Nutrient Deficiency Risks

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Vitamin B9 metabolism

It is also known as vitamin B9, folate, or folic acid. All B vitamins help the body to convert the food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which is used to produce energy. Malnutrition is the most common cause of folic acid deficiency anemia. Eating a diet low in vitamins or overcooked food can result to malnutrition. Heavy bleeding can also lead to anemia. Foods rich in folic acid include citrus fruits, leafy green vegetables, and fortified cereals. Folate is necessary for the development of red blood cells and is essential during pregnancy to prevent neural tubular defects in the developing fetus. Low serum levels of folate are associated with an increased risk of several health conditions, including elevated homocysteine, birth defects such as neural tube defects and cleft lip/cleft palate, and an increased cancer risk.
Symptoms: Persistent fatigue, weakness, lethargy, pale skin, shortness of breath, irritation.


Vitamin K Deficiency

The most common causes of vitamin K deficiency are insufficient dietary intake, inadequate absorption, and decreased storage of the vitamin due to liver disease, but it may also be caused by decreased production in the intestines. Vitamin K is essential in aiding the body's process of blood clotting, which helps the body to heal also to held stretch marks, wounds, bruises, and areas affected by surgery. The basic functions of vitamin K are also thought to help certain skin conditions, such as: stretch marks. Spider veins. The body needs vitamin K to produce prothrombin, a protein and clotting factor that is important in blood clotting and bone metabolism. Vitamin K deficiency is rare in adults because many of the foods we eat contain adequate amounts of K1 and because the body makes K2 on its own. Also, the body is good at recycling its existing supply of vitamin K.
Symptoms: The main symptom of vitamin K deficiency is excessive bleeding. Keep in mind that bleeding may happen in areas other than at a cut or wound site. Bleeding in mucous membranes that are in line areas inside the body.
In case of Infants :
1. Bleeding from the area where the umbilical cord is removed
2. Bleeding in the skin, nose, the gastrointestinal tract, or other areas
3. Sudden bleeding in the brain, which is extremely dangerous and life-threatening
Fat malabsorption leading to vitamin K deficiency may occur in people with :
1. Celiac disease
2. Cystic fibrosis
3. A disorder in the intestines
4. Part of their intestine removed


Vitamin A deficiency

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is important for many body functions, including proper vision, a strong immune system, reproduction and good skin health. There are two types of vitamin A found in foods: preformed vitamin A and provitamin A Preformed vitamin A is also known as retinol and commonly found in meat, fish, eggs and dairy products. On the other hand, the body converts carotenoids in plant foods, such as red, green, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, into vitamin A. While deficiency is rare in developed countries, many people in developing countries do not get enough vitamin A. High risk of deficiency are in pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, infants and children. Cystic fibrosis and chronic diarrhea may also increase your risk of deficiency.
Symptoms: Dry skin, Dry Eyes, Night Blindness, Infertility and face trouble in conceiving, Delayed Growth, Throat and chest Infection, Poor wound healing, Acne and Breakouts


Vitamin B6 deficiency

Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is one of eight vitamins in the B complex group. Even though it was discovered in 1932, scientists are still learning new things about it. Most people get enough B6 in their diet, but if you are deficient in other B complex vitamins, such as folate and B12, you’re more likely to be deficient in vitamin B6 as well. Vitamin B6 deficiency is more common in people with liver, kidney, digestive or autoimmune diseases, as well as smokers, obese people, alcoholics and pregnant women. In your body, B6 is involved in more than 150 enzyme reactions. These help your body process the protein, carbs and fat you eat. B6 is also closely linked with the functions of your nervous and immune systems. More recently, it’s been found that B6 has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This means that it may play a role in helping prevent chronic conditions like heart disease and cancer.
Symptoms:Skin Rashes, Cracked and sore Lips, Sore, Glossy Tongue, Mood Changes, Weakened Immune Function, Tiredness and Low Energy, Tingling and Pain in Hands and Feet, Seizures, High Homocysteine
Vitamin B6 deficiency should be considered in:
1. Any infant who has seizures
2. Any patient who has seizures refractory to treatment with antiseizure drugs
3. Any patient with deficiencies of other B vitamins, particularly in patients with alcoholism or protein-energy undernutrition
Diagnosis of vitamin B6 deficiency is usually clinical. There is no single accepted laboratory test of vitamin B6 status; measurement of serum pyridoxal phosphate is most common.


