Nutrient deficiencies definition 7 Common fact


Share post:

Nutrient deficiencies definition: Though you consume most important nutrients from maintaining a balanced diet, the Western diet lacks some nutrients and minerals. Vitamin B12, iron, an iodine are common vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Many nutrients are important for good health.

While it’s possible to get most of them from a balanced diet, the standard Western diet is low in a number of very important nutrients.

This article lists 7 nutrient deficiencies which might be extremely common.

1. Iron deficiency

Iron is an important mineral.

It’s a large element of red blood cells, in which it binds with hemoglobin and transports oxygen to your cells.

The two types of dietary iron are:

  • Heme iron. This kind of iron could be very properly absorbed. It’s only found in animal foods, with red meat containing particularly high amounts.
  • Non-heme iron. This kind, found in each animal and plant foods, is extra common. It just isn’t absorbed as simply as heme iron.

Iron deficiency is one of essentially the most common nutrient deficiencies in the world, affecting more than 25% of people worldwide (1Trusted Source2Trusted Source).

This number rises to 47% in preschool children. Unless they’re given iron-rich or iron-fortified foods, they’re very prone to lack iron.

Around 30% of menstruating ladies could also be poor as properly due to month-to-month blood loss, and as much as 42% of younger, pregnant ladies could also be poor as properly.

Additionally, vegetarians and vegans have an increased risk of deficiency as a result of they devour only non-heme iron, which isn’t absorbed in addition to heme iron (3Trusted Source4Trusted Source).

The most common consequence of iron deficiency is anemia, in which the number of your red blood cells and your blood’s means to hold oxygen drops.

Symptoms normally include tiredness, weak point, a weakened immune system, and impaired brain operate (5Trusted Source6Trusted Source).

The best dietary sources of heme iron include (7Trusted Source):

  • Red meat. 3 ounces (85 grams) of ground beef present virtually 30% of the Daily Value (DV).
  • Organ meat. One slice (81 grams) of liver provides more than 50% of the DV.
  • Shellfish. Clams, mussels, and oysters are glorious sources of heme iron, with 3 ounces (85 grams) of cooked oysters packing roughly 50% of the DV.
  • Canned sardines. One 3.75-ounce (106-gram) can supply 34% of the DV.

The best dietary sources of non-heme iron include:

  • Beans. Half a cup (85 grams) of cooked kidney beans supplies 33% of the DV.
  • Seeds. Pumpkin, sesame, and squash seeds are good sources of non-heme iron. One ounce (28 grams) of roasted pumpkin or squash seeds contains 11% of the DV.
  • Dark, leafy greens. Broccoli, kale, and spinach are rich in iron. One ounce (28 grams) of fresh kale supplies 5.5% of the DV.

However, you should by no means supplement with iron until you actually want it. Too much iron will be very dangerous.

Notably, vitamin C can improve the absorption of iron. Eating vitamin-C-rich foods like oranges, kale, and bell peppers alongside iron-rich foods may help maximize your iron absorption.


Iron deficiency could be very common, especially amongst younger ladies, children, and vegetarians. It might cause anemia, fatigue, a weakened immune system, and impaired brain operate.

2. Iodine deficiency

Iodine is an important mineral for regular thyroid operate and the production of thyroid hormones (8Trusted Source).

Thyroid hormones are concerned in many bodily processes, such as growth, brain improvement, and bone maintenance. They also regulate your metabolic rate.

Iodine deficiency is one of essentially the most common nutrient deficiencies, affecting almost a 3rd of the world’s population (9Trusted Source10Trusted Source11Trusted Source).

The most common symptom of iodine deficiency is an enlarged thyroid gland, also referred to as a goiter. It might also cause an increase in heart rate, shortness of breath, and weight gain (8Trusted Source).

Severe iodine deficiency is linked to critical hurt, especially in children. It might cause mental retardation and developmental abnormalities (8Trusted Source10Trusted Source).

