Vitamin Deficiency Symptoms Chart

Symptoms of vitamin deficiency chart: learn about the most frequent symptoms of vitamin deficiency, as well as the roles of nutrients, their toxicity, and how to address deficiencies.

A nutrient-deficient diet can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms. These symptoms are your body's way of warning you that you may be deficient in vitamins and minerals. Recognizing them may help you make proper dietary modifications.

Symptoms of vitamin deficiency are as diverse as they are common. According to a 2011 research, 30% of Americans are deficient in vitamin A, while 70% are deficient in vitamin D. 

The chart below includes frequent symptoms of vitamin and mineral deficiency, as well as how to treat them.

The Table

Symptoms of Vitamin Deficiency Chart

Vitamin Types Sources Roles Deficiencies Claims

Fat soluble vitamins can be stored in the body and need not be consumed daily. While it is difficult to overdose on them from ordinary sources, consuming megadoses of fat-soluble vitamins, especially A and D, can lead to a dangerous buildup in the body.

Abbreviations:

IU = International Units, mg = milligrams, mcg = micrograms.

Vitamin A
Retinol

Vitamin Dose:

Men: 3 000 IU.

Women: 2 700 IU.

Nutritional sources: liver, fortified milk, retinol form. See below for carotene sources.

Function & features: essential for eyes, skin, and the proper function of the immune system. Helps maintain hair, bones, and teeth.

Deficiency

Night blindness; reduced hair growth in children; loss of appetite; dry, rough skin; lowered resistance to infection; dry eyes.

Overdose, Toxicity

Headaches; blurred vision; fatigue; diarrhea; irregular periods; joint and bone pain; dry, cracked skin; rashes; loss of hair; vomiting; liver damage.

 

Beta-carotene

Vitamin Dose:

Pro-Vitamin A.

See Vitamin A.

Nutritional sources: carrots, squash, broccoli, green leafy vegetables.

Function & features: antioxidant. Converted to Vitamin A in the body. See Vitamin A.

 

The antioxidant properties of this nutrient may be a factor in reducing the risk of certain forms of cancer.

Vitamin D

Vitamin Dose:

Men: 100 IU.

Women: 100 IU.

Nutritional sources: egg yolk, milk, exposure to the sun enable the body to make its own Vitamin D.

Function & features: helps build and maintain teeth and bones. Enhances calcium absorption.

Deficiency

Rickets in children; bone softening in adults; osteoporosis.

Overdose, Toxicity

Calcium deposits in organs; fragile bones; renal and cardiovascular damage.

 

Vitamin E

Vitamin Dose:

Men: 9-10 mg.

Women: 6-7 mg.

Nutritional sources: corn or cottonseed oil, butter, brown rice, soybean oil, vegetable oils such as corn, cottonseed or soybean, nuts, wheat germ.

Function & features: antioxidant. Helps form red blood cells, muscles, and other tissues. Preserves fatty acids.

Deficiency

Rare, seen primarily in premature or low birth weight babies or children who do not absorb fat properly. Causes nerve abnormalities.


Overdose, Toxicity

Unknown.

The antioxidant properties of this nutrient may be a factor in reducing the risk of certain forms of cancer.

Vitamin K

Vitamin Dose:

None established.

Estimated at 0.03 mcg/kg.

Nutritional sources: green vegetables, liver, also made by intestinal bacteria.

Function & features: needed for normal blood clotting.

Deficiency

Defective blood coagulation.

Overdose, Toxicity

Jaundice in infants.

 

Water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body and should therefore, be consumed daily.

Thiamine
Vitamin B1

Vitamin Dose:

Men: 0.8 - 1.3 mg.

Women: 0.8 mg.

Nutritional sources: sunflower seeds, pork, whole and enriched grains, dried beans.

Function & features: necessary for carbohydrate metabolism and muscle coordination. Promotes proper nerve function.

Deficiency

Anxiety; hysteria; depression; muscle cramps; loss of appetite; in extreme cases beriberi (mostly in alcoholics).

Overdose, Toxicity

Unknown, although excess of one B vitamin may cause deficiency of others.

