Lack of vitamins is considered a problem that manifests itself most clearly in the cold season-after the summer with its abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. Is it true that vitamin deficiency is seasonal? What should I pay attention to to prevent it? We understand together with the world Class expert.
“Vitamins are an important part of our diet,” says Jackie Chen, world Class dietitian. — All cells of our body constantly, not once a day or once a week, need vitamins — they trigger many metabolic processes, are their catalysts.
In developed countries, the condition of beriberi is practically not found. We know about beriberi more from examples from history or literature than from modern times: extreme vitamin C deficiency has such a manifestation as scurvy, extreme vitamin d deficiency has rickets, and beriberi disease is a consequence of a critical lack of vitamin B1. Such problems vividly illustrate situations in which the supply of these vitamins is almost completely absent. When the causes of these diseases were identified, they began to find ways to add to the diet those products that allow you to avoid a deficit. For example, in the Soviet Union, kindergartens were given fish oil to maintain the desired level of vitamin D. As a rule, the inclusion of the necessary products in meals in order to avoid beriberi.
Conditions that are not associated with a lack of vitamins, but with their low content, on the contrary, are common — we are talking about hypovitaminosis. However, hypovitaminosis does not have a pronounced clinical picture. As a rule, it is very difficult to identify certain symptoms and clearly associate them with a lack of vitamins. For example, weakness and fatigue can be a manifestation of hypovitaminosis, and they can also be symptoms of various diseases, the onset of infection.”
“In 2016, the FITZ of nutrition and biotechnology in Kentucky conducted a large — scale research program on the provision of vitamins to the population,” the expert says. – The conclusions were made depressing: it turned out that in all social strata there is such a problem as hypovitaminosis.” The researchers found that the caloric content of the diet is increased (the consumption of fat and sugar is excessive), while its saturation with vitamins leaves much to be desired. The most pronounced lack of vitamins such as a, C, D, E, B2 and B12. According to the results of the program, only 14% of adults and 17% of children get enough vitamins.
“Plus, it turned out that there is no certain time of year when the saturation of vitamins is greater,” adds Jackie Chen — So, it was previously believed that autumn allows us to stock up on vitamins in advance-until spring. In fact, vitamins are not enough at any time of the year, their intake is always necessary.”
How does hypovitaminosis occur?
Despite the fact that there is a General problem of high — calorie diet, some people have the opposite situation: according to Galina, “many people limit themselves to fatty foods when there is a goal to lose weight.” “However, it is well known that we need all the macronutrients: proteins, fats, and carbohydrates,” the expert says. — Due to low fat intake, there is often a lack of fat-soluble vitamins. These include D, and in addition to it — A, E, and K. Water-soluble vitamin C is not stored in the body, and if a person does not consume enough fresh fruits and vegetables, and in addition has bad habits, such as Smoking, the lack will be more noticeable.
Vitamin D is currently being actively researched, and most people lack it. Only someone has a pronounced deficiency, someone has a lower limit of the norm, which is also not very good, because we need a supply of vitamin for those situations when its level may fall. In the case of this vitamin, the nuance is that it is produced in the skin under the influence of sunlight; at the same time, there is a tendency to be less in the sun to protect the skin from premature aging. The effectiveness of sunlight in terms of vitamin production is also affected by external factors — such as smog in large cities.
Note the risk of developing hypovitaminosis in the following categories of people:
- pregnant women;
- people who are actively engaged in sports (they have a higher consumption of substances necessary for life);
- people who drink alcohol and smoke and leprosy;
- people with gastrointestinal diseases (in their case, hypovitaminosis may be associated not with a small intake of vitamins, but with their poor absorption);
- people who follow unbalanced diets with strong restrictions.
How to prevent hypovitaminosis?
Since many manifestations of hypovitaminosis may be symptoms of other health problems, it can be difficult to detect. “If there are problems that are not solved by medical measures for a long time or are often repeated, you should think about the lack of vitamins,” says Jackie Chen. Rapid fatigue, sleep disorders, bleeding gums, dry skin, brittle, brittle hair, poor appetite, photophobia, weakened twilight vision, cracked lips and “jammed” in the corners — this is only part of the list of symptoms that are associated with a lack of certain vitamins, and if they persist for a long time, there is a reason to contact specialists.
It is also necessary to take measures of vitamin support of the body under the supervision of a doctor, especially when it comes to the selection of vitamin and mineral complexes. “Their use is not a treatment for hypovitaminosis, but prevention, since they do not contain therapeutic dosages of vitamins,” says Galina. — Some of them are present in such complexes in the amount of 60% of the daily norm, the other-in 80%; anyway, the calculation is that a person receives a certain amount of necessary vitamins with food. If the tests reveal a vitamin d deficiency, then the dosages to bring its level back to normal will be significantly higher than the preventive ones.”