FAQs The Symptoms of Nutrient Deficiencies

Vitamins & Minerals Chart

Fat Soluble Vitamins ( A, D, E, K) can be stored in the body and need not be consumed daily. While it is difficult to “overdose” on them from ordinary sources, consuming mega doses of fat soluble vitamins, especially A and D, can lead to a dangerous build up in the body.

Abbreviations: IU=International Units; mg=milligrams; mcg=micrograms.

Vitamin/ Mineral Source Indication Efficacy Claims
Vitamin A

Men: 3 000 IU
Women: 2 700 IU
Liver, fortified Milk (Retinol form – see below for Carotene sources.) Eyes ( Night Vision)





Immune System


Reproductive Organs

Pregnancy & Lactation

Deficiency: Night blindness; reduced hair growth in children; loss of apetite; dry, rough skin; lowered resistance to infection; dry eyes.

Overdose: Headaches; blurred vision; fatigue; diarrhea; irregular periods; joint and bone pain; dry, cracked skin; rashes; loss of hair; vomiting, liver damage

Assists body in ridding environmental pollutants
Beta Carotene
(Pro-Vitamin A)
(See Vitamin A)
Alfalfa sprouts, Avocado, Bannana, Bee pollen, Brocolli, Cayenne pepper, Carrots Yellow orange fruit, Garlic, Squash, Broccoli, Green & Yellow Vegetables Antioxidant. Converted to Vitamin A in the body. (See Vitamin A)   The antioxidant properties of this nutrient may be a factor in reducing the risk of certain forms of cancer.
Vitamin D
Men: 100 IU
Women: 100 IU
Egg Yolk, Milk, Exposure to sun enables body to make its own Vitamin D., Cod liver Oil, Salmon, seeds, lemongrass, dandelion root, alfalfa sprouts, avocado, garlic, greens leafy Teeth & Bones


Enhances calcium & phosphorus absorption.

Regulates mineral absorption

Stabilizes nervous system & heart

Normal blood clotting

Deficiency: Rickets in children; bone softening in adults; osteoporosis.

Overdose: Calcium deposits in organs; fragile bones; renal and cardiovascular damage.

Vitamin E
Men: 9-10 mg
Women: 6-7 mg
Corn or Cottonseed Oil, Butter, Brown Rice, Soybean Oil, Vegetable oils such as Corn, Cottonseed or Soybean, Nuts Wheat Germ. Antioxidant. Helps form red blood cells, muscles and other tissues. Preserves fatty acids.



RBC protection


 Prevention blood clots

Deficiency: Rare, seen primarily in premature or low birth weight babies or children who do not absorb fat properly. Causes nerve abnormalities.

Overdose: Unknown.

The antioxidant properties of this nutrient may be a factor in reducing the risk of certain forms of cancer
Vitamin K
None established.
Estimated at 0.03 mcg/kg
Green Vegetables, Liver, also made by intestinal bacteria. Needed for normal blood clotting. Deficiency:
Defective blood coagulation.

Overdose: Jaundice in infants.


Water Soluble Vitamins are not stored in the body and should therefore be consumed daily.

Vitamin B1

Men: 0.8 – 1.3 mg
Women: 0.8 mg
Sunflower Seeds, Pork, whole and enriched Grains, dried Beans., kelp, dates, garlic, parsley, wild rice, watercress, wheatgrass Carbohydrate metabolism

Muscle coordination.

Proper nerve function.

VIP consistent growth in children

Helps with Stress

Stabilizes appetite by improving digestion and assimilation of nutrients

Fertility & Lactation

Provides Energy

Mental attitude , focus & concentration

Anxiety; hysteria; depression; muscle cramps; loss of appetite; in extreme cases beriberi (mostly in alcoholics).

Unknown, although excess of one B vitamin may cause deficiency of others.

Vitamin B2

Men: 1.3 – 1.6 mg
Women: 1.1 mg
Liver, Milk, Spinach, enriched Noodles, Mushrooms., alfalfa sprouts, apple , apricot, avocado, dates, figs, garlic, kelp, parsley, wild rice rosehips, seeds Needed for metabolism of all foods and the release of energy to cells. Essential to the functioning of Vitamin B6 and Niacin.

RBCs & antibodies


Skin, nails , hair


Deficiency: Cracks and sores around the mouth and nose; visual problems.

Overdose: See Vitamin B1

Vitamin B3

Men: 16-23 mg
Women: 14-16 mg
Niacin is converted to niacinamide in the body.
Mushrooms, Bran, Tuna, Chicken, Beef, Peanuts, enriched Grains., rice brown, wild , alfalfa, almonds, apricots, chamomile, figs, garlic, nuts Needed in many enzymes that convert food to energy. Helps maintain a healthy digestive tract and nervous system. In very large doses, lower cholesterol (large doses should only be taken under the advice of a physician). Deficiency:
In extreme cases, pellagra, a disease characterized by dermatitis, diarrhea and mouth sores.

