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Nutritional deficiencies - What are the most common vitamin and nutrient deficiencies?

Nutritional deficiencies - What are the most common vitamin and nutrient deficiencies?
Nutritional deficiencies - What are the most common vitamin and nutrient deficiencies?

What is nutrient deficiency?

Nutritional deficiency occurs when there is insufficient intake of the vitamins and minerals the body requires to function properly. This can lead to poor health and a range of health conditions. 

What are the most common nutritional deficiencies?

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies affect around a third of the world’s population. Although these deficiencies are more prevalent in developing countries, they are becoming more common in developed countries. 

Nutritional deficiencies can occur for several reasons, including:

poor diet or dietary insufficiency

• poor absorption of macro- or micronutrients due to gastrointestinal disorders such as Crohn's, celiac disease, or surgical procedures.

• increased loss of nutrients from the body

• increased energy expenditure

• poor nutritional content of food due to modern farming practices and food storage/manufacturing

Low intake of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and grains can substantially affect nutritional status. However, it is also important to note that even these foods may not provide adequate nutrients due to modern methods of growing and processing. [1]  Malabsorption of certain nutrients can also affect nutritional status. [2]  Taking multivitamins can help to restore deficiencies, maintain nutrient levels, and support overall good health. 

Most common vitamin and mineral deficiencies 

Vitamin B12

B12 deficiency has been described as “a major public health problem worldwide”. It affects an estimated 6% of adults aged under 60 years, but around 20% of those older than 60. [3]

B12 deficiency may result from a lack of B12 foods in the diet, especially in the case of vegans or vegetarians. 

Malabsorption disorders or surgical history can also affect the ability to obtain vitamin B12 from food, as well as certain medications (such as acid-suppressing agents and metformin).

The MTHFR genetic mutation is also associated with a higher risk of B12 deficiency. 

Methyl-Life’s® Active B12 Complete contains three naturally-occurring forms of B12 shown in clinical studies to improve vitamin B12 status. [4]  These forms are bioidentical to the B12 found in the human body and vastly superior to cyanocobalamin, a synthetic form of B12 that occurs only in trace amounts in the body.  [5]


An estimated up to 50% of the US population l does not meet daily magnesium requirements. [6]

Magnesium is essential for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body and plays a crucial role in the cardiovascular, neuromuscular, and nervous system. Low magnesium levels can 

lead to cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, skeletal disorders, respiratory illness, and neurological disorders (stress, depression, and anxiety). [7]

The most effective way to restore magnesium levels is via supplementation with a highly bioavailable form of magnesium. Methyl-Life Sucrosomial® Magnesium is a highly bioavailable magnesium complex providing 32% elemental magnesium. Using an innovative delivery system that encapsulates the active ingredient within a phospholipid membrane, it delivers 320 mg of elemental magnesium directly into the bloodstream.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency is now more prevalent than ever, affecting approximately 1 billion people worldwide, while around 50% of vitamin D in the body remains stored and inactive. This is largely due to decreased dietary intake, decreased absorption, or decreased sun exposure. [8]

Vitamin D is essential for normal bone development and maintenance, immune function,  nervous system maintenance. Studies show an association between vitamin D deficiency and cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, autoimmune diseases, and some cancers. [9]


Worldwide, the most common nutrient deficiency is iron. It is mainly caused by inadequate dietary intake, hemorrhage, and malabsorption. Iron deficiency typically affects children, women and the elderly, and those with medical conditions. Low iron levels typically lead to generalized weakness, fatigue, poor concentration, irritability, headaches, shortness of breath on exertion, and low energy. [10]

Folic Acid

Folate is another common nutrient deficiency. This B vitamin plays a critical role in fetal development and low folate levels are associated with numerous birth defects. Folate is also essential for healthy cardiovascular function, neurotransmitter production, DNA repair, and many other biological processes in the body. Chronic folate deficiency can result from dietary insufficiency and MTHFR mutations in which folic acid cannot be metabolized by the body. 

Methyl-Life® specializes in methylfolate supplements made with only the purest and most stable form of calcium-based crystalline methylfolate. Using this biologically activated form of folate - the only form that can cross the blood-brain barrier - ensures maximum absorption and bioavailability. [11]  It is also the only form that can bypass the MTHFR genetic mutation. Methyl-life’s® methylfolate range includes dosages of 2.5 mg, 3 mg, 5 mg, 7.5 mg, 10 mg, and 15 mg to suit every health condition and life stage. 

What Does it Mean to be the “Best” Methylfolate

How to prevent nutritional deficiencies

1. Testing

If you have nutrient deficiency symptoms, a lab test can help to determine your nutritional status. However, it is important to note that lab tests may not provide an accurate picture of certain nutrient levels. For example, testing for B12 may result in false normal or even false high despite a deficiency due to high amounts of anti-intrinsic factor antibodies (proteins associated with pernicious anemia) in the serum. [12]

2. Evaluate your diet

Eating fresh, wholefoods (organic if possible) such as fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and grains is essential. These foods contain the natural vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that your body needs to function. Avoid foods high in refined sugar, trans fats, artificial additives and/or have been processed/chemically refined, as these foods trigger inflammation and other negative health outcomes.

Seek help from a nutritionist if you have special dietary needs or you have obvious signs of nutrient deficiency.

3. Take supplements

Supplements can help to fill in the nutritional gaps in a diet. This is particularly vital for those who cannot absorb certain nutrients from food due to malabsorption disorders or genetic mutations (such as MTHFR). Supplements offer a source of specific vitamins and minerals in highly concentrated and bioavailable forms, allowing for optimal absorption and utilization in the body.

Methyl-Life’s® Chewable Methylated Multivitamin contains essential bioactive vitamins, patented minerals, antioxidants, and specific nutrients to support energy, cognition, immune function, and healthy homocysteine levels. It is ideal for those with MTHFR mutations, vegans, vegetarians, and those who are pregnant or breastfeeding*.














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    Written By,
    - Katie Stone



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