Almost all up and down processes in the body do not run without vitamins, unregulated or too slow. Without sufficient supply of all vital vitamins our body would therefore quickly become unable to live. If you have an increased risk of vitamin deficiency and how a vitamin deficit affects you, read here.
Vitamin requirement: how tall is he?
Vitamins are essential substances that the body can not produce or only in insufficient quantity itself. They must therefore be supplied to the body through food from outside. In a balanced, varied diet of a metabolically healthy people are usually enough vitamins and minerals included, so that the need can be met.
The most important directive is the recommended intake, as defined by the German Society for Nutrition (DGE), and different for different ages: from infants to children to adolescents and adults, pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Risk factors for a vitamin deficiency
Our vitamin requirement is increased under certain circumstances. To this risk factors for a deficiency of vitamins include:
- natural circumstances such as age
- other circumstances such as pregnancy and lactation
- Unphysiological influences due to drugs, pleasure poisons and pollutants
- wrong or one-sided diet
- physical stress such as long-term stress or competitive sports
As a classic vitamin robbers smoking, too much alcohol, common colds, weight loss and some medications. Many people therefore have an increased need for vitamins - without knowing it. Here are some of the factors listed below.
Smoking as a vitamin robber
With each puff, smokers inhale large amounts of carcinogenic particles that are also loaded with tons of free radicals. Free radicals occur during metabolic processes in the body, but also by environmental toxins, nicotine or stress. Too much of these aggressive particles can destroy important functions and structures in the body and cause diseases such as atherosclerosis, cancer or rheumatism.
Smokers therefore have - in contrast to non-smokers - an increased need for so-called Antioxidants. These are substances that bind free radicals and render them harmless. Of the vitamins, especially the vitamins A, C and E provide protection against free radicals.
Alcohol inhibits the recovery of vitamins
The higher the daily consumption of alcohol, the less vitamins are added. If the liver is already damaged by excessive alcohol, the nutrients (and thus the vitamins) will be used worse.
Chronic drinking leads to vitamin deficiencies, especially in vitamins A, B1, B6, C, niacin and folic acid.
Constant stress as the cause of vitamin deficiency
People who are exposed to severe stress often also have a vitamin deficit. Long-term stress in fact consumes the vitamin reserves - the vitamin C status is often too low, as are vitamins B1, B6 and B12.
Vitamin deficiency in women
Women on average eat healthier than men - at least in terms of their vitamin supply. Nevertheless, vitamin deficiencies are also possible in women. Crucial factors affecting women in particular are:
- Hormone treatments: In many women, B vitamins and folic acid are deficient candidates when taking hormone supplements. This may be the pill or even a hormone preparation for the treatment of osteoporosis. Countermeasures can be taken with appropriate finished products or selected foods. Rich in B vitamins are liver, yeast, whole grains, dried milk and whey powder, chanterelles; Folic acid is yeast and green leafy vegetables.
- Slimming: The vitamin level generally also decreases with the menu, namely with a reduced diet in the context of slimming diets. Who makes diets frequently, should pay particular attention to an adequate intake of vitamins E and B.
Lack of vitamins in old age
Vitamin deficiency, according to experience, creeps in with age. This has many causes: Older people often have less appetite and drink too little, in addition, the entire metabolic activity decreases. Sometimes there are also difficulties with the preparation of the food and / or the taste buds diminish, so that much bland tastes.
The bottom line is that it leads to a reduced intake of nutrients. Often, senior citizens lack vitamins A and C as well as B vitamins, especially B12. In people over 75, vitamin deficiency is the rule rather than the exception.
Vitamin deficiency due to diseases: reduced food intake
There are health disorders that lower food and vitamin intake, and others that increase consumption or cause vitamin loss.
Reduces the absorption of nutrients and thus of vitamins in:
- loss of appetite
- Eating, chewing and swallowing disorders (for example, if the teeth are not sitting correctly)
- Gastrointestinal operations
- one-sided slimming diets
Decreased vitamin absorption
The absorption from the intestine is reduced at:
- Subfunction of the pancreas (pancreatic insufficiency): Digestive enzymes are missing, it comes to Maldigestion
- disturbed bile flow in liver diseases
- Intestinal infections and inflammations
- Gastric mucosal regression with absence of intrinsic factor and gastric acidity that leads to anemia due to vitamin B12 deficiency
In liver cirrhosis, the liver loses its ability to store vitamins.
Vitamin deficiency due to increased vitamin losses
Increased vitamin losses occur:
- chronic diarrhea
- chronic renal insufficiency
Increased vitamin consumption
Increasing the basal metabolic rate due to fever, burns, larger wounds or infections increases the need for vitamins.
Vitamins are important!
Vitamins are indispensable for our health. You are…
- vital: They prevent typical "deficiency diseases" of humans
- effectively: highly effective in small quantities
- specialists: not interchangeable
- indispensable: the human body can not produce all
That is why it is important to pay attention to an adequate supply of vitamins and not even to develop a vitamin deficiency.