Vitamin B12 deficiency

Vitamin B-12 is an essential nutrient that keeps the body functioning properly. Symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency include fatigue, low mood, and nerve problems. The human body does not create vitamin B-12, so people must get this nutrient from their diet. It is crucial for making DNA and red blood cells, and it helps support the nervous system. Vitamin B-12 plays a vital role in the production of blood cells. Many of the symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency arise because it causes a lack of healthy blood cells. The body needs plenty of these cells to get oxygen around the body and keep the organs in good health. A vitamin B-12 deficiency can lead to both physical and psychological problems. In this article, we explore 11 symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency and explain why they occur. Vitamin B-12 deficiency anemia Vitamin B-12 deficiency can result from a diet lacking in vitamin B-12, which is found mainly in meat, eggs and milk. However, the most common cause of vitamin B-12 deficiency anemia is a lack of a substance called intrinsic factor, which can be caused when your immune system mistakenly attacks the stomach cells that produce this substance. This type of anemia is called pernicious anemia. Intrinsic factor is a protein secreted by the stomach that joins vitamin B-12 in the stomach and moves it through the small intestine to be absorbed by your bloodstream. Without intrinsic factor, vitamin B-12 can't be absorbed and leaves your body as waste. People with endocrine-related autoimmune disorders, such as diabetes or thyroid disease, may have an increased risk of developing pernicious anemia. Vitamin B-12 deficiency anemia can also occur if your small intestine can't absorb vitamin B-12 for reasons other than a lack of intrinsic factor.
This may happen if:
1. You've had surgery to your stomach or small intestine, such as gastric bypass surgery
2. You have abnormal bacterial growth in your small intestine
3. You have an intestinal disease, such as Crohn's disease or celiac disease, that interferes with absorption of the vitamin
4. You've ingested a tapeworm from eating contaminated fish. The tapeworm saps nutrients from your body.
5. You may also be more likely to develop vitamin B12 deficiency if you have:
6. Atrophic gastritis, in which your stomach lining has thinned
7. Pernicious anemia, which makes it hard for your body to absorb vitamin B12
8. Conditions that affect your small intestine, such as Crohn's disease, celiac disease, bacterial growth, or a parasite
9. Immune system disorders, such as Graves' disease or lupus
Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
If you have vitamin B12 deficiency, you could become anemic. A mild deficiency may cause no symptoms. But if untreated, it may lead to symptoms such as:
1. Weakness, tiredness, or lightheadedness
2. Heart palpitations and shortness of breath
3. Pale skin
4. A smooth tongue
5. Constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or gas
6. Nerve problems like numbness or tingling, muscle weakness, and problems walking
7. Vision loss
8. Mental problems like depression, memory loss, or behavioral changes


Vitamin D deficiency

If you shun the sun, suffer from milk allergies, or adhere to a strict vegan diet, you may be at risk for vitamin D deficiency. Known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is produced by the body in response to skin being exposed to sunlight. It is also occurs naturally in a few foods -- including some fish, fish liver oils, and egg yolks -- and in fortified dairy and grain products. Vitamin D is essential for strong bones, because it helps the body use calcium from the diet. Traditionally, vitamin D deficiency has been associated with rickets, a disease in which the bone tissue doesn't properly mineralize, leading to soft bones and skeletal deformities. But increasingly, research is revealing the importance of vitamin D in protecting against a host of health problems. Here are 7 common age factors (older age) for vitamin D deficiency:
1. Having dark skin.
2. Being elderly.
3. Being overweight or obese.
4. Not eating much fish or dairy.
5. Living far from the equator where there is little sun year-round.
6. Always using sunscreen when going out.
7. Staying indoors.
Here are 8 signs and symptoms of vitamin D deficiency.
1. Getting Sick or Infected often
2. Fatigue and Tiredness. Feeling tired can have many causes, and vitamin D deficiency may be one of them
3. Bone and Back Pain
4. Depression
5. Impaired Wound Healing
6. Bone Loss
7. Hair Loss
8. Muscle Pain


