Vitamin supplements are currently the most used drugs that are consumed by healthcare professionals, athletes, students and even normal individuals because the reported cases of vitamin deficiency are becoming extremely common.
Vitamins are included in the category of micronutrients – nutrients that our body need in extremely small but consistent dosage.
This is because not all micronutrients can be stored in the body like carbohydrates and fat; moreover since micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) serve major metabolic functions, the deficiency can affect multiple systems and organs.
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What causes Vitamin Deficiencies?
Ironically, most people attribute bleeding gums with Vitamin C deficiency, visual deficits with Vitamin A deficiency and weak bones (or fractures) with Vitamin D deficiency; but is it the right way to gauge the requirement of vitamin and mineral supplementation?
Fortunately or unfortunately, the classic symptoms of particular vitamin and mineral deficiencies appear only if the micronutrient deficiency is profound and chronic.
Before the appearance of the classic symptoms, you may develop moderate to severe damage to your normal bodily processes (that may not point to a single vitamin / mineral deficiency). It is therefore important to consume vitamins and minerals supplements before deficiency develop. See: 8 Common Signs.
Why do we need Vitamin supplementations?
Research indicates that almost 75% normal and symptomatic individuals are Vitamin D deficient, almost 20% of all individuals are Vitamin A deficient and 20-50% is Vitamin C deficit.
It has also been pointed out by researchers that the incidence has increased in the past few decades. But, what has led to this rapid rise in the incident cases?
Click here for the different types of vitamins and their functions.
Scientists blame it on modern lifestyle and living conditions; like: consumption of processed food that is devoid of natural minerals and vitamins. During food packaging and industrial refining a large part of nutrients is wasted as a result of food processing.
Current dietary trends are targeted more on consumption of empty calories and less on the consumption of natural and organic foods.
A research report published in The Indian Journal of Paediatrics (3), suggested that almost 50% paediatric aged children have significant vitamin B2, B6 and Vitamin C deficiencies and almost 2/3 suffer from sub- clinical mineral deficiencies.