Vitamins Deficiencies

Have you always been a picky eater? Does your busy lifestyle mean you often don’t get the ideal nutrition you should? Do you have bad eating habits and sometimes find yourself binge eating due to stress? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may not be getting enough of the vitamins your body needs.


Vitamins are essential nutrients that the body needs in small amounts to sustain life. Since vitamins are absorbed by the body from our everyday food, we should receive our daily intake of vitamins through a well-balanced and healthy diet of milk and other dairy products like yoghurt and cheese, fresh fruits and vegetables, proteins such as chicken, fish, eggs and meat and whole grains like brown rice and oatmeal. Of course, the purer the source of all these food types the better, so if you can access organic, unprocessed or free-range food products, always opt for these choices. People with medical conditions related to the digestive system or asthma, active adults who play physically demanding sports and people who smoke or those who for years have consumed sugary carbonated drinks might also require vitamin supplements. However, you should always consult a qualified nutritionist or GP before starting any vitamin regimen.



Water-Soluble vs Fat-Soluble Vitamins There are two categories of vitamins: fat-soluble and water-soluble. Fat soluble vitamins (such as A, D, E and K) can be stored in the body while water soluble vitamins (like vitamins C and B) cannot. The body passes out excess water-soluble vitamins that it doesn’t use, making it important to replenish these vitamins.


Vitamin deficiency can lead to potential illness and health conditions. It’s important to know what benefits each vitamin possesses and what symptoms to look for if you suspect you have a vitamin deficiency:


Vitamin A

The benefits: Promotes tissue and bone repair,development and normal growth, immune responses and healthy eyes and skin.

Symptoms of deficiency: Tiredness, hair loss, weakness, weight loss, dry eyes, scaling of the skin and respiratory infections.


Vitamin B6

The benefits: Helps the body break down protein and maintain the health of red blood cells, the nervous system and parts of the immune system.

Symptoms of deficiency: Diarrhoea, anaemia, weakness, irritability and seizures. Vitamin B6 deficiency may also contribute to inattention, impulsiveness, hyperactivity and temper tantrums.


Vitamin B12

The benefits: Supports the body’s growth and development, blood cell production and brain and nervous system function.

Symptoms of deficiency: Abdominal pain, oedema,weakness, insomnia and, in some cases, loss of voice.


Vitamin C

The benefits: Serves as an anti-oxidant for the growth and repair of all body tissues and encourages healthy muscles and skin.

Symptoms of deficiency: Easy bruising, joint pain, dry skin and poor appetite. Frequent nose bleeds, infections and illness can also be traced back to a vitamin C deficiency.


Vitamin D

The benefits: Aids in bone health and formation of teeth by helping the body absorb calcium. Vitamin D deficiency is a common problem.

Symptoms of deficiency: Irritability, poor growth and muscle cramps. Poor immunity, breathing difficulties and even seizures can also be traced back to insufficient vitamin D.


Vitamin E

The benefits: Protects red blood cells and helps prevent destruction of vitamin A and C. It is most known for its antioxidant function but also helps enzymatic activities, gene expression and neurological function.

Symptoms of deficiency: Poor growth, nerve damage, chronic liver disease and muscle weakness. Generally, Vitamin E deficiency is rare.


Vitamin toxicity

If you suspect any of these signs point to a deficiency,check with your physician before administering extra vitamins to avoid an overdose. Taking large doses of certain vitamins can actually be harmful. For most people, it is best to get the vitamins the body needs from eating a variety of healthy, unprocessed foods rather than from supplements.


Vitamin Type and Sources

Vitamin A: Eggs, cheese, milk, sweet potatoes,carrots and squash


Vitamin B (B2, B3, B6, & B12): Meat, fish, chicken, milk, eggs, nuts, beans, cheese and soya beans


Vitamin C: Capsicums (sweet peppers), strawberries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, kiwi and green vegetables like broccoli


Vitamin D: Sunlight, yoghurt, milk, cheese,egg yolks, tofu and calcium-fortified orange juice


Vitamin E: Avocados, nuts, asparagus,vegetable oil, corn and leafy vegetables

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