1. Deficiency of vitamin A, vitamin C, and magnesium is present among 50% of Americans.
2. 33% of children under the age of five from the developing countries have deficiency of vitamin A. This deficiency causes low immunity and night blindness.
3. An estimated 259 to 500 million children in the world are becoming blind every year due to deficiency of vitamin A and half of them die within a year of losing their vision.
4. Vitamin D is important in the prevention of osteoporosis, depression, prostate cancer, breast cancer and research indicates that its deficiency may cause diabetes and obesity.
5. Sun is a natural source of vitamin D, however its deficiency is quite common. Almost 90% of colored Americans are deficient of vitamin D and the deficiency is 70% among elderly Americans. The figures are similar in other countries.
6. There is a popular belief that vitamin B12 deficiency is often seen among the vegetarians but this is not true. However what you need to know is that low vitamin B12 levels in vegetarians with elevated homocysteine levels were linked to early death due to heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
7. Vitamin B12 deficiency may cause infertility or recurrent spontaneous abortion.
8. Deficiency of vitamin B6 or folic Acid during pregnancy is associated with Neural Tube Defect among newborns.
9. In Asia, where polished white rice (milled rice that has had its husk, bran, and germ removed) was the common staple food of the middle class, deficiency of vitamin B1 or thiamine was observed. A condition called beriberi was endemic for many decades and millions were crippled due to the disease.
10. James Lind, a Scottish doctor from Royal Navy was responsible for discovery of scurvy (lack of vitamin C). This was common among sailors who sailed the seas in the 17th century. He selected 12 men from his ship suffering from scurvy and divided them into six pairs and gave them different additions to their basic diet. The group that got two oranges and lemons made a remarkable recovery. This experiment eliminated scurvy completely from the Royal Navy.
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