What Are Some Results of Vitamin Deficiencies?

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We very rarely see, overt vitamin deficiencies in the modern world. Now they used to be quite common. In fact, one of the reasons any carton of milk has Vitamin D in it is because rickets was wide spread, in the industrialized world, in the early days of the 20th century, the late days of 19th.

And that's because kids who used to work on farms and be exposed to the sun all moved into factories. They stopped getting sun exposure, they stopped making Vitamin D, and they became vitamin D deficient. And in children that produces a condition of stunted growth called rickets.

We used to see scurvy when sailors set off around the world, and didn't have citrus fruit as a source of Vitamin C to take with them. We used to see beriberi and pellagra. This deficiencies now aren't seen. If only because we live in a world where we got things like total cereal, right? I mean we know that our foods are fortified.

Our diary's fortified with vitamin D, vitamin A, and many foods are fortified with B vitamin. So we're unlikely to see this overt deficiencies. But we still see relative deficiencies. People often don't get enough omega 3 fatty acids, and that may be one of the reason they are more inclined to depression, or mood instability, or even fatigue.

Older people may develop vitamin B12 deficiency because you can only absorb vitamin B12. If your stomach makes another protein, it's a little bit complicated. But if you stomach doesn't make intrinsic factor you can absorb B12, and then you're B12 deficient. And the fascinating thing about B12 deficiency is, that can be present as anemia.

But more insidiously, it presents as dementia, and actually can look just like Alzheimers. Of course, when you find that, it's a wonderful thing, because administering B12 by-injection, and this is one of the clear cases where injecting a nutrient is important, can completely reverse that dementia.

And of course it's a joy for the patient and the family when what looked like a dementia that everybody was freaking out about, is suddenly completely curable. So, we do see vitamin deficiencies. What I think tends to go on more today, is we've got islands of deficiency, things like fibre we don't eat enough of, we don't eat enough of healthy fats in a sea of excess.

One of our biggest concerns, in modern epidemiology, is too much. Too much processed food, too much of the wrong kinds of fat, too much sugar, too much salt, too many calories. And I think we really need to be looking at the big picture, what we're getting too much of we need less, what we're getting too little of we need more, and by eating the right foods, for the most part, we can fix both of those problems.