Vitamin deficiency

  • Athina Healthcare
  • 13-Apr-2021

Let us first understand the basics of vitamins 

Vitamin is an essential micronutrient which an organism needs in small quantities for the proper functioning of its metabolism. In humans there are 13 vitamins: 4 fat-soluble (A, D, E and K) and 9 water-soluble (8 B vitamins and vitamin C). While fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body's fatty tissue, Water-soluble vitamins cannot be stored in the body and are therefore needed by our body from food sources i.e., B vitamins and vitamin C.

Importance of Vitamins

Vitamins are vital to life and healthy living. Failing to get the necessary amounts of specific vitamins can cause various deficiencies that may be dangerous. Thus, a sufficient intake of vitamins is crucial to prevent the development of deficiency-related diseases. In addition, some vitamins have a considerable potential in health promotion and disease treatment. Vitamins and supplements are there to complement the nutrients you get from food and bring you one step closer to your health and wellness goals.

Ways in which Vitamins nourish our body

  • Support Immunity: Good nutrition makes for an enduring immune system and certain nutrients are known for their immune-supporting benefits. Like Vitamin C, it's an antioxidant that protects the body cells from damage caused by oxidative stress from free radicals, which are unstable molecules. 
  • Uphold a Healthy Metabolism: B-complex vitamins and vitamins B6 and B12 collaborate with other enzymes in the body to metabolize energy from protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Staying physically active and eating a healthy diet also helps maintaining a healthy metabolism.
  • Meeting the Nutritional Needs: Committing to a new eating habit or lifestyle can feel rewarding, but one may unintentionally eliminate essential vitamins and minerals. Multivitamin supplements can cover these common nutritional needs. 
  • Maintain Strong Bones: We already know that Calcium is critical for healthy bones. But did you know that calcium needs vitamin D to successfully complete its job of supporting to build healthy bones? A human body produces vitamin D as a response to sun exposure. A person can also boost their vitamin D intake through certain foods or supplements. It may also protect against a range of diseases and conditions, such as type 1 diabetes.

What happens when there are Vitamin Deficiencies

Vitamin deficiency occurs when the body doesn't absorb the required amount of a vitamin. It may also occur in people who are picky eaters and don't consume a lot of variety in their food eating habits, or in people who avoid certain food segments, whether it be for personal reasons or due to some specific health condition. Vitamin deficiencies remain common globally. Unless severe, they are often clinically unrecognized, yet even mild deficiency may have adverse consequences. These affect all ages and frequently co-exist with mineral (zinc, iron, iodine) deficiencies. The people most vulnerable to vitamin deficiencies are pregnant and lactating women, and young children, because of their relatively high needs for these compounds. 

Familiar Signs that our body gives if deficient to any Vitamin

A well-balanced and nutritious diet has many benefits. On the other hand, a diet lacking in vitamins may cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms. These symptoms are the body’s way of communicating potential vitamin deficiencies. Few prevalent signs are:

  • Feeling tired for no reason
  • Fatigue or Low energy
  • Looking pale and always getting sick
  • Brittle hair and nails
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Bleeding gums
  • Poor night vision
  • Scaly patches and dandruff
  • Hair loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sore Tongue
  • Muscle Pains

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