Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients for the health of our bodies, and although they do not provide us with energy like other nutrients (carbohydrates, fats and proteins), they are involved in important, varied and specific body functions. They are known as micronutrients since they are needed in very small amounts.
and minerals are found in food, so it is essential to have a varied and
well-balanced diet that provides us with the necessary amounts.
What happens when we have a micronutrient deficiency?
body does not receive the amount it needs of some vitamin or mineral, the
organs that are lacking it are not able to perform their corresponding functions
and different signs or symptoms may appear.
What are the causes of micronutrient deficiency?
be produced by different causes, such as an inadequate or non-varied diet, the
consumption of processed, precooked or refined foods, or the excessive consumption
or specific situations in our lives also generate special needs, such as
pregnancy and breastfeeding, sports practice, very restrictive slimming diets, a
strict vegetarian diet or intestinal diseases that hinder the absorption of certain
micronutrients, among others.
How can I notice if I lack any vitamins or minerals?
At first, when
the deficit is slight, the “signs” are general or non-specific, and we usually
think of other reasons. For instance, if we feel apathetic, tired or irritated,
we believe it is due to stress, insomnia, our pace of life, etc. Whereas these
signs and some others may indicate that something is wrong. In these cases, we
should go to the doctor, as it is the only way to know if there is a deficiency
of any micronutrient by means of a blood test.
What signs can I notice if I lack a vitamin or mineral?
and minerals perform several body functions, and in turn, any function or action
performed by the cells of a particular tissue or organ needs specific vitamins and
minerals. Therefore, the lack of a certain vitamin or mineral may cause several
symptoms, and in turn, a single symptom may be due to the lack of several micronutrients.
instance, B vitamins facilitate reactions in the metabolism of nutrients to
obtain energy and are beneficial for the nervous system and the skin, so their
lack may cause fatigue, irritability, difficulty falling asleep or skin
disorders, among others.
or symptoms are easily recognizable and, this way, we can remedy them and prevent
the deficiency from going further and producing more severe disorders. These
are some of the most common ones:
- Swollen gums that bleed easily, nasal bleeding
Vitamins C and K
Vitamin C helps strengthen the capillary walls. Vitamin K is involved in
- Fatigue, tiredness,
Vitamins B1, B12. D, iron and
They contribute to cellular energy metabolism.
anxiety, bad mood
Vitamins B1, B6, magnesium
They are involved in psychological activity.
Vitamin C and zinc
They are necessary for the formation of collagen, which is an essential protein
in tissue repair.
Vitamins B2, B6 and iron
They contribute to the maintenance of the skin and mucous membranes.
Zinc is involved in the sensations of taste and smell.
Vitamins A, C and zinc
They are essential for the proper functioning of the immune system.
- Muscle cramps, mainly in the calves, pain or
numbness of the muscles
Magnesium and phosphorus
They are involved in muscle activity and nerve impulse transmission.
Vitamins B8 (biotin), A, C, zinc, selenium, iron and calcium
They help maintain the nails in good condition.
- Fragile hair and hair loss
Vitamin B5, B8 (biotin), iron,
zinc and selenium
They strengthen the hair and enhance hair growth.
Vitamins B2, B3, B5 and A
They contribute to the maintenance of the skin in good condition.
- Vegan and
This vitamin is obtained exclusively
from animal-origin foods, so it is essential to get it by means of supplements.