuts, soy milk, nuts, seeds, green peas, Legumes, the alga spirulina and some grains are some of the richest sources of plant protein.

All eight essential amino acids must be part of one diet in order to survive and are needed in a fixed ratio. A shortage on any one of these amino acids will constrain the body’s ability to make the proteins it needs to function.

Different foods contain different ratios of the essential amino acids. By mixing foods that are rich in some amino acids with foods that are rich in others, one can acquire all the needed amino acids in sufficient quantities. Omnivores typically eat a sufficient variety of foods that this is not an issue, however, vegetarians and especially vegans should be careful to eat appropriate combinations of foods (e.g. nuts and green vegetables) so as to get all the essential amino acids in sufficient quantities that the body may produce all the proteins that it needs.

Protein deficiency can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, insulin resistance, hair loss, loss of hair pigment (hair that should be black becomes reddish), loss of muscle mass (proteins repair muscle tissue), low body temperature, and hormonal irregularities. Severe protein deficiency is fatal.

Excess protein can cause problems as well, such as causing the immune system to overreact, liver dysfunction from increased toxic residues, possibly bone loss due to increased acidity in the blood, and foundering (foot problems) in horses.

Proteins can often figure in allergies and allergic reactions to certain foods. This is because the structure of each form of protein is slightly different, and some may trigger a response from the immune system while others are perfectly safe. Many people are allergic to casein, the protein in milk; gluten, the protein in wheat and other grains; the particular proteins found in peanuts; or those in shellfish or other seafoods. It is extremely unusual for the same person to adversely react to more than two different types of proteins.

AsparagineAspartic Acid
CysteineGlutamic Acid


Carbohydrates (literally hydrates of carbon) are chemical compounds which act as the primary biological means of storing or consuming energy; other forms being via fat and protein. Relatively complex carboyhydrates are known as polysaccharides.The simplest carbohydrates are monosaccharides, which are small straight-chain aldehydes and ketones with many hydroxyl groups added, usually one on each carbon except the functional group. Other carbohydrates are composed of monosaccharide units, and break down under hydrolysis. These may be classified as disaccharides, oligosaccharides, or polysaccharides, depending on whether they have two, several, or many monosaccharide units.


Food Phenolics

Phenolic food compounds (also known as aromatic food compounds) occur naturally in all foods: they give the food colour and flavour and help to prevent premature decomposition. While phenolic compounds have shown high anti-oxidant properties, in some individuals they are problematic. High levels of phenols in certain foods seem to affect children with autism and individuals with sensitive digestive and/or immune systems.

Ellagic AcidEpigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)

About Dietary Fiber

Dietary fiber (also known as bulk or roughage) includes all the parts of plant food that our bodies cannot digest or absorb. Yet it is an important part of a healthy diet. Dietary Fiber can be soluble or insoluble. While not used as a source of energy dietary fiber has many health benefits. More is being learned about the relationship of gut bacteria with fiber to aid in protection of the cardiovascular system as well as aid in immune protection. 

IP-6 Phytic Acid

Acts as both an antixoxidant on beneficial to the immune system although also considered an anti-nutrient since it binds metals. 

Food Molecules that may a role in Cancer Inhibition


IP-6 Molecule





Vitamin D3

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)


Nutrition (nutrients, calorie , daily percentage) brief explanation.


The information in the main or top section (see #1-4) of the sample nutrition label (below) can vary with each food and beverage product; it contains product-specific information (serving size, calories, and nutrient information). The bottom section contains a footnote that explains the % Daily Value and gives the number of calories used for general nutrition advice.

In the following Nutrition Facts label we have colored certain sections to help you focus on those areas that will be explained in detail. Note that these colored sections are not on the actual food labels of products you purchase.

Sample Label for Frozen Lasagna

Sample Label for Frozen Lasagna

1. Serving Information

(#1 on sample label)

Serving Size Sample Label

When looking at the Nutrition Facts label, first take a look at the number of servings in the package (servings per container) and the serving size. Serving sizes are standardized to make it easier to compare similar foods; they are provided in familiar units, such as cups or pieces, followed by the metric amount, e.g., the number of grams (g). The serving size reflects the amount that people typically eat or drink. It is not a recommendation of how much you should eat or drink.

