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6 Most Common Nutrient Deficiencies

Published : Jan 21, 2022 3 mins read Updated On : Jul 20, 2022

Nutrient Deficiencies

Although we would like to believe that we are free of diseases and illness as we are health conscious, eat healthy and exercise regularly, we may still be deficient in some nutrients. The following stats may help you to understand the current situation in India.

  • Almost 7 out of 10 children in India are anaemic.
  • An estimated 47% of India suffers from vitamin deficiency.
  • Around 85% of the Indian population is vitamin D deficient.
  • 40.6% of the Indian population deficient in calcium.

Now that we have some perspective about how nutrition health is important in our overall growth and development let’s try to understand what the most common nutrient deficiencies are.

  • Iron Deficiency

Iron is a very important nutrient for our body. It is responsible for binding with haemoglobin in the red blood cells and transport oxygen throughout the body. It is very common in young children and menstruating women. Iron deficiency causes anaemia, fatigue and impaired brain function. It is also difficult for vegetarians and vegans to get good amount of iron. The most common iron-rich foods are red meat, shellfish, beans, seeds, and leafy vegetables. Iron supplements and iron tonic is important to fulfil your daily iron requirements.

  • Iodine Deficiency

Iodine is an essential micronutrient for the synthesis of thyroid hormone and the regular function of the thyroid gland. Thyroid is responsible for the growth of the body. Iodine deficiency causes enlargement of the thyroid gland also known as goitre. In children, severe iodine deficiency can cause retardation and abnormalities. Some progress has been made in regards to iodine deficiency. A survey shows that in 2020 almost 91% of Indian households are using iodised salt in their regular diet. Other sources of iodine include seaweed, fish, dairy product and eggs.

  • Calcium Deficiency

The main function of the calcium is the formation of bones and teeth. It also helps to maintain healthy bones and teeth. Calcium is also responsible for the functioning of the heart, muscle and growth. Therefore regular calcium intake is very important for our body. The deficiency of calcium can lead to the weakening of bones. Another symptom of calcium deficiency is osteoporosis, characterized by soft and fragile bones. The common sources of calcium-rich foods are dairy products, green vegetables like spinach, and broccoli. There are many calcium supplements that are available in the market, which one can consider using.

  • Magnesium Deficiency

Magnesium deficiency can lead to several severe health conditions like type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and osteoporosis. Some other symptoms of magnesium deficiency include abnormal heart rhythm, muscle cramps, restless leg syndrome, fatigue, and migraines. Magnesium is involved in the synthesis of RNA, DNA, and proteins. Foods that contain a high amount of magnesium include whole grains, nuts, and green leafy vegetables.

  • Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 is necessary for blood formation and the proper functioning of the brain and nerve system. It causes vitamin deficiency Vitamin B12 cannot be produced by the body hence must be consumed through our regular diet or a supplement. Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include fatigue, muscle cramp and weakness, impaired coordination and vision disturbance. The most common sources of vitamin B12 are shellfish, organ meat, meat, eggs and milk.

  • Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D acts as a steroid hormone in the body. It travels to the different cells of the body through the bloodstream and regulates them. Each cell of the body has a receptor for Vitamin D. Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are increased risk of fractures, muscle and bone weakness and rickets in small children. Sunlight is the best source of vitamin D alongside cod liver oil, salmon, egg yolks.

Different nutrients play different role in the body. They may be required in a small quantity but they play a major role in our development. Diet diversity can make sure you get all the necessary nutrition but sometimes even that is not enough. Supplementation is another way by which you can acquire these nutrients. Do not ignore any of the micro vitamins and minerals. A deficiency of nutrients is not ideal. Let’s take our health and wellbeing seriously.

Soumil Vartak
Fitness and Nutrition

Soumil is a health & wellbeing enthusiast whose passion is to explore new about fitness. He enjoys writing about health, fitness, nutrition and anything related to health. His technical knowledge o... Read More

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