You may have read the recent news story of a teenager in England who went blind after eating a diet of only French fries, Pringles, and white bread. He had not had fruit or vegetables for years. Doctors found that he his condition was caused by severe Vitamin A deficiency, resulting in corneal damage to his eyes.
What are symptoms of some common vitamin deficiencies, and how can you avoid them?
Vitamin A deficiency: Vitamin A is important for healthy skin, teeth and bones. Vitamin A is needed to produce the pigment in our eyes and lack of vitamin A can cause vision loss. Vitamin A deficiency is the world’s leading cause of blindness! Vitamin A can be found in organ meat, sweet potatoes carrots, and leafy green vegetables.
Vitamin D deficiency: Vitamin D is important for the function of our cells. Vitamin D deficiency can result in weakness, infections, and bone loss. Vitamin D is formed in our skin with sun exposure, and is also present in salmon, mackerel, trout, and egg yolks.
Vitamin B12 deficiency: Vitamin B12 is important for blood cell formation and nervous system function. Deficiency of Vitamin B 12 results in anemia. Symptoms can include fatigue, sore tongue, and pins and needles sensation. Vitamin B 12 is present in shellfish, meat, milk and eggs.
Low iron levels: Iron is important in the production of our blood cells. Lack of adequate iron results in anemia, with symptoms that can include fatigue, weakness and weakened immune system. Iron is present in meat, poultry, shellfish, dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
Low vitamin C levels: Vitamin C is important for repair of our cells and for our immune system. Deficiency of Vitamin C can result in bleeding gums, poor wound healing, bruising, nosebleeds, and frequent infections such as colds or the flu. Vitamin C is present in fruits and vegetables.
Biotin deficiency: Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, helps convert food into energy. Symptoms of Biotin deficiency include brittle hair and nails. Biotin is present in eggs, meat, fish, dairy, nuts, seeds, spinach, sweet potatoes, whole grains, cauliflower, and bananas.
Magnesium deficiency: Magnesium is important for bone and dental strength, and is needed for multiple body processes. Symptoms can include abnormal heart rhythms, muscle cramping, and fatigue. Half of Americans don’t get enough magnesium in their diet! Magnesium is present in whole grains, nuts, leafy green vegetables, and dark chocolate.
Eye damage from vitamin A deficiency: