The human body needs a variety of different nutrients in order to remain healthy and strong. When one or more of these nutrients is not supplied to the body, a nutrition deficiency develops. Without the appropriate nutrients, the various systems in the body cannot function properly. This can lead to mild or severe symptoms, including hair loss, bleeding, and deformities.
A person can determine if he has a nutrition deficiency by looking at a variety of symptoms. Some symptoms can be severe and warrant a specific name. Rickets, for example, is a calcium, phosphate, or vitamin D deficiency. Without these nutrients, the body cannot make bones as strong as they should be. This often results in soft bones and various deformities of the bones and teeth.
While some symptoms are severe, others can be milder. In fact, milder symptoms of nutrition deficiency often become apparent before the more severe disease sets in. For example, scurvy, the deficiency of vitamin C, is characterized by bleeding gums and pain in the joints because of bleeding. Before scurvy sets in, however, a person is likely to experience dark circles under his eyes and floaters in his vision. His wounds may also not heal as quickly as they should, and he may bruise easily.
The lack of any one of the many essential nutrients the body needs to function may result in a variety of seemingly harmless symptoms of nutrition deficiency. For instance, the lack of enough essential fatty acids may cause dry hair and dandruff. A zinc deficiency may be the cause of hangnails. A pale tongue or flat nails may be the sign of an iron deficiency. A B5 deficiency may cause premature graying in some people.
In order to keep nutrition deficiencies at bay, it is important to get the appropriate amount of vitamins and minerals every day. There are many sources of these nutrients available in food, and vitamin supplements are also available. Some experts say that the best vitamins come from natural sources, however, and cite a number of drawbacks to taking vitamin pills or supplements.
Natural sources of nutrients may be best because the body may not absorb supplements as well as it does the vitamins found in food. When the body does not absorb those vitamins, it will just expel them. In addition, ingesting too many vitamins can be harmful to the body. While supplements can be helpful for some people, such as pregnant women, most people may be better off eating the proper foods in order to obtain the adequate amount of nutrition.