5 Common Signs Of Vitamin Deficiency To Watch Out For!

vitamin deficiency

There is no doubt that a nutrient-rich diet plays an essential role to keep you healthy and fit. And one such major nutrients that are required for the body are vitamins. A vitamin deficiency occurs when the body fails to absorb or doesn’t get the essential vitamins from the diet. This is when you may need to supplement your diet with vitamins to meet the body’s requirement and lead a healthy life. But if you fail to meet the vitamin requirement, it can lead to various health problems ranging from indigestion and skin disorders to malnutrition and physical deformity.

Here are some of the common signs of vitamin deficiency you need to be aware of!

1. Brittle hair and nails

There are numerous reasons for brittle hair and nails and one of those is the deficiency of Vitamin B7, commonly known as biotin. The vitamin is needed for the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. It breaks down food into sugar, lipids and amino acids. It also plays an important role in maintaining your skin and hair health. The deficiency of biotin is very rare but when it occurs it can lead to thinning or splitting of hair and brittle hair, which are some of the noticeable symptoms.

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2. Mouth ulcers

An insufficient intake of vitamins and minerals can be linked to lesions in and around the mouth. Studies have shown that frequent mouth ulcers, which are also known as canker sores, can be caused due to lack of Vitamin B or iron in the diet. A study published in the Journal of Oral Pathology and Medicine[1] showed that around 28% of patients with recurrent mouth ulcers had deficiencies in thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2) and pyridoxine (vitamin B6).

3. Bleeding gums

If you are suffering from bleeding gums, it can be blamed on a diet deficient in Vitamin C. This is because, Vitamin C acts as a potent antioxidant which plays a vital role in the healing of wounds, boosting immunity and preventing cell damage. As the body does not produce Vitamin C, the only way to meet the requirement of this vitamin is through diet.  

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4. Hair loss

Hair loss is one of the common symptoms in both men and women. Although low levels of thyroid hormones and lack of iron and zinc are known to cause hair loss. Deficiency of niacin, which is Vitamin B3, is also a key reason for hair fall.  Niacin deficiency may be a possible cause for hair fall in people with alopecia, which indicates that niacin is needed for healthy hair[2].

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5. Skin rash

Vitamin B 6 deficiency is one of the causes of itchy skin rash[3]. The vitamin, which is commonly known as pyridoxine, plays a key role in immune function and metabolism. It has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The vitamin helps in the synthesis of collagen, skin protein, which is needed for maintaining the skin healthy. And lack of this vitamin can lead to an appearance of a skin rash on the scalp, face, neck, and chest.

(The article is reviewed by Dr. Lalit Kanodia, General Physician)

Recommended Reads:

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1. Nolan A, McIntosh WB, Allam BF, Lamey PJ. Recurrent aphthous ulceration: vitamin B1, B2 and B6 status and response to replacement therapy. J Oral Pathol Med. 1991 Sep;20(8):389-91.

2. Guo EL, Katta R. Diet and hair loss: effects of nutrient deficiency and supplement use. Dermatol Pract Concept. 2017 Jan 31;7(1):1-10.

3. Inubushi T, Takasawa T, Tuboi Y, Watanabe N, Aki K, Katunuma N. Changes of glucose metabolism and skin-collagen neogenesis in vitamin B6 deficiency. Biofactors. 2005;23(2):59-67.

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