It’s important to realize that all the nutrient amounts shown on the label, including the number of calories, refer to the size of the serving. Pay attention to the serving size, especially how many servings there are in the food package. For example, you might ask yourself if you are consuming ½ serving, 1 serving, or more. In the sample label, one serving of lasagna equals 1 cup. If you ate two cups, you would be consuming two servings. That is two times the calories and nutrients shown in the sample label, so you would need to double the nutrient and calorie amounts, as well as the %DVs, to see what you are getting in two servings.

 One Serving of Lasagna%DVTwo Serving of Lasagna%DV
Serving Size1 cup 2 cups 
Calories280 560 
Total Fat9g12%18g24%
Saturated Fat4.5g23%9g46%
Trans Fat0g 0g 
Total Carbohydrate34g12%68g24%
Dietary Fiber4g14%8g29%
Total Sugars6g 12g 
Added Sugars0g0%0g0%
Protein15g 30g 
Vitamin D0mcg0%0mcg0%

2. Calories

(#2 on sample label)

Calories Sample Label

Calories provide a measure of how much energy you get from a serving of this food. In the example, there are 280 calories in one serving of lasagna. What if you ate the entire package? Then, you would consume 4 servings, or 1,120 calories.

To achieve or maintain a healthy body weight, balance the number of calories you eat and drink with the number of calories your body uses. 2,000 calories a day is used as a general guide for nutrition advice. Your calorie needs may be higher or lower and vary depending on your age, sex, height, weight, and physical activity level.

Remember: The number of servings you consume determines the number of calories you actually eat. Eating too many calories per day is linked to overweight and obesity.

3. Nutrients

(#3 on sample label)

Nutrients on Sample Label

Look at section 3 in the sample label. It shows you some key nutrients that impact your health. You can use the label to support your personal dietary needs – look for foods that contain more of the nutrients you want to get more of and less of the nutrients you may want to limit.

  • Nutrients to get less of: Saturated Fat, Sodium, and Added Sugars.

Saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars are nutrients listed on the label that may be associated with adverse health effects – and Americans generally consume too much of them, according to the recommended limits for these nutrients. They are identified as nutrients to get less of. Eating too much saturated fat and sodium, for example, is associated with an increased risk of developing some health conditions, like cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. Consuming too much added sugars can make it hard to meet important nutrient needs while staying within calorie limits.

What are Added Sugars and How are they Different from Total Sugars?

Total Sugars on the Nutrition Facts label includes sugars naturally present in many nutritious foods and beverages, such as sugar in milk and fruit as well as any added sugars that may be present in the product. No Daily Reference Value has been established for total sugars because no recommendation has been made for the total amount to eat in a day.

Added Sugars on the Nutrition Facts label include sugars that are added during the processing of foods (such as sucrose or dextrose), foods packaged as sweeteners (such as table sugar), sugars from syrups and honey, and sugars from concentrated fruit or vegetable juices. Diets high in calories from added sugars can make it difficult to meet daily recommended levels of important nutrients while staying within calorie limits.

Note: Having the word “includes” before Added Sugars on the label indicates that Added Sugars are included in the number of grams of Total Sugars in the product.

For example, a container of yogurt with added sweeteners, might list:

Total Sugars on Sample Label

This means that the product has 7 grams of Added Sugars and 8 grams of naturally occurring sugars – for a total of 15 grams of sugar.

  • Nutrients to get more of: Dietary Fiber, Vitamin D, Calcium, Iron, and Potassium.

Dietary fiber, vitamin D, calcium, iron ad potassium are nutrients on the label that Americans generally do not get the recommended amount of. They are identified as nutrients to get more of. Eating a diet high in dietary fiber can increase the frequency of bowel movements, lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels, and reduce calorie intake. Diets higher in vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium can reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis, anemia, and high blood pressure.

Remember: You can use the label to support your personal dietary needs—choose foods that contain more of the nutrients you want to get more of and less of the nutrients you may want to limit.

4. The Percent Daily Value (%DV)

(#4 on sample label)

Percent Daily Value on Sample Label

The % Daily Value (%DV) is the percentage of the Daily Value for each nutrient in a serving of the food. The Daily Values are reference amounts (expressed in grams, milligrams, or micrograms) of nutrients to consume or not to exceed each day.

The %DV shows how much a nutrient in a serving of a food contributes to a total daily diet.

The %DV helps you determine if a serving of food is high or low in a nutrient.