Good dietary sources of iodine include (7Trusted Source):

  • Seaweed. Only 1 gram of kelp packs 460–1,000% of the DV.
  • Fish. Three ounces (85 grams) of baked cod present 66% of the DV.
  • Dairy. One cup (245 grams) of plain yogurt presents about 50% of the DV.
  • Eggs: One large egg contains 16% of the DV.

However, these amounts can differ tremendously. As iodine is found mostly in soil and ocean water, iodine-poor soil will result in low-iodine food.

Some countries mandate the enrichment of desk salt with iodine, which has efficiently reduced the incidence of deficiencies ((*7*)).


Iodine is one of essentially the most common nutrient deficiencies in the world. It might cause enlargement of the thyroid gland. Severe iodine deficiency can cause mental retardation and developmental abnormalities in children.

3. Vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that features like a steroid hormone in your body.

It travels through your bloodstream and into cells, telling them to show genes on or off. Almost every cell in your body has a receptor for vitamin D.

Vitamin D is produced from cholesterol in your skin upon publicity to daylight. Thus, people who live removed from the equator are prone to be poor until their dietary intake is enough or they supplement with vitamin D (13Trusted Source14Trusted Source).

In the United States, about 42% of people could also be poor in this vitamin. This number rises to 74% in older adults and 82% in people with dark skin since their skin produces much less vitamin D in response to daylight (15Trusted Source16Trusted Source).

Vitamin D deficiency just isn’t normally obvious, as its symptoms are subtle and might develop over years or a long time (17Trusted Source18Trusted Source).

Adults who’re poor in vitamin D might expertise muscle weak point, bone loss, and an increased risk of fractures. In children, it could cause growth delays and mushy bones (rickets) (17Trusted Source20Trusted Source21Trusted Source).

Also, vitamin D deficiency might play a role in reduced immune operate and an increased risk of most cancers (22).

While only a few foods contain vital amounts of this vitamin, the best dietary sources are (23Trusted Source):

  • Cod liver oil. A single tablespoon (15 ml) packs 227% of the DV.
  • Fatty fish. Salmon, mackerel, sardines, and trout are rich in vitamin D. A small, 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of cooked salmon supplies 75% of the DV.
  • Egg yolks. One large egg yolk contains 7% of the DV.

People who’re poor might wish to take a supplement or increase their sun publicity. It is hard to get sufficient amounts through diet alone.


Vitamin D deficiency could be very common. Symptoms include muscle weak point, bone loss, an increased risk of fractures, and — in children — mushy bones. It could be very difficult to get adequate amounts out of your diet alone.

4. Vitamin B12 deficiency

Vitamin B12, also referred to as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin.

It is crucial for blood formation, in addition to brain and nerve operate.

Every cell in your body wants B12 to operate usually, but your body is unable to supply it. Therefore, you could get it from food or supplements.

B12 is only found in adequate amounts in animal foods, though certain types of seaweed might present small portions. Therefore, people who don’t eat animal products are at an increased risk of deficiency.

Studies point out that as much as 80–90% of vegetarians and vegans could also be poor in vitamin B12 (24Trusted Source25Trusted Source).

More than 20% of older adults might also be poor in this vitamin since absorption decreases with age (26Trusted Source27Trusted Source28Trusted Source).

B12 absorption is extra advanced than that of different vitamins as a result of it’s aided by a protein referred to as intrinsic issue. Some people are missing in this protein and might thus want B12 injections or greater doses of supplements.

One common symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency is megaloblastic anemia, which is a blood disorder that enlarges your red blood cells.

Other signs include impaired brain operate and elevated homocysteine levels, which is a risk issue for a number of diseases (29Trusted Source30Trusted Source).

