5 Most Common Nutrient Deficiencies in Humans: Explained
Nutritional deficiencies have become quite common these days. You often ignore your health owing to busy work schedules and related stress. You prefer instant foods to well-balanced meals due to lack of cooking time. However, junk or instant foods will do no good to your body. Instead, they may aggravate your health problems that further hamper your daily living activities. You are at risk of developing nutrient deficiency diseases too.
Thus, consuming a balanced diet rich in vital nutrients is necessary. Supplementing your diet with vitamin tablets or health products is even more beneficial for ensuring good health in the long run.
Now, let us understand some of the common nutrient deficiencies, the diseases resulting from the same, and their recommended daily intakes.
Some Common Nutrient Deficiencies
1. Iodine deficiency
Iodine is a vital nutrient for the body. Different parts of the body especially the stomach lining, thyroid, and mammary glands require iodine to produce essential hormones.
Yet, people most often ignore iodine. You may think that since iodine is included in common salt, eating iodine-rich foods, or taking iodine supplements may not be required. But common salt may not provide the requisite amount of iodine to your body. This leads to iodine deficiency.
The common symptoms of iodine deficiency are-
- Dry itchy skin.
- Heart-rate changes.
- Irregular menstruation.
- Swelling of the neck.
Prolonged iodine deficiency leads to hypothyroidism. But even modest levels of iodine deficiency affect vital body functions. While overdosage should be avoided, it is necessary to ensure your body gets the right iodine levels in some form apart from common salt.
The recommended daily intake is a minimum of 150 micrograms per day.
2. Magnesium deficiency
Magnesium is vital for sound sleep, good mental health, and proper digestion. Appropriate levels of magnesium in the body lower the risk of heart diseases too. It ensures smooth functioning of the brain, heart, and liver. It is also important for the synthesis of proteins. Magnesium plays a critical role in chemical reactions caused by enzymes.
However, the importance of magnesium as a vital body nutrient is underrated. Since it is present in most foods, people overlook the importance of consuming a magnesium-rich diet or health supplement. There is clinical evidence that the magnesium levels in urban and continental diets are below par. Thus, magnesium deficiency is known to be one of the most common nutrient deficiencies across the world.
The most common symptoms of magnesium deficiency are-
- Frequent headaches.
- Dental cavities.
- Brittle bones.
- Kidney damage.
- Liver diseases.
The recommended daily intake of magnesium is 400-420 mg for men and 300-320 mg for women. The body’s requirement of magnesium must be fulfilled one way or another. Special magnesium supplements may be useful if you are unable to include magnesium-rich foods in the diet.
3.Vitamin D deficiency
When we talk about the most common nutrient deficiencies, the first thing that pops up in your mind is Vitamin D deficiency. Globally, the majority of individuals suffer from Vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency. It is an alarming problem, yet none of the health organizations have declared it a health emergency.
The most common symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency are-
- High blood pressure.
- Weak immune system.
- Low bone mass (osteopenia).
- Hormonal imbalances.
Lack of vitamin D can have serious health repercussions in the form of increased risks of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
The sun is the primary source of Vitamin D. When your skin is exposed to the sun’s UV rays, it helps in producing vitamin D in the body. But most of the time you are either fully covered in clothing or block vitamin D synthesis by applying sunscreen while venturing out.
Moreover, with technology advancements and the online availability of products and services your probability of moving outdoors has moved south. Virtual games have substituted physical games. Thus, you are indoors most of the time. The COVID-19 induced lockdowns worsened the situation as people across the globe were compelled to be confined within their homes.
Very few foods are rich in vitamin D. Fish, red meat, fortified cereal, eggs, etc., are some of them.
Infants require 8.5-10 micrograms of vitamin D per day. Children above the age of 1 and adults require a minimum of 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day.
Most medical practitioners recommend Vitamin D supplements for children aged 1-4 for their healthy growth. Vitamin D supplements are necessary for pregnant women and lactating mothers too. In fact, all individuals irrespective of their age and gender can take vitamin D supplements to ensure good health.
4. Calcium deficiency
All of you may be aware of the predominant role that calcium plays in maintaining strong teeth and bones. It is a vital nutrient for muscle movement, smooth functioning of the nervous system, and preventing hormonal imbalances.
If you do not include calcium-rich foods in your diet, it will lead to calcium deficiency. The body will try to compensate for the shortfall by robbing your bones of calcium. Thus, increasing the risk of suffering from Osteoporosis.
Some of the symptoms of this nutrient deficiency are-
- Bone diseases.
- Teeth problems.
- Mood swings.
- Muscle cramps.
As you age, your body requires more calcium to maintain healthy bones.
The recommended level of calcium intake for aged people is 1300 mg per day. Children and teens require higher levels of calcium too. On average, an adult must consume a minimum of 1000 mg of calcium per day. Dairy products are rich sources of calcium.
Kidney diseases, digestive disorders, hormone regulation problems, thyroid, etc., obstruct calcium absorption. Thus, if you suffer from any of the above health conditions, consuming a calcium supplement is imperative.
Magnesium and vitamin D deficiencies also obstruct calcium absorption. Thus, choose your health supplements carefully. The supplements should be able to meet the vital nutrient deficiencies in your daily diet.
5. Vitamin B12 deficiency
Vitamin B12 plays an important role in DNA synthesis and brain functioning. It is found abundantly in animal foods but not in vegetarian foods. Thus, vegetarians are at a higher risk when it comes to vitamin B12 deficiency.
Some common symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency are-
- Unhealthy skin.
- Memory loss.
- Acid reflux.
Major reasons behind vitamin B12 deficiency are-
- Vitamin B-12 deficient diet.
- Low stomach acids.
- Low hemoglobin levels.
- Intestinal bacteria.
- Diabetes medications.
- Some genetic variations.
The recommended daily intake of vitamin B12 is 6 micrograms per day. Vitamin B12 supplements are highly recommended, especially if you are a vegan or a vegetarian.
After reading about the five most common nutrient deficiencies and the nutrient deficiency diseases, you might be concerned if your body exhibits some of these symptoms.
Instead of worrying about the same, get in touch with Zim Labs right away. We are a drug delivery-based solutions provider with robust R&D facilities. We harness the power of technology and innovation to develop health supplements at affordable costs.
Zim Labs has supplements for all kinds of nutrient deficiencies. Our team of experts has actively participated in the development of the best products. We also provide consultation services and can help you choose the right health supplements as per your ailment. We are here to ensure your good health and well-being.
About ZIM Laboratories
ZIM Labs is an innovative drug delivery solution provider focusing on improving patient convenience and adherence to drug intake. We offer a range of technology-based drug delivery solutions and non-infringing proprietary manufacturing processes for the production and supply of innovative and differentiated generic pharmaceutical products to our customers globally. At ZIM Labs we provide our customers a comprehensive range of value-added solid dosage differentiated generic products in semi-finished and finished categories/formulations. These include granules, pellets (sustained, modified, extended-release), taste-masked powders, suspensions, tablets, capsules, and recently developed Oral Thin Films (OTF).