Vitamin Deficiency Can Lead To Severe Diseases
The first disease to be directly linked to a vitamin deficiency was scurvy. Scurvy is characterized by general malaise and lethargy, progressing on to spotty skin, losing teeth, and bleeding and swollen gums. Slow wound healing and general weakness is also a regular symptom. If left untreated scurvy can be fatal.
In 1753 the Scottish Surgeon, James Lind postulated in his Treatise on the Scurvy that lemons and limes, a key source of vitamin C, may be used to prevent scurvy. His recommendation was proven as fact in 1932. Today, vitamin C is used to correct the deficiency leading to scurvy worldwide.
Vitamin D deficiency is often associated with rickets, a disease that causes the softening of bones in children usually resulting in fractures and deformities. This is due to the fact that vitamin D plays a key role in calcium absorption and the building of strong, healthy bones.
Rickets is not a common disease in the U.S. however, poor exposure to vitamin D can always cause it. Children of 6 months to two years of age are more prone to this disease if they are only breastfed by their mothers. It is recommended that such children are exposed to UVB rays, or that fortified milk is included in their routine diet.
Beriberi is a condition in which a person has a severe deficiency in vitamin B1. It is characterized by nerve, heart, and brain abnormalities. An alcoholic binge can worsen the brain abnormalities in a person with chronic vitamin B1 deficiency.
Beriberi symptoms include numbness and tingling in hands and feet, memory loss, problems with breathing, possible paralysis, problems with speaking, confusion, and depression.
Pellagra is a vitamin deficiency disorder in which dark red patches occur on face, neck, hands, calves, and feet. The person who has developed Pellagra is also likely to suffer from constipation, diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting. In this condition, the mouth and tongue get red, swollen and develop sores.
This disease can be caused by malnutrition or an over-dependence on a particular type of food or drink, such as maize or wine. Among the leading causes, acute deficiency of vitamin B3 or Niacin is the most prominent.
Symptoms of Vitamin A Deficiency
The symptoms of vitamin A deficiency include:
- Dry and rough skin.
- Growth and development can be halted in children.
- Eye inflammation affects the eyelids, surrounding tissues, and even eyes.
- Respiratory infection and urinary infection occurs in children as well as in adults.
- Dry Eyes results in xerophthalmia, which is a risky form of night blindness where the eye’s outer membrane, conjunctiva leaves it’s goblet cells that help in performing the release of mucus in the eye by keeping it lubricated.
- Reduced or less vision in the dim light at the night. Patients with Vitamin A deficiency will not be able to differentiate the outlines of images available in reduced illumination. They have good vision at day time till the night blindness reaches to high form.
- The loss of goblet cells can seriously lead to xerophthalmia where the eye stops developing tears as they become dead cells. These can be collected from the outer layer of the eye and it seems like a form of debris which leads to blindness and other infections.
Vitamin A is an important vitamin that plays a major role in our vision. It helps in the production of certain pigments that are important for the proper functioning of the retina. Listed below some of the sources of Vitamin A that can be included in our daily diet.
- Beet Greens.
- Fortified Margarine.
- Green leafy vegetables.
- Dairy products (cheese, milk, butter)
- Green and ripe yellow colored fruits (mangoes, banana, watermelon, etc.)
- Dark and yellow colored vegetables (Carrots, Pumpkin, Sweet Potatoes,etc.)
Symptoms of Vitamin B Deficiency
- Skin pallor and yellowing of Skin
- Extreme weakness and fatigue
- Sensations of pins and needles due to nerve damage
- Glossitis and mouth ulcers
- Breathlessness and dizziness
- Mood changes: depression, psychosis and irritability
- Some loss in sense of touch, walking and vision problems
- Symptoms of dementia
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
B vitamins: Niacin (B3) found in Foods that offer the highest niacin content include liver, chicken, veal, peanuts, chili powder, bacon and sun dried tomatoes. Other niacin-rich foods include baker’s yeast, paprika, espresso coffee, anchovies, spirulina, duck, shiitake mushrooms and soy sauce.
Vitamin E deficiency
fragility of red blood cells and degeneration of neurons, particularly peripheral axons and posterior column neurons. Vitamin E is a group of compounds (including tocopherols and tocotrienols) that have similar biologic activities.
Vitamin E is found in:
Wheat Germ Oil — 135% DV per serving
1 tablespoon: 20 mg (135% DV)
100 grams: 149 mg (996% DV)
Sunflower Seeds — 66% DV per serving
1 ounce: 10 mg (66% DV)
100 grams: 35 mg (234% DV)
Almonds — 48% DV per serving
1 ounce: 7.3 mg (48% DV)
100 grams: 26 mg (171% DV)
Hazelnut Oil — 43% DV per serving
1 tablespoon: 6.4 mg (43% DV)
100 grams: 47 mg (315% DV)
Mamey Sapote — 39% DV per serving
Half a fruit: 5.9 mg (39% DV)
100 grams: 2.1 mg (14% DV)
Sunflower Oil — 37% DV per serving
1 tablespoon: 5.6 mg (37% DV)
100 grams: 41 mg (274% DV)
Almond Oil — 36% DV per serving
1 tablespoon: 5.3 mg (36% DV)
100 grams: 39 mg (261% DV)
Hazelnuts — 28% DV per serving
1 ounce: 4.3 mg (28% DV)
100 grams: 15 mg (100% DV)
.Abalone — 23% DV per serving
3 ounces: 3.4 mg (23% DV)
100 grams: 4.0 mg (27% DV)
Pine Nuts — 18% DV per serving
Vitamin K deficiency
Adults are at an increased risk of vitamin K deficiency and the associated symptoms if they:
- take blood thinners, or anticoagulants, which prevent blood clots but inhibit vitamin K activation
- take antibiotics that interfere with vitamin K production and absorption
- do not get enough vitamin K from the foods they eat
- take extremely high doses of vitamin A or E
Some medical conditions can make vitamin K deficiency more likely to develop, such as conditions where the body is less able to absorb fat. This is known as fat malabsorption.
Conditions associated with fat malabsorption include:
- celiac disease
- cystic fibrosis
- an intestinal or biliary tract (liver, gallbladder, and bile ducts) disorder
- having had part of the intestine removed, such as during bariatric surgery
There are several reasons why newborn babies are more prone to vitamin K deficiency:
- breast milk is low in vitamin K
- vitamin K does not transfer well from the placenta to the baby
- a newborn’s liver is unable to use vitamin K efficiently
- a newborn’s gut cannot produce vitamin K2 in the first few days of life
The ODSTrusted Source recommend that adults get the following amounts of vitamin K each day:
- 120 micrograms (mcg) for males
- 90 mcg for females
Foods that are high in vitamin K include:
- green leafy vegetables, including spinach, kale, lettuce, and broccoli
- vegetable oils
- some fruits, such as blueberries and figs
- meat, including liver
- green tea
People can also take vitamin K supplements. It is best to talk to a doctor before taking these as they could interfere with existing medications.
Feel free to contact us to find which supplement’s are best for you.