Vitamin E deficiency

Vitamin E is a nutrient that's important for vision, reproduction, and the health of your blood, brain and skin. Vitamin E also has antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are substances that might protect your cells against the effects of free radicals — molecules produced when your body breaks down food or is exposed to tobacco smoke and radiation. Free radicals might play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases. If you take vitamin E for its antioxidant properties, keep in mind that the supplement might not offer the same benefits as naturally occurring antioxidants in food. Foods rich in vitamin E include canola oil, olive oil, margarine, almonds and peanuts. You can also get vitamin E from meats, dairy, leafy greens and fortified cereals. Vitamin E is also available as an oral supplement in capsules or drops. Vitamin E deficiency can cause nerve pain (neuropathy). CAUSES:
Vitamin E deficiency can be the result of an underlying condition. Many conditions prevent your body from being able to adequately absorb fats, including fat-soluble nutrients like vitamin E. This includes:
1. chronic pancreatitis
2. cholestasis
3. cystic fibrosis
4. primary biliary cirrhosis
5. Crohn’s disease
6. short bowel syndrome
In some cases, vitamin E deficiency results from a rare genetic condition known as ataxia. This condition is neurologically based and affects muscle control and coordination. It’s most likely Trusted Source to develop in children between the ages of 5 and 15 Trusted Source. Interactions
Use of some drugs can affect your vitamin E levels. Possible interactives include:
1. Alkylating agents and anti-tumor antibiotics: There's concern that high doses of vitamin E might affect the use of these chemotherapy drugs.
2. Anticoagulants and anti-platelet drugs, herbs and supplements: Use of vitamin E with these drugs, herbs and supplements to reduce blood clotting might increase the risk of bleeding.
3. Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates: Use caution when taking vitamin E and other drugs affected by these enzymes, such as omeprazole (Prilosec, Zegerid).
4. Statins and niacin: Taking vitamin E with statins or niacin, which might benefit people with high cholesterol, could reduce niacin's effect.
5. Vitamin K: Taking vitamin E with vitamin K might decrease the effects of vitamin K.


Calcium Deficiency

Calcium is a vital mineral. Your body uses it to build strong bones and teeth. Calcium is also needed for your heart and other muscles to function properly. When you don’t get enough calcium, you increase your risk of developing disorders like:
1. Osteoporosis
2. Osteopenia
3. Calcium deficiency disease (hypocalcemia)
Children who don’t get enough calcium may not grow to their full potential height as adults.
Many people are at an increased risk for calcium deficiency as they age. This deficiency may be due to a variety of factors, including:
1. poor calcium intake over a long period of time, especially in childhood
2. medications that may decrease calcium absorption
3. dietary intolerance to foods rich in calcium
4. hormonal changes, especially in women
5. certain genetic factors
It’s important to ensure proper calcium intake at all ages. For children and teenagers, the recommended daily allowances for calcium are the same for both gender. Other causes of hypocalcemia include malnutrition and malabsorption. Malnutrition is when you’re not getting enough nutrients, while malabsorption is when your body can’t absorb the vitamins and minerals you need from the food you eat. Additional causes include: 1. low levels of vitamin D, which makes it harder to absorb calcium
2. medications, such phenytoin, phenobarbital, rifampin, corticosteroids, and drugs used to treat elevated calcium levels
3. pancreatitis
4. hypermagnesemia and hypomagnesemia
5. hyperphosphatemia
6. septic shock
7. massive blood transfusions
8. renal failure
9. certain chemotherapy drugs
10. “Hungry bone syndrome,” which may occur after surgery for hyperparathyroidism
11. removal of parathyroid gland tissue as part of surgery to remove the thyroid gland
1. confusion or memory loss
2. muscle spasms
3. numbness and tingling in the hands, feet, and face
4. depression
5. hallucinations
6. muscle cramps
7. weak and brittle nails
8. easy fracturing of the bones
Calcium deficiencies can affect all parts of the body, resulting in weak nails, slower hair growth, and fragile, thin skin.


Vitamin C deficiency

Scurvy is a clinical syndrome that results from vitamin C deficiency. Low vitamin C intake has been linked to increased body fat in humans. Foods that contain vitamin C include fruits, such as oranges, lemons, strawberries, blackberries, guava, kiwi fruit, and papaya and vegetables, especially tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, broccoli, potatoes, cabbage, and spinach. Risk factors of Vitamin C deficiency may likely to occur in people:
1. People who consume alcohol
2. Babies only fed cow's milk
3. Elderly people only consuming tea and toast diet
4. Poor people who are not able to afford fruits and vegetables
5. Smokers
6. Individuals with eating disorders
7. Type 1 diabetes who have high vitamin C requirements
8. Individuals with disorders of the GI tract like inflammatory bowel disease.
9. Individuals with iron overload which leads to wasting of vitamin C by the kidneys
10. Individuals with restrictive diets, food allergies
Bleeding sores, tooth loss, anemia, and a reduced rate of healing for injuries, mood changes, and depression, bone pain, petechiae, or small red spots resulting from bleeding under the skin, corkscrew hairs.