Vitamin deficiency – Symptoms and Best Natural Sources

vitamin deficiency

Vitamin deficiency symptoms are so common and varied. They are linked to cognitive decline, anxiety and depression, fatigue, and much more.

Luckily, vitamin deficiency symptoms are often very easy to fix. Here’s a list of symptoms you might experience if you have Vitamin A, B, C, D, E, K or P deficiency and what to do about it.

Vitamin Deficiency – Vitamin A

Vitamin A improves your vision and is a key element in night vision. And that’s not all: it also protects against infections, prevents skin problems, plays a role in healthy intestines, lungs, and the respiratory tract. It is also a powerful antioxidant that protects against cancer and cardiovascular disease by neutralizing free radicals in cells, strengthens the immune system against infections colds, and flu.

Vitamin A deficiency symptoms include:

  • Dry eyes, skin, and other tissues
  • Night blindness
  • Increased infections
  • Thinning and ulceration of the cornea
  • Dry hair
  • Broken fingernails

Food sources of vitamin A include:

  • Dark leafy greens
  • Spirulina
  • Carrots
  • Pumpkin and yellow squash
  • Mango
  • Apricot
  • Peaches
  • Cantaloupe
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tuna

Vitamin Deficiency – Vitamin B

Vitamin B refers to a group of vitamins with different uses and different deficiency symptoms.

Vitamin B deficiency symptoms include:

  • B1 (thiamine): irritability and fatigue. Beriberi results from severe deficiency and can affect the heart, muscles, brain, and nerves.

Foods high in Vitamin B1 are:

Sunflower seeds, mushrooms, tuna, broccoli, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, spinach, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, whole grains and cereals, brewer’s yeast, fish, egg yolk, lean meat, nuts, chickpeas, lentils, dhal, soybeans, beans, beets, green peas, cauliflower.

  • B2 (riboflavin): dermatitis, scaly patches on the head, cracks or sores in the corners of the mouth, loss of appetite, irritability, nervousness or depression.

Foods high in Vitamin B2 are:

Spinach, animal liver, mushrooms, beans, dairy products, chicken eggs, broccoli, romaine lettuce.

  • B3 (niacin): dementia and mental confusion, along with scaly skin, diarrhea, and muscle weakness, memory impairment, depression, disorientation, paranoia, mania, delirium.

Foods high in Vitamin B3 are:

Raw rice bran, mushrooms, tuna, beef liver, corn flour, brewer’s yeast, chicken breast, dairy products, eggs, peanuts, salmon, broccoli, carrots, green peas, tomatoes, mustard greens, romaine lettuce, turkey, whole wheat.

  • B5 (pantothenic acid): nausea, cracks in the corners of the mouth, a pins-and-needles sensation in the hands and feet, scaly rash, seizures, headaches, insomnia, red tongue.

Foods high in Vitamin B5 are:

Mushrooms, animal liver, raw rice bran, cauliflower, fresh vegetables, brewer’s yeast, salt-water fish, strawberries, whole grains, sunflower seeds, and yogurt.

  • B6 (pyridoxine): skin disorders, nerve related problems, arm and leg cramps, anemia, migraine, irritability, asthma, nausea, chronic fatigue.

Foods high in Vitamin B6 are:

Chickpeas, bananas, bell peppers, potatoes, prune juice, raw rice bran, spinach, turnip greens, beans, lean meat, eggs, garlic, trout, carrots, celery, cabbage, cauliflower, walnuts, whole grains.

  • B12 (cobalamin – cyanocobalamin): Fatigue, paleness, anemia, weakness, dizziness, shortness of breath, loss of reflexes, muscle weakness, tingling or loss of sensation in the hands and feet, difficulty walking, confusion, and dementia.

Foods high in Vitamin B12 are:

Animal liver, fish like cod, salmon, mackerel, halibut, snapper, herring, trout, dairy products, egg yolk.

  • Folate/folic acid: anemia, fatigue, paleness, shortness of breath, irritability, and dizziness, red and sore tongue, weight loss, a reduced sense of taste, depression, the defect of the neural tube in infants of folate-deficient mothers.

Foods high in Folic Acid are:

Dark-green leafy vegetables, legumes, bananas, eggs, nuts, whole grains, leeks, squash, tomatoes.