Do you need to know how to calculate percentages to use the %DV? No, because the label (the %DV) does the math for you! It helps you interpret the nutrient numbers (grams, milligrams, or micrograms) by putting them all on the same scale for the day (0-100%DV). The %DV column doesn’t add up vertically to 100%. Instead, the %DV is the percentage of the Daily Value for each nutrient in a serving of the food. It can tell you if a serving of food is high or low in a nutrient and whether a serving of the food contributes a lot, or a little, to your daily diet for each nutrient.

Note: some nutrients on the Nutrition Facts label, like total sugars and trans fat, do not have a %DV – they will be discussed later.

General Guide to %DV

  • 5% DV or less of a nutrient per serving is considered low
  • 20% DV or more of a nutrient per serving is considered high

More often, choose foods that are:

  • Higher in %DV for Dietary Fiber, Vitamin D, Calcium, Iron, and Potassium
  • Lower in %DV for Saturated Fat, Sodium, and Added Sugars

Example: Look at the amount of sodium in one serving listed on the sample nutrition label. Is %DV of 37% contributing a lot or a little to your diet? Check the General Guide to %DV. This product contains 37% DV for sodium, which shows that this is a HIGH sodium product (it has more than 20% DV for sodium). If you consumed 2 servings, that would provide 74% of the DV for sodium – nearly three-quarters of an entire day’s worth of sodium.

Sodium Bar

Compare Foods: Use %DV to compare food products (remember to make sure the serving size is the same) and more often choose products that are higher in nutrients you want to get more of and lower in nutrients you want to get less of.

Understand Nutrient Content Claims: Use %DV to help distinguish one claim from another, such as “light,” “low,” and “reduced.” Simply compare %DVs in each food product to see which one is higher or lower in a particular nutrient. There is no need to memorize definitions.

Dietary Trade-Offs: You can use the %DV to help you make dietary trade-offs with other foods throughout the day. You don’t have to give up a favorite food to eat a healthy diet. When a food you like is high in saturated fat, balance it with foods that are low in saturated fat at other times of the day. Also, pay attention to how much you eat during the entire day, so that the total amount of saturated fat, as well as other nutrients you want to limit, stays below 100%DV.

How the Daily Values Relate to the %DVs

Look at the example below for another way to see how the Daily Values (DVs) relate to the %DVs and dietary guidance. For each nutrient listed in the table, there is a DV, a %DV, and dietary advice or a goal. If you follow this dietary advice, you will stay within public health experts’ recommended upper or lower limits for the nutrients listed, based on a 2,000-calorie daily diet.

Examples of DVs versus %DVs

Based on a 2,000 Calorie Diet

Saturated Fat20g=100% DVLess than
Sodium2,300mg=100% DVLess than
Dietary Fiber28g=100% DVAt least
Added Sugars50g=100% DVLess than
Vitamin D20mcg=100% DVAt least
Calcium1,300mg=100% DVAt least
Iron18mg=100% DVAt least
Potassium4,700mg=100% DVAt least

Upper Limit – Eat “Less than”…

Upper limit means it is recommended that you stay below or eat “less than” the Daily Value nutrient amounts listed per day. For example, the DV for saturated fat is 20g. This amount is 100% DV for this nutrient. What is the goal or dietary advice? To eat “less than” 20 g or 100%DV each day.

Lower Limit – Eat “At least”…

The DV for dietary fiber is 28g, which is 100% DV. This means it is recommended that you eat “at least” this amount of dietary fiber on most days.

Nutrients Without a %DV: Trans Fats, Protein, and Total Sugars:

Note that Trans fat and Total Sugars do not list a %DV on the Nutrition Facts label. Protein only lists a %DV in specific situations listed below.

Trans Fat: Experts could not provide a reference value for trans fat nor any other information that FDA believes is sufficient to establish a Daily Value.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, there is evidence that diets higher in trans fat are associated with increased blood levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol—which, in turn, are associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Note: most uses of artificial trans fat in the U.S. food supply have been phased out as of 2018.

Protein: A %DV is required to be listed if a claim is made for protein, such as “high in protein.” The %DV for protein must also be listed on the label if the product is intended for infants and children under 4 years of age. However, if the product is intended for the general population 4 years of age and older and a claim is not made about protein on the label, the %DV for protein is not required.

Current scientific evidence indicates that protein intake is not a public health concern for adults and children over 4 years of age in the United States.

Total Sugars: No Daily Reference Value has been established for Total Sugars because no recommendations have been made for the total amount to eat in a day. Keep in mind that the Total Sugars listed on the Nutrition Facts label include naturally occurring sugars (like those in fruit and milk) as well as Added Sugars.

