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Vitamin deficiency? You should look out for these symptoms!

Vitamins are substances in our organism that fulfil vital tasks. Even if the body only needs very small amounts every day, an insufficient supply of a vitamin quickly becomes noticeable. In today's blog post, we show you the typical signs of a vitamin deficiency.

Table of contents:
  1. Vitamins
  2. Vitamin deficiency
  3. How a deficiency of certain vitamins manifests itself
  4. Vitamin D
  5. Vitamin C
  6. Vitamin B12
  7. Folic acid
  8. Vitamin A

Vitamins

Vitamins are involved in important chemical processes in the body. As our organism (with a few exceptions) cannot produce vitamins itself, it is dependent on supply with food. Vitamin D, however, is an exception. It is the only vitamin that the body can produce itself through UV radiation. Vitamin K and vitamin B12 can also be produced by colon bacteria in the human intestine, but the body cannot utilise this source sufficiently as absorption takes place in the small intestine. If a vitamin is missing from the diet, this can lead to deficiency symptoms.

Vitamin deficiency

Vitamin deficiency is caused by an inadequate supply. The resulting reduced nutrient stores lead to changes in the body, some of which manifest themselves in non-specific symptoms but also specific clinical pictures. A vitamin deficiency in the body is therefore a condition to be taken seriously. The lack of a vitamin over a longer period of time can have serious consequences for the organism. Sometimes even so bad that the damage can no longer be reversed.

However, a vitamin deficiency is rather rare in a healthy person who eats a balanced and healthy diet. People in certain phases of life sometimes have an increased vitamin requirement, for example in the growth phase, during pregnancy and breastfeeding, chronically ill people and the elderly.

How a deficiency of certain vitamins manifests itself:

Vitamin D

Studies show that around 60% of the German population does not have an optimal vitamin D supply. Inadequate intake leads to increased susceptibility to infection, decreasing bone strength and muscle weakness. As a result of a severe vitamin D deficiency, adults suffer from osteomalacia (bone softening) and children from rickets.

Recommended intake: 20 µg of vitamin D per day in the absence of endogenous synthesis.

Vitamin C

Inadequate vitamin C intake leads to fatigue, increased susceptibility to infection, inflammation of the gums and even bleeding gums, as well as wound healing disorders. A severe deficiency manifests itself in scurvy. However, the clinical picture is very rare today. In the past, seafarers were often affected by this disease as no fresh food was available.

Recommended intake: 100 mg/day. The intake is increased during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 deficiency is more common in Germany, mainly affecting vegan and vegetarian people and people with intestinal diseases. Symptoms include anaemia, which can be accompanied by pallor and increased tiredness, poor performance, nerve damage with tingling of the hands, feet and limbs and numbness.

Recommended intake: 3 µg/day. Intake is increased during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Folic acid

The recommended intake of folic acid is not reached by many people in Germany, especially women. An undersupply can lead to anaemia. An adequate intake is particularly important for pregnant women, as an undersupply can favour malformations in the unborn child, especially neural tube defects.

Recommended intake: 300 µg/day. Intake is increased during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A deficiency is very rare in Germany and occurs above all in developing countries. Symptoms include: dry, flaky skin, night blindness, visual impairment, susceptibility to respiratory infections and blindness in advanced stages.

Recommended daily intake: men: 1 mg retinol equivalent, women 0.8 mg retinol equivalent. The intake is increased during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Important: Symptoms such as tiredness, lack of concentration, headaches or pallor can also have other causes. Therefore, please do not jump to the conclusion that you have a vitamin deficiency, but consult your doctor first.

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