Dietary sources of vitamin B12 include (7Trusted Source):

  • Shellfish. Clams and oysters are rich in vitamin B12. A 3-ounce (85-gram) portion of cooked clams supplies
    1,400% of the DV.
  • Organ meat. One 2-ounce (60-gram) slice of liver packs more than 1,000% of the DV.
  • Meat. A small, 6-ounce (170-gram) beef steak presents 150% the DV.
  • Eggs. One whole egg supplies about 6% of the DV.
  • Milk products. One cup (240 ml) of whole milk contains about 18% of the DV.

Vitamin B12 isn’t thought of dangerous in large amounts as a result of it’s typically poorly absorbed and simply excreted.


Vitamin B12 deficiency could be very common, especially in vegetarians, vegans, and older adults. The most common signs include blood disorders, impaired brain operate, and elevated homocysteine levels.

5. Calcium deficiency

Calcium is crucial for every cell in your body. It mineralizes bones and teeth, especially during times of fast growth. It is also very important for bone maintenance.

Additionally, calcium serves as a signaling molecule. Without it, your heart, muscle tissue, and nerves wouldn’t have the ability to operate.

The calcium focus in your blood is tightly regulated, and any extra is saved in bones. If your intake is missing, your bones will launch calcium.

That is why essentially the most common symptom of calcium deficiency is osteoporosis, characterised by softer and extra fragile bones.

One survey in the United States found that fewer than 15% of teenage ladies, fewer than 10% of ladies over 50, and fewer than 22% of teenage boys and males over 50 met the advisable calcium intake (31Trusted Source).

Although supplementing increased these numbers barely, most people have been still not getting enough calcium.

Symptoms of extra extreme dietary calcium deficiency include mushy bones (rickets) in children and osteoporosis, especially in older adults (32Trusted Source33Trusted Source).

Dietary sources of calcium include (7Trusted Source):

  • Boned fish. One can (92 grams) of sardines contains 44% of the DV.
  • Dairy products. One cup (240 ml) of milk supplies 35% of the DV.
  • Dark green vegetables. Kale, spinach, bok choy, and broccoli are rich in calcium. Just 1 ounce (28 grams) of fresh kale presents 5.6% of the DV.

The effectiveness and safety of calcium supplements have been considerably debated in the previous few years.

Some studies exhibit an increased risk of heart disease in people taking calcium supplements, though different studies have found no results (34Trusted Source35Trusted Source36Trusted Source).

While it’s best to get calcium from food moderately than supplements, these supplements appear to benefit people who are usually not getting enough in their diet (37Trusted Source).


Low calcium intake could be very common, especially in ladies of all ages and older adults. The fundamental symptom of calcium deficiency is an increased risk of osteoporosis later in life.

6. Vitamin A deficiency

Vitamin A is an important fat-soluble vitamin. It helps kind and maintain healthy skin, teeth, bones, and cell membranes. Furthermore, it produces eye pigments, that are obligatory for vision (38).

There are two totally different types of dietary vitamin A (7Trusted Source):

  • Preformed vitamin A. This kind of vitamin A is found in animal products like meat, fish, poultry, and dairy.
  • Pro-vitamin A. This kind is found in plant-based foods like fruits and vegetables. Beta carotene, which your body turns into vitamin A, is essentially the most common kind.

More than 75% of people who eat a Western diet get more than enough vitamin A and don’t want to fret about deficiency (39Trusted Source).

However, vitamin A deficiency could be very common in many developing countries. About 44–50% of preschool-aged children in certain areas have vitamin A deficiency. This number is round 30% in Indian ladies (40Trusted Source41Trusted Source).

Vitamin A deficiency can cause each momentary and everlasting eye damage and might even result in blindness. In fact, this deficiency is the world’s main cause of blindness.

Vitamin A deficiency can also suppress immune operate and increase mortality, especially amongst children and pregnant or breastfeeding ladies (40Trusted Source).

Dietary sources of preformed vitamin A include (7Trusted Source):

  • Organ meat. One 2-ounce (60-gram) slice of beef liver supplies more than 800% of the DV.
  • Fish liver oil. One tablespoon (15 ml) packs roughly 500% of the DV.

