Vitamin Deficiency

If you don't get a particular vitamin for a long time, you develop a vitamin deficiency. If the deficiency goes on long enough, you get a deficiency disease.

You may develop a vitamin deficiency if:

Whenever you feel your health isn't what it could be—if you get frequent minor illnesses, for example, or bad colds you just can't seem to shake, ask yourself if you're getting enough of the vitamins and minerals you need.

Testing for Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies

Today many doctors routinely check your blood for some vitamin and mineral deficiencies, especially iron and Vitamin B12. There are blood and urine tests for most vitamins and minerals, but some are complicated or inconvenient, to say nothing of the costs. Generally there's no real reason to do them, unless you have a medical problem that affects your ability to absorb nutrients. Today many nutritionally oriented health practitioners think that your blood antioxidant level is a better test of your vitamin and mineral levels and overall health. That's because you need vitamins and minerals to make antioxidant enzymes. If you're low on the enzymes, you're also low on their building blocks. If you're interested in antioxidant testing, discuss it with your doctor or nutritionist.

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