It’s easy to succumb to nutrient deficiencies — and it's not just the fast food regulars who are susceptible.
What are the main causes of nutrient deficiencies?
Diet plays the biggest role in our nutrient intake. The saying "you are what you eat" couldn't be more true. Getting your key nutrients from your food will always be the best route to go, however, many people struggle to meet their daily nutrition quota through food alone.
Other causes of nutrient deficiency include the fact that there are fewer nutrients in our soil. Digestive disorders can also play role, as can the the aging process and our body’s ability to produce and absorb nutrients.
The most common nutrient deficiencies, symptoms, and how to treat
#1) Vitamin D deficiency
For all the good Vitamin D provides, a lack of Vitamin D can have serious consequences that lead to heart disease, asthma, impaired cognitive function, even cancers. As we age, we need more Vitamin D and obesity increases our risk of being low in Vitamin D as well.
Symptoms: Muscle weakness, fatigue, depression, low back-pain, or bone loss. Poor bone health and even rickets have been associated with a vitamin D deficiency.
How to treat: While sunshine helps it is not as effective on people with dark skin or senior citizens. In addition to spending time in the sun, it's recommend to eat foods rich in Vitamin D, such as salmon and eggs. If you’re deficient, consult a doctor to get back on track. To avoid a deficiency maintain a daily routine of 2,000 IU.
Formula recommendations: Tespo's complete multivitamin formulas contain 2,000 IU of Vitamin D: Men's Complete Multivitamin and Women's Complete Multivitamin. Tespo's basic multivitamin formulas contain 800 IU of Vitamin D: Men's Basic Multivitamin and Women's Basic Multivitamin
#2) Vitamin C deficiency
A Vitamin C deficiency used to be associated with scurvy, which would afflict people without access to fresh fruit and citrus. However, we're talking about people traveling by boat for long periods of time — pilgrims! But believe it or not, today at least 6% of U.S. adults still suffer from Vitamin C deficiency.
Symptoms: Poor gum health (if not scurvy), as well as fatigue, joint and muscle aches, dry hair and skin. A deficiency in C can also limit the body’s ability to fight infection or even a basic cold.
How to treat: Up your intake of citrus fruits and kiwi and vegetables rich in Vitamin C such as broccoli and red peppers. Maintain a daily supplement regimen of at least 100 mg
Formula recommendation: Tespo's Hair, Skin & Nails formula supports the maintenance and health of your hair. It also contains 100 mg of Vitamin C. All of the multivitamin formulas also contain 100 mg: Men's Basic Multivitamin, Men's Complete Multivitamin, Women's Basic Multivitamin and Women's Complete Multivitamin.
#3) Vitamin K deficiency
Although we need calcium for our bones, we tend to get enough calcium through our diet. The problem? If you are deficient in Vitamin K, your body can’t properly utilize calcium for optimal bone health. A Vitamin K deficiency can lead to bone loss and ultimately osteoporosis as well as contribute to heart disease and some cancers.
Symptoms: Bleeding gums, brittle bones or bruising easily can be signs that you are deficient.
How to treat: Vitamin K is not readily available in most foods, hence it’s important to supplement. Consider taking 120-240 mcg daily. However, Vitamin K also plays an important role in blood coagulation. Be sure to consult a doctor if you are taking an anticoagulant drug.
#4) Iodine deficiency
Iodine is particularly important for pregnant women and young children. A deficiency of this mineral can challenge the development of a healthy fetus or newborn child. It can cause hypothyroidism in unborn children and in adults as well as compromised brain function. A lack of nutrients in our soil and food (think processed foods, which use non iodized salt) contribute to this deficiency.
Symptoms: Enlarged thyroid, mood changes, compromised mental health, lowered immunity
How to treat: Try adding nori or seaweed to your diet, along with eggs, yogurt and cheese and cranberries. To supplement, take 150 mcg of iodine as potassium iodide daily. Consult your doctor if you suspect you are deficient.
#5) Folate deficiency
The MTHFR gene directs the conversion of folic acid or folate into its active form L-methylfolate. Methylfolate plays a key role in producing red blood cells, DNA biosynthesis and maintaining DNA. It helps to support immune function and aids in the production of neurotransmitters. A deficiency can lead to anemia and even birth defects if occurring during pregnancy. This nutrient deficiency has been tied to autoimmune diseases as well as depression. A poor diet and digestive disorders such as Celiac’s disease can also lead to a deficiency.
Symptoms: A common mutation in this gene is thought to increase miscarriages and male infertility. Low energy.
How to treat: Eat dark leafy greens, such as kale and spinach and legumes. Supplement with approximately 400-600 mcg L-methylfolate daily. Consult with a doctor to establish the right amount for you.
Formula recommendations: Tespo's Men's Complete Multivitamin contains 400 mcg of methylfolate & Women's Complete Multivitamin contains 800 mcg of methylfolate. This key nutrient doesn't exist in most multivitamins, and the few that do are often WAY overpriced. Tespo's complete multivitamin formulas are only $30/month.
To view all of the Tespo formulas, check out the Shop page. There are over 15 to choose from!