Nutrient Deficiency: The 7 Most Common Deficiencies + 11 "Red Flag" Signs

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There was a time not too long ago when human beings were able to extract the majority (if not all) of the vital nutrients we needed for good health from the food we ate and our outdoor-focused, active lifestyles.
It is a sad fact that in these modern times, this is no longer the case. In fact, a 2006 study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that food alone doesn’t cut it when it comes to getting all the nutrients the body needs. Of the 70 healthy athletes analyzed by the study researchers, every one of them was deficient in at least three essential vitamins or minerals.
If top athletes (who are oftentimes obsessed with good nutrition) can become nutrient deficient… what does that say for the rest of us?

The 7 Most Common Nutrient Deficiencies in the World

Ironically, the nutrients we’re most deficient in are also some of the ones that are the most important for overall health. Here is a brief rundown of what they are and what they do:

#1 – Iron.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), iron deficiency is the number one mineral deficiency worldwide as well as the number one cause of anemia in women and children.
Iron is a necessary component of hemoglobin in blood; this substance is what transports oxygen from the lungs via the circulatory system. On the other hand, studies have shown that too much iron may raise your risk of cancer and heart disease.
Experts recommend that individuals who think they may be iron deficient first consider getting a serum ferritin test. Recommended safe levels are usually between 40 and 60 ng/ml.

#2 – Vitamin E.

According to a 2009 report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), a whopping 86% of the American population does not meet the U.S. recommended daily allowance (RDA) for this vital substance.
Vitamin E is a nutrient that is found in many foods, such as avocados, broccoli, and almonds.

In the body, it acts as a powerful antioxidant and immune system booster. Vitamin E is also the “ambassador and translator” for cells, helping them to communicate effectively with one another.

#3 – Vitamin A.

Vitamin A is essential for healthy skin, teeth, bones, and vision. Most importantly, however, vitamin A helps to maintain the integrity of cellular membranes.
Beta-Carotene, the “pre-vitamin” for Vitamin A, comes from fruits and vegetables as well as in quality multivitamins. In order for the conversion process from beta-Carotene to Retinol (the absorbable form of vitamin A) to occur, a person needs a strong digestive tract and a healthy gallbladder. According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of blindness in children worldwide.

#4 – Vitamin D.

Vitamin D gets a lot of press these days linking it to breast cancer prevention. The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) reported back in 2008 on a meta-analysis of four studies examining the link between vitamin D levels in the blood and breast cancer risk. One study found that sufficient levels of Vitamin D led to a 80% reduction in breast cancer!

As reported by the AACR: “An inverse association was observed between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels and risk of female breast cancer in four recent observational studies. However, the exact 25(OH)D serum levels associated with a specific level of reduction in breast cancer incidence are still imprecise.”
Vitamin D, which is more of a hormone than a vitamin, is essential for health in other ways too – especially as a helper for other vitamins. For instance, vitamin D is intricately connected to the absorption of vitamin A, vitamin K, and calcium.
The current worldwide epidemic of vitamin D deficiency is caused in part by our modern work and lifestyle choices, which does not leave much time for enjoying the sun outdoors.

#5 – Magnesium.

The latest studies suggest that roughly 68% of all Americans are deficient in magnesium and up to 20% may suffer from severe deficiency.
The list of essential functions in the body that magnesium is responsible for is long. It includes:

  • Nerve and muscle function
  • Genetic synthesis
  • Energy production and balancing
  • Absorption of other key nutrients like iodine and vitamin C
  • Hormonal health
  • Sleep quality
  • Protection from heavy metals like mercury and aluminum

Magnesium deficiency has been linked in studies to higher risk of cancer as well as cognitive breakdown and heart disease.

#6 – Vitamin C.

When you were a kid, you probably heard someone in your family say, “Come take your vitamin C!” whenever you had a cold. That advice wasn’t that far off. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a necessary nutrient for immune system health. It is also important for the cardiovascular system since it is needed for the absorption of iron from food.
Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant which helps in the formation of collagen and wound healing. Surveys from the U.S. and Britain found that vitamin C deficiency occurs in 1 in 5 men and 1 in 9 women. A 2004 report by the American Centers for Disease Control stated that vitamin C “may be the most important water-soluble antioxidant in human plasma” and that 13% of Americans are notably deficient in it.
Vitamin C must come from either food or supplementation; the body does not create vitamin C on its own.

