5 Common Nutrient Deficiencies

5 Common Nutrient Deficiencies

It's fun to learn about what foods to eat and which ones not to eat, to improve your health. Implementing a balanced diet is the first step toward good health. But the next step is to determine whether or not you have nutritional deficiencies and to clear them up so you can start from a place of Ground Zero. Ground Zero means all you have to do is maintain the good stores of nutrients that you already have.

People frequently get confused and think that a multivitamin will be the solution, but a multivitamin only maintains the levels of nutrients at the particular level you are at in your body. It will never erase a nutritional deficiency. This is why it’s so important to find out where your levels of vitamins and minerals are right now.

To do this, you could begin working with a clinical nutritionist who runs tests to see where your vitamin and mineral levels are. In the meantime, here are five nutrients that you may be low in, and the deficiency symptoms that go with them.

1. Vitamin D

Deficiency symptoms include depression, muscle aches and pains, fatigue, hair loss, Seasonal Affective Disorder, low back pain, susceptibility to infections, frequent colds and flu, inflammation, and osteoporosis.

Once your levels of vitamin D are in the normal range, about 2000 IU per day will maintain them, according to Dr. Joe Mercola, a well-known alternative health practitioner. Foods are not high sources of vitamin D, although you can find the vitamin added to milk and yogurt, and it’s naturally in mushrooms.

2. Magnesium

Magnesium deficiency symptoms include muscle spasms, muscle tremors that are uncontrollable, loss of hearing, insulin resistance, headaches especially migraines, diabetes, nausea, vomiting, inflammation, loss of appetite, high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia, and seizures.

The Recommended Daily Amount is 310 to 400 mg per day for men and women, respectively. Those who have kidney, liver and digestive system disorders have a higher requirement for the mineral, as do diabetics.

Foods high in magnesium include seafood, dark green vegetables, molasses, whole grains, and nuts.

3. The B Vitamin Biotin

Biotin deficiency symptoms include hair loss, lack of energy, depression, red rashes, impaired immune system, hallucinations, the feeling of tingling or numbness in the arms and legs, and brittle nails.

Check your multi-vitamins for the level of biotin in them. If the B vitamin levels of other B vitamins are 100% or greater in your multi-vitamin, then biotin must also be at a similar level. Otherwise, a biotin deficiency could occur.

Good food sources of biotin include cooked eggs, whole wheat bread, liver, salmon, avocado, cheddar cheese, raspberries and cauliflower.

4. Vitamin A

Vitamin A deficiency symptoms include lowered resistance to infections, eyesight failing or vision worsening, dry and cracked skin, night blindness, loss of sense of smell, diarrhea, styes in the eyes, appetite loss, fatigue, and skin problems.

The RDA is 4000 to 5000 IU per day for adults. Foods high in this vitamin include liver, fish liver oil, and high beta-carotene green leafy vegetables, which convert to vitamin A within the body.

5. Zinc

Zinc deficiency symptoms include loss of appetite, lack of energy, hair loss, prolonged healing of wounds, fatigue, stretch marks in the skin, cancer, sterility, and decreased ability to taste foods.

The RDA for zinc used to be set at 15 mg daily for adults, but recently was lowered to 11 mg. Good sources of zinc include oysters, crab, beef, pork, dark meat of turkey and chicken, yogurt, and milk products. Black beans are also a good source.

Do you suspect you may be affected by any of these vitamin or mineral deficiencies? If so, see your doctor and clinical nutritionist to get them taken care of. When you do, you will feel so much better.