Dietary sources of beta carotene (pro-vitamin A) include:

  • Sweet potatoes. One medium, 6-ounce (170-gram) boiled sweet potato contains 150% of the DV.
  • Carrots. One large carrot supplies 75% of the DV.
  • Dark green, leafy vegetables. One ounce (28 grams) of fresh spinach supplies 18% of the DV.

While it is rather important to devour enough of this vitamin, too much preformed vitamin A might cause toxicity.

This doesn’t apply to pro-vitamin A, such as beta carotene. High intake might cause your skin to show barely orange, but this impact isn’t harmful.


Vitamin A deficiency could be very common in many developing countries. It might cause eye damage and blindness, in addition to suppress immune operate and increase mortality amongst ladies and children.

7. Magnesium deficiency

Magnesium is a key mineral in your body.

Essential for bone and teeth structure, it’s also concerned in more than 300 enzyme reactions (42Trusted Source).

Close to 70% of the US population under 71, and about 80% over 71 years old devour less than the required amount of magnesium. (43Trusted Source).

Low intake and blood levels of magnesium are related to a number of conditions, including kind 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and osteoporosis (44Trusted Source).

Low levels are particularly common amongst hospitalized sufferers. Some studies discover that 9–65% of them are poor (45Trusted Source46Trusted Source47Trusted Source).

Deficiency could also be attributable to disease, drug use, reduced digestive operate, or inadequate magnesium intake (48Trusted Source).

The fundamental signs of extreme magnesium deficiency include irregular heart rhythm, muscle cramps, stressed leg syndrome, fatigue, and migraines (49Trusted Source50Trusted Source51Trusted Source).

More delicate, long-term signs that you could be not discover include insulin resistance and high blood pressure.

Dietary sources of magnesium include (7Trusted Source):

  • Whole grains. One cup (170 grams) of oats contains 74% of the DV.
  • Nuts. Twenty almonds pack 17% of the DV.
  • Dark chocolate. One ounce (30 grams) of dark chocolate presents 15% of the DV.
  • Dark green, leafy vegetables. One ounce (30 grams) of raw spinach supplies 6% of the DV.


Magnesium deficiency is common in Western countries, and low intake is related to many health conditions and diseases.

The bottom line (Nutrient deficiencies definition)

It is possible to be poor in virtually every nutrient. That said, the deficiencies listed above are by far essentially the most common.

Children, younger ladies, older adults, vegetarians, and vegans appear to be on the highest risk of a number of deficiencies.

The best way to prevent deficiency is to eat a balanced diet that includes whole, nutrient-dense foods. However, supplements could also be obligatory for individuals who can’t acquire enough from diet alone.


  1. Vitamin Variety: Nutrient deficiencies keep life interesting by giving you a chance to explore the wide world of vitamins. It’s like collecting trading cards, but with broccoli instead of baseball players.
  2. Portion Control: With nutrient deficiencies, you’ll never have to worry about overeating – your body’s like a picky toddler, only accepting the right nutrients in just the right amounts.
  3. Menu Diversity: Nutrient deficiencies encourage you to get creative in the kitchen, mixing and matching different foods like a culinary Picasso. Who needs a recipe when you’ve got a dash of desperation and a sprinkle of creativity?
  4. Weight Loss Perk: Forget fad diets – nutrient deficiencies are the original weight loss plan! Say goodbye to excess pounds and hello to a slimmer waistline (and maybe a grumbly tummy).
  5. Medical Mystery: Nutrient deficiencies keep doctors on their toes, playing a game of “Guess That Symptom” that would make even Sherlock Holmes proud. It’s like a never-ending episode of House, M.D.
  6. Taste Test: With nutrient deficiencies, every meal becomes an adventure – will today’s lunch be bland and boring or bursting with flavor? It’s like playing roulette with your taste buds.
  7. Budget-Friendly: Who needs fancy supplements when you’ve got nutrient deficiencies? Save your pennies for a rainy day and let your body do the scavenger hunt for essential vitamins and minerals.