Nutrition Facts Label Variations

Many Nutrition Facts labels on the market will be formatted in the same way as the lasagna label that has been used as an example throughout this page, but there are other formats of the label that food manufacturers are permitted to use. This final section will present two alternate formats: the dual-column label and the single-ingredient sugar label.

In addition to dual-column labeling and single-ingredient sugar labels, there are other lable formats which you can explore here.

Dual-Column Labels

For certain products that are larger than a single serving but that could be consumed in one sitting or multiple sittings, manufacturers will have to provide “dual column” labels to indicate the amounts of calories and nutrients on both a “per serving” and “per package” or “per unit” basis. The purpose of this type of dual-column labeling is to allow people to easily identify how many calories and nutrients they are getting if they eat or drink the entire package/unit at one time. For example, a bag of pretzels with 3 servings per container might have a label that looks like this to show you how many calories and other nutrients would be in one serving and in one package (3 servings).


Sample Dual-Column Label for Pretzels

Single-Ingredient Sugar labels

Packages and containers of products such as pure honey, pure maple syrup, or packages of pure sugar are not required to include a declaration of the number of grams of Added Sugars in a serving of the product but must still include a declaration of the percent Daily Value for Added Sugars. Manufacturers are encouraged, but not required, to use the “†” symbol immediately following the Added Sugars percent Daily Value on single-ingredient sugars, which would lead to a footnote explaining the amount of added sugars that one serving of the product contributes to the diet as well as the contribution of a serving of the product toward the percent Daily Value for Added Sugars. Single-ingredient sugars and syrups are labeled in this way so that it does not look like more sugars have been added to the product and to ensure that consumers have information about how a serving of these products contributes to the Daily Value for added sugars and to their total diet.

Here is an example of how a label on a single-ingredient sugar, such as honey, could look.


Single-Ingredient Sugar Label for Honey

Protein (what is protein, how much we need)

A variety of protein foods, including egg, salmon, beef, chicken, beans, lentils, almonds, quinoa, oats, broccoli, artichokes, yogurt, cheese, and tofu

Protein is an essential macronutrient, but not all food sources of protein are created equal, and you may not need as much as you think. Learn the basics about protein and shaping your diet with healthy protein foods.

What Is Protein?

Protein is found throughout the body—in muscle, bone, skin, hair, and virtually every other body part or tissue. It makes up the enzymes that power many chemical reactions and the hemoglobin that carries oxygen in your blood. At least 10,000 different proteins make you what you are and keep you that way.

Protein is made from twenty-plus basic building blocks called amino acids. Because we don’t store amino acids, our bodies make them in two different ways: either from scratch, or by modifying others. Nine amino acids—histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine—known as the essential amino acids, must come from food.

How Much Protein Do I Need?

The National Academy of Medicine recommends that adults get a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight per day, or just over 7 grams for every 20 pounds of body weight. [1]

  • For a 140-pound person, that means about 50 grams of protein each day.
  • For a 200-pound person, that means about 70 grams of protein each day.

The National Academy of Medicine also sets a wide range for acceptable protein intake—anywhere from 10% to 35% of calories each day. Beyond that, there’s relatively little solid information on the ideal amount of protein in the diet or the healthiest target for calories contributed by protein. In an analysis conducted at Harvard among more than 130,000 men and women who were followed for up to 32 years, the percentage of calories from total protein intake was not related to overall mortality or to specific causes of death. [2] However, the source of protein was important.What are “complete” proteins, and how much do I need?

It’s important to note that millions of people worldwide, especially young children, don’t get enough protein due to food insecurity. The effects of protein deficiency and malnutrition range in severity from growth failure and loss of muscle mass to decreased immunity, weakening of the heart and respiratory system, and death.

However, it’s uncommon for healthy adults in the U.S. and most other developed countries to have a deficiency, because there’s an abundance of plant and animal-based foods full of protein. In fact, many in the U.S. are consuming more than enough protein, especially from animal-based foods. [3]

It’s All About the Protein “Package”

When we eat foods for protein, we also eat everything that comes alongside it: the different fats, fiber, sodium, and more. It’s this protein “package” that’s likely to make a difference for health.