#7 – Vitamin B12.

There are 8 B vitamins in all and all of them combined influence just about every single mechanism in the body. Getting enough vitamin B12 is especially important for the nervous system and brain health.
According to researchers at Tufts University, about 40% of adults have B12 levels below the normal range. Deficiency in this vital nutrient can lead to depression and other mental disorders, loss of the senses like taste and smell, cognitive decline, anemia, neuropathy in the hands and feet and cardiovascular issues.
Deficiencies in other B vitamins, such as B1, B2, and B6, are also quite common.

Are you receiving all of the vital nutrients and essential vitamins and minerals in your diet? Watch this video on common nutrient deficiencies, and learn how to fill those missing gaps! 

Why Are We So Deficient in Key Nutrients?

The body needs essential vitamins and minerals to complete the thousands of second-by-second functions it performs for health. Everything from maintaining good gut balance to keeping your heart pumping is reliant on the efficient break-down and use of nutrients.
“I eat a healthy diet,” you may be thinking, “so I have nothing to worry about, right?”
There was a time when this was true, but no longer. Even if you are someone who eats healthy, organic food every day, you can still have nutrient deficiencies.
First of all, because of poor soil, contaminants in the air and water, and an increasingly genetically modified food supply, the nutrient load of most produce is significantly less than it used to be.
A report published in 2004 by the University of Texas studied the nutritional value of 40 common fruits and vegetables grown in the U.S. between 1950 and 1999. What they found was shocking. Over those 40 years, all of the foods they studied had “reliable declines” in key nutrients, including calcium, iron, vitamin C, and B vitamins.
The second reason has to do with malabsorption of nutrients within the body itself. Even if you are consuming great quantities of key essential nutrients, your body may not be able to absorb them properly in order to put them to work in your body.

The Most Common Causes of Nutrient Malabsorption

  • Genetic dispositions (and environmental triggers that kick them into gear)
  • Issues with methylation
  • Issues with detoxification pathways
  • Imbalances within the digestive tract itself
  • A combination of these factors and others

All of these factors, including the expression of your genes, are influenced by one thing: lifestyle.

Diet, stress level, exercise level, hydration levels, and the quality of any supplements you are taking all play a part in malabsorption.
The last factor – gut imbalances largely caused by eating a SAD diet (standard American Diet) – are probably the most common reason why nutrient malabsorption occurs.

11 Signs You May Have a Nutrient Deficiency

Nutritional deficiency tests, including blood, saliva, and urine tests, can be very beneficial in letting you know if you are low in a particular vitamin or mineral.
But before you ever send anything to the lab, sometimes you can determine if you have a dietary deficiency by watching for signs in your own body.

“Red Flags” for Nutrient Deficiencies

According to functional nutritionist and best-selling author Dr. David Jockers as well as other experts, the following symptoms may be “red flags” for nutritional deficiencies:

  1. Hair loss
  2. Discoloration or ridges on nails
  3. Dark circles under the eyes
  4. Skin rash or acne that persists
  5. Periodontal disease
  6. Sores on the mouth
  7. Tingling or other sensations in the extremities
  8. Brain fog and other cognitive dysfunction, such as memory loss
  9. Loss of sexual drive/ libido
  10. Depression and/or lethargy
  11. Ongoing fatigue

If You Decide to Supplement, Choose Only the Best

Once you’ve determined you have a nutrient deficiency, the likely next step is supplementation. When deciding on a supplement manufacturer, be aware that many companies still use synthetic ingredients and chemical additives to keep costs (and quality) down.

In fact, it is estimated that up to 95% of all vitamin and mineral supplements out there are at least partially created using synthetic materials!
The happy news is that consumer demand is growing for quality products which utilize the very latest in natural health technology.
If you decide that supplementation in one or more key nutrients is right for you, be sure to do your homework. Choose a brand that is 100% organic and tests their products regularly for toxins such as heavy metals and pesticides.

If you’re not getting all the nutrients and antioxidants you need from food, your best source is whole food vitamins. Organixx Multi-Vita-Maxx contains 21 uniquely fermented vitamins and enzyme-activated minerals that are more “bioavailable” and easily absorbed by your body than the synthetic compounds found in most supplements.

Article Summary

  • 7 most common nutrient deficiencies:

    1. Iron
    2. Vitamin E
    3. