The Three Major Nutrient Deficiencies Among Americans (And How to Get Enough of Them)

A recent CDC study found that around one out of every ten Americans has a nutrient deficiency. While that number may not seem so high to you, there are some things to think about when accounting for that figure.

As another study out of Switzerland points out, factors that may push you from borderline into deficiency include an impaired metabolism, digestion and absorption issues (potentially from the onset of disease), shifting life stages (pregnancy and lactation place higher nutritional demands on women’s bodies), changes in medication, and lessened bioavailability of foods for individuals following certain lifestyles (for example, plant-based eaters tend to have a hard time absorbing specific nutrients from plant-based food alone).

Another consideration is that getting enough nutrients does not automatically make you healthy, so while most Americans may be getting in their daily dose of all the essentials, a 2016 study suggests that almost half of the population is still eating an unhealthy diet and that over the course of the multi-year study, “the total number of fruits and vegetables Americans ate didn’t budge, and they didn’t eat any less meat, processed meat or sodium.”

Add to that the fact that over a third of the population in some parts of the country remains obese and that rates of diabetes, hypertension, and other critical health issues are still uncomfortably high.

If you’re trying to improve your diet and/or lose weight, and are adjusting your regular food intake accordingly, the quantity of your consumed nutrients is likely to diminish as your calories do, especially if you’re not careful. Restricting calories or a certain macronutrient may be temporarily better for your waistline, but it could also compromise your long-term health. Indeed, a recent report about four popular diet plans in America suggests that many dieters have a higher likelihood of developing nutrient deficiency. (Fun fact: The report also strongly recommends supplementing any of these major dietary overhauls with a multivitamin).

If you’re trying to improve your health by adjusting your diet, reducing calories, or eating fewer animal products, your body should reward you—not treat you to an unexpected nutrient deficiency.

With that in mind, below are the top nutrient deficiencies in the country, why these nutrients are so important, and a few tips and key things to consider as you continue your journey toward total health.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is a key player in helping you process all sorts of the foods you eat and also supports your nervous and immune systems. If you’re B6 deficient, you may also be deficient in other B vitamins like folate and B12. B6 has also been associated with memory and brain functions—a deficiency in vitamin B6 may contribute to cognitive decline.

Great food-based sources for vitamin B6 include chickpeas, tuna, salmon, potatoes, bananas, and squash. And to help you really ensure you’re taking care of your vitamin B6 needs, our VitaYears™ Anti-Aging Multivitamin has 294% of the recommended daily value (as well as strong amounts of its complementary nutrients, folate and B12).

Iron

Iron plays an important role in your body’s production of the red blood cells responsible for transporting oxygen from your lungs to other parts of your body. Anemia—wherein your body’s cells cannot get enough oxygen, leading to a host of symptoms including fatigue, rapid heart rate, dizziness and more—is the most oft-cited condition that results from too little iron in the body. Women are at particular risk of developing an iron deficiency thanks to the blood they lose during menstruation.

The body tends to absorb animal-based sources of iron better than it does plant-based sources. Lean beef, chicken, and turkey are all great sources of iron.

Things get a little trickier for vegetarians and vegans. The good news is that supplementing with vitamin C can help counteract some of these absorption-related issues. Plant-based sources of iron include a variety of legumes, tofu, cashews, leafy greens, and tofu.

Also good news—VitaYears™ Anti-Aging Multivitamin can not only provide you with 28% of your daily value requirements for iron, it also features vitamin C to make sure you’re absorbing your iron intake properly, whether you’re getting your iron from food or extra supplementation.

Vitamin D

As noted in the CDC study mentioned above, vitamin D deficiencies don’t tend to hit all segments of the population in the same way. The report states that “the highest rates of vitamin D deficiency [are found] in non-Hispanic blacks despite clinical data showing greater bone density and fewer fractures in this group compared to other race/ethnic groups.” A 2006 study from Tufts University suggests this is because “pigmentation reduces vitamin D production in the skin.”

Regardless of what racial demographic you belong to, it’s important to be mindful of vitamin D levels. After all, it’s a critical part of bone health and plays a role in keeping muscles strong. The Tufts University study also notes that getting enough vitamin D can help reduce the odds of developing “cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some cancers.”

The most well-known source of vitamin D is the sun itself, but as direct sunlight comes with its own health cautions and limitations, it’s always a good idea to keep a roster of food-based vitamin D sources in your dietary regimen. These will also help counteract those periods of time when you’re inside more often than usual or you’re dealing with a string of particularly gloomy winter days.

Food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, mushrooms, egg yolks, milk, cod liver oil, and yogurt. If you lean toward plant-based eating, most grocery stores will also offer non-dairy milks and orange juices that are fortified with vitamin D.

Supplementing with vitamin D can also keep your bones strong and ensure your body can perform at its peak regardless of the weather outside—VitaYears™ Anti-Aging Multivitamin features 125% of the daily requirement of vitamin D.

Why VitaYears™ for Nutritional Supplementation?

VitaYears™ Anti-Aging Multivitamin features more active ingredients than competing multivitamins. When researching and developing our products, we not only strive to source the best and most beneficial nutrients to supplement your 21st century lifestyle, we also place a premium on bioavailability—this helps ensure that every micronutrient in each capsule absorbs into your body as expected, helping to protect and fortify the health your cells.