The table below shows a sample of food “packages” sorted by protein content, alongside a range of components that come with it.Table: Comparing protein packages

table comparing protein packages Food /[Category] Protein (g) Saturated Fat (g) Mono-unsaturated Fat (g) Poly-unsaturated Fat (g) ALA (g) Marine Omega-3 Fats (g) Fiber (g) Sodium (mg) Sirloin steak, broiled (4oz) [Red Meat] 33 4.6 4.9 0.4 0.4 0 0 66 Sockeye salmon, grilled (4oz) [Seafood] 30 1.1 2.1 1.5 0.3 1.0 0 104 Chicken, thigh, no skin (4oz) [Poultry] 28 2.7 3.9 2.0 0.1 0.1 0 120 Ham steak (4oz) [Red Meat] 22 1.6 2.2 0.5 0.5 0 0 1,439 Lentils (1 cup, cooked) [Legumes] 18 0.1 0.1 0.3 0.3 0 15 4 Milk (8oz) [Dairy] 8 3.1 1.4 0.2 0.3 O0 0 115 Almonds, dry roasted, unsalted (1oz) [Nuts] 6 1.2 9.4 3.4 0 0 3.1 1

To call out a few examples:

  • A 4-ounce broiled sirloin steak is a great source of protein—about 33 grams worth. But it also delivers about 5 grams of saturated fat.
  • A 4-ounce ham steak with 22 grams of protein has only 1.6 grams of saturated fat, but it’s loaded with 1,500 milligrams worth of sodium.
  • 4 ounces of grilled sockeye salmon has about 30 grams of protein, naturally low in sodium, and contains just over 1 gram of saturated fat. Salmon and other fatty fish are also excellent sources of omega-3 fats, a type of fat that’s especially good for the heart.
  • A cup of cooked lentils provides about 18 grams of protein and 15 grams of fiber, and it has virtually no saturated fat or sodium.

Vitamin B9 -Folate (Folic Acid),(Overview, Safety and Side Effects)


Folate (vitamin B-9) is important in red blood cell formation and for healthy cell growth and function. The nutrient is crucial during early pregnancy to reduce the risk of birth defects of the brain and spine.

Folate is found mainly in dark green leafy vegetables, beans, peas and nuts. Fruits rich in folate include oranges, lemons, bananas, melons and strawberries. The synthetic form of folate is folic acid. It’s in an essential component of prenatal vitamins and is in many fortified foods such as cereals and pastas.

A diet lacking foods rich in folate or folic acid can lead to a folate deficiency. Folate deficiency can also occur in people who have conditions, such as celiac disease, that prevent the small intestine from absorbing nutrients from foods (malabsorption syndromes).

The recommended daily amount of folate for adults is 400 micrograms (mcg). Adult women who are planning pregnancy or could become pregnant should be advised to get 400 to 1,000 mcg of folic acid a day.


Research on use of folate and oral folic acid supplements for specific conditions shows:

  • Birth defects. Research has shown that folic acid supplements can prevent birth defects of the neural tube. Taking a daily prenatal vitamin — ideally starting three months before conception — can help ensure women get enough of this essential nutrient.
  • Folic acid deficiency. Nutritional folate deficiency is treated with oral folic acid supplements. This type of deficiency is no longer a problem in many countries that fortify foods such as cereal and pasta with folic acid.
  • Heart and blood vessel disease and stroke. Folic acid works with vitamins B-6 and B-12 to control high levels of homocysteine in the blood. Elevated homocysteine levels might increase your risk of diseases of the heart and blood vessels (cardiovascular disease).
  • Cancer. Some research suggests that folate might reduce the risk of various cancers.
  • Depression. Some evidence suggests that folic acid might be helpful in treating depression.
  • Dementia. There isn’t enough evidence to support folic acid supplementation for the prevention of dementia.

Our take

Generally safe

For most people, it’s best to get folate from food. A balanced diet usually provides all you need. However, folic acid supplements are recommended for women who are planning to become pregnant, could become pregnant, are pregnant or are breast-feeding.

Folic acid supplements can also help people who have poor diets or conditions that interfere with the body’s ability to absorb folate.

Safety and side effects

When used orally at appropriate doses, folic acid is likely safe.

Oral use of folic acid can cause:

  • Bad taste in your mouth
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Sleep pattern disturbance

People with allergies might have a reaction to folic acid supplements. Warning signs of an allergic reaction include:

  • Skin rash
  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Difficulty breathing

Excess folic acid is excreted in urine.

A high folate intake can mask vitamin B-12 deficiency until its neurological effects become irreversible. This can typically be remedied by taking a supplement containing 100 percent of the daily value of both folic acid and vitamin B-12.


Possible interactions include:

  • Anticonvulsants. Taking folic acid with fosphenytoin (Cerebyx), phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek) or primidone (Mysoline) might decrease the drug’s concentration in your blood.
  • Barbiturates. Taking folic acid with a drug that acts as a central nervous system depressant (barbiturate) might decrease the drug’s effectiveness.
  • Methotrexate (Trexall). Taking folic acid with this medication used to treat cancer could interfere with its effectiveness.
  • Pyrimethamine (Daraprim). Taking folic acid with this antimalarial drug might reduce the effectiveness of the drug.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid, Sources, Available forms, Precautions, How To take it)

Pantothenic acid

Vitamin B5, also called pantothenic acid, is one of 8 B vitamins. All B vitamins help the body convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which the body uses to produce energy. These B vitamins, often referred to as B complex vitamins, also help the body use fats and protein. B complex vitamins are needed for healthy skin, hair, eyes, and liver. They also help the nervous system function properly.

All B vitamins are water-soluble, meaning that the body does not store them.

In addition to playing a role in the breakdown of fats and carbohydrates for energy, vitamin B5 is critical to the manufacture of red blood cells, as well as sex and stress-related hormones produced in the adrenal glands, small glands that sit atop the kidneys. Vitamin B5 is also important in maintaining a healthy digestive tract, and it helps the body use other vitamins, particularly B2 (also called riboflavin). It is sometimes called the “anti-stress” vitamin, but there is no concrete evidence whether it helps the body withstand stress.

Your body needs pantothenic acid to synthesize cholesterol. A derivative of pantothenic acid called pantethine is being studied to see if it may help lower cholesterol levels in the body.

Vitamin B5 deficiency is rare, but may include symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, depression, irritability, vomiting, stomach pains, burning feet, and upper respiratory infections.

High Cholesterol/High Triglycerides

Several small, double-blind studies suggest that pantethine may help reduce triglycerides, or fats, in the blood in people who have high cholesterol. Some of these studies show that pantethine helped lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol. In some open studies, pantethine seems to lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in people with diabetes. But not all studies agree. Larger studies are needed to see whether pantethine has any real benefit.

Skin Care and Wound Healing

Preliminary research suggests that vitamin B5 has moisturizing effects on the skin, however, researchers aren’t clear why it works. Other studies, mostly in test tubes and animals but a few on people, suggest that vitamin B5 supplements may speed wound healing, especially following surgery. This may be particularly true if vitamin B5 is combined with vitamin C.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Preliminary evidence suggests that pantothenic acid might improve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but the evidence is weak. One study found that people with RA may have lower levels of B5 in their blood than healthy people, and the lowest levels were associated with the most severe symptoms. Other studies show that calcium pantothenate improves symptoms of RA, including morning stiffness and pain. More studies are needed to confirm these findings.

Dietary Sources

Pantothenic acid gets its name from the Greek root pantos, meaning “everywhere,” because it is available in a wide variety of foods. However, the vitamin B5 in foods is lost during processing. Fresh meats, vegetables, and whole unprocessed grains have more vitamin B5 than refined, canned, and frozen food. The best sources are brewer’s yeast, corn, cauliflower, kale, broccoli, tomatoes, avocado, legumes, lentils, egg yolks, beef (especially organ meats such as liver and kidney), turkey, duck, chicken, milk, split peas, peanuts, soybeans, sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, whole-grain breads and cereals, lobster, wheat germ, and salmon.

Available Forms

Vitamin B5 can be found in multivitamins and B complex vitamins, or sold separately under the names pantothenic acid and calcium pantothenate. It is available in a variety of forms including tablets, softgels, and capsules.

How to Take It

Unlike other vitamins, vitamin B5 has no Recommended Dietary Allowance. Experts recommend the following daily intakes of dietary vitamin B5:


  • Infants birth – 6 months: 1.7 mg
  • Infants 7 months – 1 year: 1.8 mg
  • Children 1 – 3 years: 2 mg
  • Children 4 – 8 years: 3 mg
  • Children 9 – 13 years: 4 mg
  • Teens 14 – 18 years: 5 mg


  • 19 years and older: 5 mg
  • Pregnant women: 6 mg
  • Breastfeeding women: 7 mg

Higher doses may be recommended by a health care provider for the treatment of specific conditions.