Vitamin Deficiency – Vitamin C

Vitamin C is water-soluble, so excess is excreted in urine and needs to be replaced.  It boosts immunity, helps prevent cancer, helps the body absorb iron and to heal wounds, repairs bones, cartilage, and teeth. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant that protects from pollutants and toxic chemicals and helps against damage from free radicals that are responsible for degenerative diseases and aging.

Signs of Vitamin C deficiency include:

  • Lowered resistance to infection
  • Bleeding gums
  • Slowed wound healing
  • Gingivitis
  • Nosebleeds
  • Weight gain
  • Dry skin
  • Painful joints
  • Dry, splitting hair
  • Weakened tooth enamel
  • Scurvy

Good natural sources of vitamin C include:

  • Grapefruit
  • Mango
  • Oranges
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Cantaloupe
  • Leafy greens
  • Papaya
  • Peppers, green and red
  • Potatoes (sweet and white)
  • Strawberries
  • Pineapple
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon

Vitamin Deficiency – Vitamin D

Vitamin D maintains the right level of calcium in the blood, ensures healthy skeletal growth and development of bones and teeth, prevents bone fractures and osteoporosis, protects against high blood pressure, and stimulates the production of insulin which is needed to control blood sugars. It also may protect against cancer and heart disease.

Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms include:

  • skeletal deformities in children,
  • osteoporosis,
  • muscle or bone pain,
  • increased risk of diabetes
  • increased risk of high blood pressure,
  • irregular heart contractions, and
  • irritability.

Foods high in Vitamin D are

  • Fish liver oils,
  • salmon,
  • mackerel,
  • sardine,
  • alfalfa,
  • egg yolk,
  • oatmeal,
  • sweet potatoes.

Vitamin Deficiency – Vitamin E

Vitamin E (Tocopherol-Tocotrienols) has anti-aging properties, boosts the immune system, lowers the risk of skin cancer and protects skin from sun damage and ultraviolet radiation. As a powerful antioxidant, it neutralizes the free radicals that cause cell and tissue damage. Helps in treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, protects from heart disease and atherosclerosis and decreases the risk of prostate and bladder cancer. It is important for fertility and red blood cell formation.

Vitamin E Deficiency Symptoms include:

  • weak immune system,
  • anemia,
  • loss of appetite,
  • eye problems,
  • angina,
  • nerve damage,
  • digestive tract problems,
  • miscarriages,
  • decreased fertility.

Foods high in Vitamin E are

  • Cold-pressed vegetable oils,
  • dark green leafy vegetables,
  • avocados,
  • kiwifruit,
  • egg yolk,
  • blueberries,
  • brown rice,
  • dried beans,
  • legumes,
  • tomatoes,
  • olives,
  • nuts,
  • seeds and
  • whole grains.

Vitamin Deficiency – Vitamin K

Vitamin K (Phylloquinone-Menaquinone) by regulating normal clotting of blood prevents excessive blood loss from injuries. It improves insulin resistance, acts as an antioxidant to neutralize dangerous free radicals that damage cell membranes, helps prevent and treat osteoporosis and may prevent bone fractures.

Vitamin K Deficiency Symptoms include:

  • Bleed or bruise easily,
  • bone fractures,
  • low bone mineral density or osteoporosis

Foods high in Vitamin K are
Dark green leafy vegetables, soybeans; green cabbage, asparagus, broccoli, beet greens, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, kale, mustard greens, lettuce, romaine lettuce, watercress, alfalfa, carrots, green beans and peas, egg yolk, cereals.


Vitamin Deficiency – Vitamin P

Vitamin P (Bioflavonoids-Hesperetin-Hesperidin-Eriodictyol-Quercetin-Quercetrin-Rutin) enhances the effects of other antioxidants and the effect of vitamin C. It protects against cancer by inhibiting tumor growth. Clinically proven in the treatment of varicose veins and hemorrhoids, reduces the risk of stroke and heart disease. It has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-allergic properties.

Vitamin P Deficiency Symptoms include:

  • frequent nose bleeds,
  • weak immune system,
  • easy bruising,
  • hemorrhoids or varicose veins

Foods high in Vitamin P are:
Red onions, celery, garlic, white material just beneath the peel of citrus fruits, broccoli, dry beans, red beans, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, apples, cherries, grapes, citrus fruits, red wine, green tea, parsley, cabbage, peppers, cauliflower, tomatoes.

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