2020-08-01 00:49:20
Common Vitamin Deficiencies

Common Vitamin Deficiencies

To maintain good health, our bodies depend on certain vitamins and nutrients to function properly. However, due to lifestyle, diet, or location, there are some vitamins or nutrients that you may not be getting enough of on a daily basis. Here are some of the common deficiencies that are seen today and what to do about them.

Folic Acid

Folic Acid or Folate, is a B vitamin. If you or a loved one has ever been pregnant, you may have been told by your doctor to increase your folic acid intake. That is because Folic Acid is vital in the replication of DNA and the production of cells. While Folic Acid is found in many common foods, such as peas, legumes, asparagus, spinach, brussel sprouts and broccoli, many people still don t get enough in their diet. In fact, many food manufacturers add folic acid to their products, particularly grains and pastas.

Folic Acid is also important for brain and neurological health, as well as overall mood. Recent studies have shown that a lack of folic acid can contribute to depressive illnesses. Additionally, folic acid also contributes to cognitive functioning, particularly in older adults. As such, it is increasingly important to ensure your diet has enough folic acid, particularly as you age.

Folic Acid deficiency is characterized by general anemia type symptoms such as tiredness, lethargy, weakness in muscles. You may also experience more subtle signs of a deficiency such as a swollen tongue, graying of your hair, or developing mouth sores.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is vital for the healthy bones, teeth, and muscles. It also plays an important role in maintaining a strong and healthy immune system. Vitamin D is unique in that we get most of our necessary vitamin D through sunlight, rather than food intake. When you are outside, your body actually makes vitamin D from the sunlight hitting your skin. For individuals who are unable to get outside, vitamin D can be found in some of the fattier, oily fish, such as sardines, mackerel, and herring; as well as in liver and beef. In the US, milk, and also sometimes orange juice, is often fortified with Vitamin D as well.

Signs of a Vitamin D deficiency are fatigue and exhaustion, chronic and recurrent illnesses and infections, such as colds and bronchitis; aching bones, such as back or hip decrease in bone density; rickets; depression, and hair loss.

Vitamin B12

The last common deficiency we will discuss is Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 helps support a lot of our body functions. It helps in the production of healthy new red blood cells and is also important to bone, hair, skin and nail health. While the process isn t completely understood yet, B12 is also involved in the production of serotonin in the brain. A lack of B12 can cause a decrease in serotonin levels, and as such, can result in serious depressive illness. Vitamin B12 also gives your body energy. People who deal with chronic fatigue often get weekly B12 shots to increase energy and productivity.

B12 is found naturally in animal products, so for individuals who are vegetarian or vegan, they must supplement their diet with B12, or risk deficiency. The symptoms include irritability, exhaustion, sore tongue, yellowed skin, and a decline in cognitive thought processes.

While vitamin deficiencies still exist and can cause major health concerns, they are much less common today than in the past. Thankfully, in today s world the vast majority of individuals have easy access to a variety of food, vitamins, nutrients, and supplements, it is relatively easy to ensure we have what we need to function well.