Because of the potential for side effects and interactions with medications, you should take dietary supplements only under the supervision of a knowledgeable health care provider.

Doctors consider vitamin B5 safe at doses equal to the daily intake, and at moderately higher doses. Very high doses may cause diarrhea and may increase the risk of bleeding.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not exceed the daily adequate intake unless directed by their doctor.

Vitamin B5 should be taken with water, preferably after eating.

Taking any one of the B vitamins for a long period of time can result in an imbalance of other important B vitamins. For this reason, you may want to take a B complex vitamin, which includes all the B vitamins.

Possible Interactions

If you are being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use vitamin B5 supplements without first talking to your health care provider.

Antibiotics, Tetracycline — Vitamin B5 interferes with the absorption and effectiveness of the antibiotic tetracycline. You should take B vitamins at different times from tetracycline. All vitamin B complex supplements act in this way and should be taken at different times from tetracycline.

Drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease — Vitamin B5 may increase the effects of a group of drugs called cholinesterase inhibitors, which are used to treat Alzheimer’s disease. That might lead to severe side effects. You should not take these drugs with B5 unless under a doctor’s supervision. Cholinesterase inhibitors include:

  • Donepezil (Aricept)
  • Memantine hydrochloride (Ebixa)
  • Galantamine (Reminyl)
  • Rivastigime (Exelon)

Since high doses of vitamin B5 can increase bleeding, you should take extra care if you take blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin (Coumadin), aspirin, and others.

Black Friday 2022,

Black Friday: check deal is really a bargain, UK shoppers are told
With sales predicted to be £500m above last year’s total, consumers are warned not to fall for the hype

Shoppers in York make the most of Black Friday deals
A promotion in York last year. Sales this year are predicted to be £500m higher than 2021. Photograph: Ian Forsyth/Getty
Jess Clark
Mon 21 Nov 2022 07.00 GMT
Shoppers have been warned to check they are getting a “genuine bargain” before handing over their cash on Black Friday as research suggests that an extra £500m will be spent during this year’s discount bonanza.

Black Friday, a US import that has become popular in the UK, falls on 25 November this year and is followed by Cyber Monday.

However, experts have told consumers not to get caught out by attractive deals – many of which have already started – particularly given the background of the cost of living crisis, which is putting household budgets under severe pressure.

Reena Sewraz, the Which? retail editor, said that while some shoppers would use Black Friday deals to spread the cost of Christmas, it found that “most of the advertised ‘deals’ should be taken with a pinch of salt”.

She said: “Retailers will be aware of the extra financial pressure on people this winter and they’ll be looking for ways to attract customers by focusing on value for money but our advice is to not fall for the hype and do some research to make sure you end up with a genuine bargain,” she said.

Research by PwC estimates that the average spend per person will be about £238, with sales this year £500m higher than 2021. Consumers will predominantly be shopping for electricals (51%), fashion (32%) and Christmas stocking fillers (28%), according to the survey.

Lisa Hooker, the industry leader for consumer markets at PwC, said: “Consumers have been closely monitoring their favourite brands in anticipation of big-ticket electronics, more pricey winter wear or Christmas stocking fillers being promoted, and consumers are more than ever in search of bargains, given rising inflation.

“Retailers have definitely held their nerve this year, with less promotional activity, but many are likely to see Black Friday as an opportunity to engage with consumers, clear excess stock and offer value for money.”

Despite rising household costs, 37% of consumers said theymay buy in the sales – up 2% from 2021 – and 24% of consumers said they will definitely buy – matching 2021 levels. In 2020, only 16% of consumers planned to buy in the Black Friday period.

Martin Lewis, the founder of MoneySavingExpert, said on Twitter: “My Black Friday shopping memo … If you were going to buy it anyway and it’s half price, you’ve saved 50%. If you weren’t going to buy it, but do because it’s half price, you’ve wasted 100%.”

Consumers have also been warned to be vigilant against fraud when shopping online during the festive period because scammers take advantage of the fact that people may be under pressure to get a cheap deal, and therefore less careful than usual about handing over payment details.

The latest figures from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau found that shoppers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland were scammed out of £15.3m between November 2021 and January 2022.

The age group most likely to be affected was 19- to 25-year-olds, and about £1,000 was lost for each person, the statistics, based on Action Fraud reports, showed.