As much as we would like to get all of our important vitamins and minerals from our diet alone, unfortunately this doesn’t always happen. Nutritional deficiencies are on the rise and it is estimated that most Americans do not meet their recommended daily levels of essential nutrients. In fact, researchers have discovered that US adults are lacking in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin b12, and calcium.(1)
A vitamin or mineral deficiency can lead to serious diseases and it is more important than ever to ensure that we are adequately nourishing our body with all of these essential nutrients.
What is a nutritional deficiency?
A nutritional deficiency occurs when, due to inadequate intake or poor absorption, a person’s nutrient intake falls below the recommended amount. Deficiencies can lead to a variety of health issues ranging from digestive and skin disorders to poor bone health, compromised vision, stunted growth and heart problems.
What causes a nutritional deficiency?
A lack of nutrients in the soil
A common cause of vitamin and nutritional deficiencies is the decline in soil quality affecting the food supply. Our soils are lacking in nutrients like selenium, iodine, zinc, copper, magnesium, vitamin A and vitamin C, to name a few. According to the Nutrition Security Institute U.S. soil is eroding 10 times faster than it can be replenished.(2)
Poor absorption due to leaky gut and inflammatory diseases
Many people are unable to properly absorb the nutrients from their food due to poor gut health. Leaky gut is a common cause of nutrient deficiencies and, if the intestinal barrier of the gut is weakened, vitamin and mineral absorption will be heavily compromised. Celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease and autoimmune conditions can all contribute to nutrient deficiencies.
Poor diet and lifestyle choices
It is possible to create a nutritional deficiency by following a diet plan that does not include all essential nutrients (3), or by cutting out major food groups and continuing to eat poor quality food. Eating processed food, a lack of sun and exercise, poor sleep quality and increased stress can all lead to nutrient deficiencies.
Signs you have a nutritional deficiency
Our body will always provide us with feedback and if you are deficient in a specific vitamin or mineral it can show up as a physical symptom. The following inforgraphic shows some of the valuable wake-up calls that can alert us to any nutritional deficiencies.(4)
*Download infographic here.
Using multivitamins for nutritional deficiencies
To recover from and prevent a nutrient deficiency, taking a multivitamin is the most effective option. A multivitamin provides you with complete nutritional coverage ensuring a more than adequate intake of all essential vitamins and minerals.
On the other hand, taking vitamins or minerals in isolation can lead to imbalances and further complications. Many vitamins and minerals work synergistically and nutritional cofactors are needed for maximum absorption and function. For example, vitamin D and calcium are both necessary for bone health. However, they work synergistically together to strengthen bones, and both depend upon vitamin K2 in order to be effective.
Ingesting large doses of a single nutrient can be toxic. When taken in isolation and at larger doses, vitamin A is commonly known to cause toxicity and can lead to side effects such as nausea, vomiting, weight loss, headaches and irritability.(5)
A complete multivitamin provides a balanced ratio of nutrients that work together to nourish your cells and maximize uptake of all important and necessary vitamins and minerals. Total Balance does this by combining all essential vitamins and minerals with their cofactors and other important enzymes for comprehensive and balanced nutritional support. To find out which Total Balance is right for you with our Total Balance Guide.
In good health.