Hot flashes; ulcers; liver disorders; high blood sugar and uric acid; cardiac arrythmias

Pantothenic Acid
Vitamin B5

Men: 2.5 mg
Women: 2.5 mg
Abundant in animal tissues, whole grain cereals and legumes., alfalfa, almonds, avocado, broccoli, honey faw, oats, oranges, peas, seeds, soybeans, walnuts Converts food to molecular forms. Needed to manufacture adrenal hormones and chemicals that regulate nerve function.



Produced in the body by the beneficial bacteria in the intestines

Unclear in humans.

See Vitamin B

Vitamin B6

Men: 1.8 mg
Women: 1.5 mg

Animal protein foods, Spinach,

Broccoli, Bananas, alfalfa, bell pepper, beets, cantaloupe, greens, lemon, nuts,peas, sprouts, veggies green

Protein metabolism and absorption

Carbohydrate metabolism.

 Helps form red blood cells.

 Promotes nerve and brain function.

Skin , Teeth, muscles , nerves

Antibodies, RBCs

Balance of Sodium & Phosphorus,

Balance of Sodium & Potassium

Anemia, irritability, patches of itchy, scaling skin; convulsions.

Nerve damage.

Vitamin B12

Men: 2 mcg
Women: 2 mcg
Found almost exclusively in animal products, alfalfa, beans, dulse, garlic, Korean, Siberian ginseng, klep, nuts, seeds, Builds genetic material. Helps form red blood cells.




Concentration, memory , balance

Pernicious anemia; nerve damage. (Note: Deficiency rare except in strict vegetarians, the elderly or people with malabsorption disorders.)

See Vitamin B1.

60 mcg
Cheese, Egg, Yolk, Cauliflower, Peanut Butter, alfalfa sprouts, banana , beans, fruits, grains, nuts ,brown rice, seeds, soybeans Needed for metabolism of glucose and formation of certain fatty acids. Essential for proper body chemistry.

Formation RNA & DNA

Food into energy

Prevent exhaustion

Muscle pain

Helps prevent baldness

Seborrhic dermatitis in infants. Rare in adults, but can be induced by consuming large amounts of egg whites – anorexia, nausea, vomiting, dry scaly skin.

See Vitamin B1

Folic Acid (Folacin)
Men: 180-220 mg
Women: 160-190 mg
Green, leafy vegetables, Orange Juice, organ Meats, Sprouts. Essential for the manufacture of genetic material as well as protein metabolism and red blood cell formation

Brain Function



Deficiency: Impaired cell division; anemia; diarrhea; gastrointestinal upsets.

Overdose: Convulsions in epileptics. May mask pernicious anemia (see Vitamin B12 deficiency).

Adequate amounts of this nutrient in the first stage of pregnancy may reduce the risks of neural tube birth defects.
Vitamin C
Ascorbic Acid

Men: 40 mg
Women: 30 mg
Citrus Fruits, Strawberries, Broccoli, Green Peppers Antioxidant. Helps bind cells together and strengthens blood vessel walls. Helps maintain healthy gums. Aids in the absorption of iron.

Collagen, Connective Tissue

Bones, Teeth,

Natural laxative

Formation of adrenalin

Deficiency: Muscle weakness, bleeding gums; easy bruising. In extreme cases, scurvy.

Overdose: Loose bowls

The antioxidant properties of this nutrient may be a factor in reducing the risk of certain forms of cancer. May reduce the effects of the common cold.

Minerals in organic products essential for body functions.

Men: 800 – 1000 mg
Women: 700-800 mg
Milk, Yogurt, Cheese, Sardines, Broccoli, Turnip Greens. Bones & Teeth

Muscle & Nerve Function

Blood Clotting

Activates enzymes needed to convert food to energy

Deficiency: Muscle cramps, Brain function, Rickets in children; osteomalacia (soft bones) and osteoporosis in adults.

Overdose: Constipation, Kidney Stones, calcium deposits in body tissues. Hinders absorption of iron and other minerals.

Chromium Beets, cardamom, cloves, dulse, garlic, kelp, mushrooms, wheatgrass, onions Glucose to Energy

Metabolism of amino acids ( building blocks of proteins)  and fats

Deficiency: Glucose intolerance or insulin resistance hyperglycemia

Raised serum lipids & weight changes

Overdose: Hinders body’s absorption of calcium.

