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Vitamin & Mineral Deficiencies

Marginal vitamin and mineral deficiencies are likely to be the cause for minor symptoms such as headaches, difficulty in sleeping or skin problems. These minor problems when left untreated are likely to become more serious which is why it is important to deal with the vitamin and mineral deficiencies as soon as possible.

Deficiency symptoms

Our bodies make it clear when we have minor deficiencies. The following is a list of symptoms and the vitamins and minerals that may be deficient.

Ask yourself the following questions:

1. Are you tired a lot of the time?

2. Is your ability to keep going noticeably decreasing?

3. Are you having a hard time keeping your weight stable?

4. Do you often experience physical pain - arthritis, muscle aches, migraines?

5. Do you often get colds?

6. Is your eyesight deteriorating?

7. Is your mental clarity or concentration decreasing?

8. Is your memory on the decline?

9. Are you experiencing more sleeping problems?

10. Are you often depressed?

11. Are you often anxious, nervous or irritable?

12. Do you have difficulty with your bowels either constipation or diarrhea?

13. Is your skin dry and scaly?

15. Do you have problems with pimples and blackheads?

If you checked yes to any of these then you could be suffering from vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Have a look at the list below to see what vitamins and minerals may be deficient in your diet.

1. Hair problems - Vitamin B12, B6, Selenium

2. Eye problems - Vitamins A, C

3. Nervousness - B6, B12, B3, B5, Magnesium, Vitamin C

4. Infections - Vitamin A, B-complex, C, Biotin, Calcium, Potassium, Zinc

5. Fatigue - Zinc, Iron, Vitamins A, B, C, D

6. Constipation - Vitamin B-Complex, Vitamin C

7. Diarrhea - Vitamins A, Niacin (B3), B12, K

8. Muscle cramps - Vitamins B1 and D, Biotin, Sodium, Magnesium and Calcium

9. Skin problems - Vitamins A and B-complex, Biotin and copper.

The vitamin and mineral deficiencies may only lead to minor problems initially but they can lead to dangerous problems over time if ignored. The lack of antioxidant nutrients can lead to high levels of free radical toxins in our bodies.

An example of this is a toxic substance called acetaldehyde that is produced by the liver in detoxification. These are dealt with by antioxidants. However in the absence of sufficient antioxidant nutrients or in deficiency states these substances have been linked to the development of diseases such as Parkinson's disease and motor neurone disease.

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Bland, J. 1996, Contemporary Nutrition. J & B Associates.

Davies, S. and A. Stewart., 1997, Nutritional Medicine. Pan.

Holden, S., Hudson, K., Tilman, J. & D. Wolf, 2003, The Ultimate Guide to Health from Nature. Asrolog Publication.

Pressman, A. and S. Buff, 2000, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vitamins and Minerals. (2nd Ed.) Alpha Books.

Soothill, R. 1996, The Choice Guide to Vitamins and Minerals. A Choice Book Publication.

Sullivan, K. 2002, Vitamins and Minerals: A Practical Approach to a Health Diet and Safe Supplementation. Harper Collins.

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Vitamin and mineral deficiencies do not always show up as major health problems. This is because most of us are not deficient in one single nutrient. So we don't have diseases such as scurvy (which results from a severe lack of vitamin C).

We are more likely to have what is called a 'subclinical' or marginal deficiency.

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