How should we identify vitamin deficiency?
The term vitamin is derived from the words vital and amine because vitamins are required for life. An organic compound is considered as a VITAMIN if a lack of that compound in the diet results in distinct symptoms of deficiency. Through these symptoms of deficiency we can identify the exact vitamin that is deficient in the diet and eventually in the body. There are many vitamins that are absolutely necessary for proper maintenance of health. Each vitamin if deficient presents in its own characteristic symptoms. They can be summed in brief as follows:
VITAMIN A (Beta Carotene): Its deficiency in the diet results in night blindness, increased susceptibility to infections, rough and dry scaly skin, loss of smell and appetite, frequent fatigue, lack of tears in the eyes, defective teeth & gums and retarded growth.
Vitamin B-1 (Thiamin): Deficiency symptoms include loss of appetite, sense of weakness and fatigue, paralysis and nervous irritability, insomnia, weight loss, mental depression and problems in digestive tract
Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin): Deficiency symptoms may be presented as itching & burning in eye, cracks and sores in the mouth and lips, red eyes, purplish tongue, oily skin and retarded growth.
Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine): Deficiency may result in nervousness, sleeplessness, eruptions on skin, lack of muscular control, anemia, Cramps in legs & arms, hair loss, slow learning and water retention.
Vitamin B-12 (Cobalamine): Its deficiency might lead to pernicious anemia, poor appetite, and growth failure in children, brain damage, neuritis, spinal cord degeneration, depression and lack of balance.
Niacinamide (Niacin-Vitamin B-3): Its deficiency leads to an important condition called pellagra and symptoms like G.I.disorders, depression, irritability, muscular weakness, bad breath and canker sores.
Pantothenic Acid: Deficiency leads to burning feet syndrome, skin abnormalities, muscle cramps and reduced power of immunity. Biotin: Its deficiency may lead to extreme degree of exhaustion, drowsiness, painful muscles and gray colored skin.
Folic Acid: Symptoms due to deficiency include premature graying of hair, vitamin B-12 deficiency and anemia.
Inositol: Its deficiency might lead to high levels in cholesterol, constipation and eczema. Choline: Deficiency of this vitamin might lead to fatty degeneration and cirrhosis of the liver, hardening of the arteries, problems in the heart, high blood pressure and bleeding in the kidneys.
PABA (Para Amino Benzoic Acid) Its deficiency causes extreme fatigue, eczema, irritability, depression and premature graying of hair.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid): Its deficiency leads to bleeding gums, painful swollen joints, decay of teeth, and slow healing of wounds, nose bleeds, weakening of capillaries and bleeding in skin (hemorrhages)
Vitamin D: Its deficiency leads to a common condition called rickets, tooth decay, softening of bones, lack of vigor and viatality, inadequate calcium absorption and retention of phosphorus in the kidneys.
Vitam E: Deficiency of this vitamin leads to lack of sexual vitality, rupture of red blood cells, loss of reproductive power, dry skin and changes in the muscles of heart.