Addressing Common Nutrient Deficiencies in the US: A Guide to Vitamins and Minerals

Did you know that nutrient deficiencies are common in the US, in addition to the obesity epidemic? According to a report by the CDC, vitamins and minerals are often deficient among Americans.

Among the most common deficiencies are B vitamins, iron, and vitamin D, but there are other micronutrients to consider as well. If you are concerned about deficiency, it's a good idea to consult with your doctor and explore the possibility of taking vitamins for your health.

Iron is the most commonly deficient mineral, not just in developing countries but also among women in the US, as well as bariatric surgery patients and athletes. Iron is important for oxygen-carrying protein production in red blood cells. Good sources of iron include meat, poultry, seafood, and leafy green vegetables. If you follow a plant-based diet, you may be at higher risk for deficiency. Blood tests can help check your iron levels, and supplements may be necessary.

Vitamin D is another commonly deficient vitamin, with about 1 in 12 Americans lacking adequate levels. It is crucial for bone health, as well as heart, immune, and breast health. Sun exposure and food sources like fatty fish and fortified milk can provide vitamin D, but deficiency can be silent. Blood tests can diagnose deficiency, and supplements are available in different forms.

B vitamins are a group of important vitamins that support various functions in the body, such as metabolism, energy production, heart health, and red blood cell production. Food sources of B vitamins are diverse, including nuts, whole grains, vegetables, and meat. Those with a limited diet or certain risk factors may be at higher risk for deficiency. Supplements are available that contain a range of B vitamins or are more targeted, such as vitamin B12 or biotin.

While scurvy is not common, some people in the US could benefit from increased vitamin C intake. Vitamin C is essential for immune function, collagen formation, and iron absorption. Fresh fruits and vegetables are good sources of vitamin C. Supplements with vitamin C can also be found, sometimes combined with iron or in antioxidant blends.

In addition to the commonly deficient vitamins and minerals mentioned above, it is important to consider individual factors and circumstances that can lead to deficiencies. For example, bariatric surgery patients may have low levels of vitamin A, and pregnant women may be low in folic acid. People who consume little table salt may also be deficient in iodine.

Taking a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement can be a way to ensure you get adequate nutrients, especially on days when your diet may be lacking. Vitamins and minerals are crucial for optimal health, so it is important to be aware of common deficiencies and consider any individual risk factors. Consult with your doctor before starting any nutritional supplements, and consider Netrition as a source for high-quality vitamins in various forms.

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