2-3 mg
Liver and other organ Meats, Seafoods, Nuts and Seeds., pomegranates, prunes, green veggies , parslety , peas, raisins, grains, almonds , avocado Proteins involved in growth

Nerve function

Energy release

Enzymes for Iron metabolism ( ceruplasmin ( ferroxidase I) and ferroxidase II)


Regulation of gene expression

Component of several enzymes, including on needed to make skin, hair and other pigments. Stimulates iron absorption. Needed to make red blood cells, connective tissue and nerve fibres.


Anemia that is unresponsive to iron therapy but corrected by copper

Low WBC’s thus lower immunity
Rare in adults. Infants may develop a type of anemia marked by abnormal development of bones, nerve tissue and lungs.

Liver disease; vomiting; diarrhea

Men: 8-10 mg
Women: 8-13 mg
Liver, lean Meats, Kidney beans, enriched Bread, Raisins., alfalfa sprouts, almonds, apricot, asparagus, beets, cherries, dates, figs, grains, grteens, lentils , parsley, peacans, pistachio nuts, seeds, swiss chard, walnut
Note: Oxalic acid in spinach hinders iron absorption.
Essential for making hemoglobin, the red substance in blood that carries oxygen to body cells

Most iron is stored in bone marrow that makes blood cells

If there is not enough in the body , it goes to the bone marrow reserves.  If this iron stored in the bone marrow is low, RBCs don’t form properly, they are smaller than usual ( microcytosis) and fewer

Skin pallor; weakness; fatigue; headaches; shortness of breath, difficulty concentrating, brittle nails, cracked lips  



Type II diabetes ( J of A Medical Assn)
Toxic buildup in liver and in rare instances the heart

Men: 230 – 250 mg
Women: 200 – 210 mg
Spinach, Beef Greens, Broccoli, Tofu, Popcorn, Cashews, Wheat Bran, coconut, dates, figs, beets, avocado, honey raw, Activates enzymes needed to release energy in body. Needed by cells for genetic material and bone growth.

Low calcium

Low serum potassium

Retention of sodium

Low circulating levels of parathyroid hormone

Muscular tremors, spasms

Loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, personality changes


Lung & Brain Function

Aids digestion

Deficiency: Nausea, irritability, muscle weakness; twitching; cramps, cardiac arrhythmias.

Overdose: Nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, nervous system disorders.

Warning: Overdose can be fatal to people with kidney disease.

2-5 mg
Tea, whole Grains and Cereal products are the richest dietary sources. Adequate amounts are found in Fruits and Vegetables. tendon and bone structure.

Wound healing

Metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids & cholesterol

Thyroid hormones


Impaired growth, reproduction, skeletal system, glucose tolerance, altered carbohydrate and lipid metabolism

Overdose: Caution may be toxic at high doses Generally results from inhalation of manganese containing dust or fumes, not dietary ingestion.

0.15-0.3 mg
The concentration in food varies depending on the environment in which the food was grown. Milk, Beans, Breads and Cereals contribute the highest amounts. Component of enzymes needed in metabolism. Helps regulate iron storage. Deficiency: Unknown in humans.

Gout-like joint pain.

Men: 1000 mg
Women: 850 mg (3-6 g)
Chicken Breast, Milk, Lentils, Egg Yolks, Nuts, Cheese With calcium builds bones and teeth. Needed for metabolism, body chemistry, nerve and muscle function Deficiency: (Rare) Weakness; bone pain; Anorexia.

Overdose: Hinders body’s absorption of calcium.

Men: 40-80 mmol
Women: 40-80 mmol (3-6 g)
Peanuts, Bananas, Orange Juice, Green Beans, Mushrooms, Oranges, Broccoli, Sunflower Seeds. Helps maintain regular fluid balance. Needed for nerve and muscle function. Deficiency: Nausea, anorexia, muscle weakness, irritability. (Occurs most often in persons with prolonged diarrhea.)


0.05-0.2 mg
Adequate amounts are found in Seafood, Kidney, Liver and other meats. Grains and other Seed contain varying amounts depending on the soil content. Antioxidant. Interacts with Vitamin E to prevent breakdown of fats and body chemicals Deficiency: Unknown in humans.

Finger nail changes, hair loss

Sodium   Acid neutralizer

Proper fx of muscles and nerves

Prevents clotting

Enhances digestion


Maybe related to low blood pressure

May elevate blood pressure

Men: 12 mg
Women: 9 mg
Oysters, Shrimp, Crab, Beef, Turkey, whole Grains, Peanuts, Beans. Necessary element in more than 100 enzymes that are essential to digestion and metabolism Deficiency:
Slow healing of wounds; loss of taste; retarded growth and delayed sexual development in children.

Nausea, vomiting; diarrhea; abdominal pain; gastric bleeding