 

Riboflavin
Vitamin B2

Vitamin Dose:

Men: 1.3 - 1.6 mg.

Women: 1.1 mg.

Nutritional sources: liver, milk, spinach, enriched noodles, mushrooms.

Function & features: needed for metabolism of all foods and the release of energy to cells. Essential to the functioning of Vitamin B6 and Niacin.

Deficiency

Cracks and sores around the mouth and nose; visual problems.

Overdose, Toxicity

See Vitamin B1.

 

Niacin
Vitamin B3

Vitamin Dose:

Men: 16-23 mg.

Women: 14-16 mg.

Niacin is converted to niacinamide in the body.

Nutritional sources: mushrooms, bran, tuna, chicken, beef, peanuts, enriched grains.

Function & features: needed in many enzymes that convert food to energy. Helps maintain a healthy digestive tract and nervous system. In very large doses, lower cholesterol. Large doses should only be taken under the advice of a physician.

Deficiency

In extreme cases, pellagra, a disease characterized by dermatitis, diarrhea, and mouth sores.

Overdose, Toxicity

Hot flashes; ulcers; liver disorders; high blood sugar and uric acid; cardiac arrhythmias.

 

Pantothenic Acid
Vitamin B5

Vitamin Dose:

Men: 2.5 mg.

Women: 2.5 mg.

Nutritional sources: abundant in animal tissues, whole grain cereals and legumes.

Function & features: converts food to molecular forms. Needed to manufacture adrenal hormones and chemicals that regulate nerve function.

Deficiency

Unclear in humans.

Overdose, Toxicity

See Vitamin B1.

 

Vitamin B6
Pyridoxine

Vitamin Dose:

Men: 1.8 mg.

Women: 1.5 mg.

Nutritional sources: animal protein foods, spinach, broccoli, bananas.

Function & features: needed for protein metabolism and absorption, carbohydrate metabolism. Helps form red blood cells. Promotes nerve and cognitive function.

Deficiency

Anemia, irritability, patches of itchy, scaling skin; convulsions.

Overdose, Toxicity

Nerve damage.

 

Vitamin B12
Cyanocobalamin

Vitamin Dose:

Men: 2 mcg.

Women: 2 mcg.

Nutritional sources: found almost exclusively in animal products.

Function & features: builds genetic material. Helps form red blood cells.

Deficiency

Pernicious anemia; nerve damage. Note: Deficiency rare except in strict vegetarians, the senior, or people with malabsorption disorders.

Overdose, Toxicity

See Vitamin B1.

 

Biotin

Vitamin Dose:

60 mcg.

Nutritional sources: cheese, egg, yolk, cauliflower, peanut butter.

Function & features: needed for metabolism of glucose and formation of certain fatty acids. Essential for proper body chemistry.

Deficiency

Seborrheic dermatitis in infants. Rare in adults but can be induced by consuming large amounts of egg whites - anorexia, nausea, vomiting, dry scaly skin.

Overdose, Toxicity

See Vitamin B1.

 

Folic Acid
Folacin

Vitamin Dose:

Men: 180-220 mg.

Women: 160-190 mg.

Nutritional sources: green, leafy vegetables, orange juice, organ meats, sprouts.

Function & features: essential for the manufacture of genetic material as well as protein metabolism and red blood cell formation.

Deficiency

Impaired cell division; anemia; diarrhea; gastrointestinal upsets.

Overdose, Toxicity

Convulsions in people with epilepsy. May mask pernicious anemia. See Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Adequate amounts of this nutrient in the first stage of pregnancy may reduce the risks of neural tube birth defects.

Vitamin C
Ascorbic Acid

Vitamin Dose:

Men: 40 mg.

Women: 30 mg.

Nutritional sources: citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, green peppers.

Function & features: antioxidant. Helps bind cells together and strengthens blood vessel walls. Helps maintain healthy gums. Aids in the absorption of iron.

Deficiency

Muscle weakness, bleeding gums; easy bruising. In extreme cases, scurvy.

Overdose, Toxicity

Unknown.

The antioxidant properties of this nutrient may be a factor in reducing the risk of certain forms of cancer. May reduce the effects of the common cold.

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