Advertisement

What are three common vitamins that many people are deficient in?

Stacy Wiegman, PharmD
Pharmacy Specialist

Many people are deficient in vitamin D, folic acid and vitamin B12. About a quarter of the U.S. population is at risk for getting too little vitamin D, which is key to bone health and may help prevent some chronic diseases. Dietary levels of folic acid, a B vitamin that helps to prevent birth defects and has other health benefits, are still too low for many Americans, although levels are higher than in the past because many foods are now fortified with it. Older people and strict vegetarians who consume no foods of animal origin often lack adequate levels of vitamin B12, which is needed for healthy nerves and red blood cells. Other vitamins people may be deficient in include B1 (especially drinkers) and C (lack of which can cause scurvy).

Many people are deficient in folate, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12.

As for folate, you tend to take in less from food as you age, and the concentration of folate in your body drops. In fact, a lack of folate is the most common vitamin deficiency among older people. Foods such as asparagus, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, black-eyed peas and sunflower seeds contain folate.

Foods rich in B6 include chicken, bananas, and tomato paste. Good rood sources of B12 include salmon, tuna, hamburger, lamb, and bran and wheat flakes).

By consistently taking 800 mcg (micrograms) of folate a day, 6 mg of B6, and 800 mcg of B12 in food or 25 mcg as a supplement (supplemental B12 is easier to absorb), you can make your RealAge 1.2 years younger in just three months-and probably 3.7 years younger in three years.

YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

More About this Book

YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

Between your full-length mirror and high-school biology class, you probably think you know a lot about the human body. While it's true that we live in an age when we're as obsessed with our bodies as...
Neal Spruce
Neal Spruce on behalf of dotFIT
Fitness Specialist

The 3 common vitamins that have a higher potential for deficiency since they can’t be stored are vitamin C, B-complex and vitamin K. Vitamin C and B-complex (thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, folic acid, B-6, B12) are all water-soluble, so other than B12, they need to be replaced daily. While vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, we store very little and therefore it also needs regular replenishment. According to government surveys, the necessary nutrients Americans fall short of most are calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, vitamins B6, C & E and folate, which is why we recommend you eat the best you can (pick one of the menus in the free Sharecare Fitness App under the Coach tab) and take a daily multivitamin & mineral formula to cover all your bases.

Continue Learning about Vitamins

The Vitamin for Healthy Nails
The Vitamin for Healthy Nails
Of all the nutritional supplements touted for treating nails that split, break, and peel, only one has gotten a universal thumbs-up from science: biot...
Read More
Are adult gummy vitamins as good for me as regular vitamins?
Neal SpruceNeal Spruce
No, but they do offer a good alternative to people who are unable to swallow pills. Vitamins need to...
More Answers
8 Foods That Can Replace Your Multivitamin
8 Foods That Can Replace Your Multivitamin8 Foods That Can Replace Your Multivitamin8 Foods That Can Replace Your Multivitamin8 Foods That Can Replace Your Multivitamin
Skip the pharmacy and shop the produce department instead.
Start Slideshow
Boost Your Vitamin B12 Levels With This Fruit
Boost Your Vitamin B12 Levels With This Fruit

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.