  1. Energy Drain: Nutrient deficiencies can leave you feeling more drained than a phone battery at 1% – say goodbye to productivity and hello to naptime.
  2. Mood Swings: Forget riding the emotional rollercoaster at the theme park – nutrient deficiencies take you on a wild ride of mood swings and emotional turbulence.
  3. Hair-Raising Experience: Nutrient deficiencies might leave you pulling your hair out – literally. Say hello to brittle nails and hair loss, and goodbye to your once-luscious locks.
  4. Immune System Sabotage: With nutrient deficiencies, your immune system might feel more defenseless than a knight without armor – say hello to frequent colds and infections.
  5. Brain Fog: Nutrient deficiencies can leave your brain feeling foggier than a London morning – say goodbye to clarity and hello to confusion.
  6. Digestive Drama: Nutrient deficiencies can wreak havoc on your digestive system, leaving you feeling bloated, gassy, and downright uncomfortable.
  7. Long-Term Health Risks: Forget living life to the fullest – nutrient deficiencies can increase your risk of serious health issues like osteoporosis, anemia, and heart disease. It’s like playing a high-stakes game of health roulette.

People also ask:

What is the definition of food deficiency?

Alright, let’s demystify the term “food deficiency” with a dash of humor! Picture this: your body’s like a picky toddler at mealtime, and food deficiency is like telling it, “Sorry kiddo, no dessert tonight!” Simply put, food deficiency happens when your body isn’t getting the essential nutrients it needs to function properly. It’s like throwing a wrench into the gears of your bodily machine! Whether it’s vitamins, minerals, or other important goodies, a lack of these nutrients can leave your body feeling as confused as a dog chasing its own tail. So, let’s keep those nutrient cups filled to the brim and avoid any dietary temper tantrums!

What is a nutritional deficiency in short notes?

Alright, let’s break down nutritional deficiency in bite-sized pieces! Picture this: your body’s like a high-maintenance plant, and nutritional deficiency is like forgetting to water it – oops! Simply put, it’s when your body’s craving certain essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, or proteins, but your diet’s as empty as a ghost town. It’s like trying to run a marathon with no shoes – you’re not getting very far! So, let’s keep those nutrient tanks topped up and avoid any dietary meltdowns. After all, nobody wants to be a wilted lettuce leaf in the salad of life!

What is the simple definition of vitamin deficiency?

Let’s peel back the curtain on vitamin deficiency with a touch of humor! Imagine this: your body’s like a needy pet goldfish, and vitamin deficiency is like forgetting to feed it – uh-oh! In simple terms, it’s when your body’s screaming for essential vitamins like a kid begging for candy, but your diet’s as bare as a bald eagle’s head. It’s like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube blindfolded – you’re all mixed up! So, let’s stock up on those vitamin-packed goodies and give your body the fuel it needs to thrive. After all, nobody wants to be a wilted spinach leaf in the salad bowl of life!


Related articles

Agave Nectar: A Sweetener That’s Even Worse Than Sugar?

Agave Nectar: Agave is found in various health foods and marketed as a pure, diabetic-friendly sweetener that doesn’t...

High-Fructose Corn Syrup: Just Like Sugar, or Worse?

High-Fructose Corn Syrup: Just Like Sugar, or Worse?: High-fructose corn syrup is a sugar-based sweetener, used in processed...

How Many Carbs Should You Eat per Day to Lose Weight?

How Many Carbs Should You Eat per Day to Lose Weight?: If you’re wanting to lose weight, eating...

Sunscreen: Does SPF Matter and Which One Should I Choose

Sunscreen: Does SPF Matter and Which One Should I Choose: Choosing a sunscreen could also be difficult when...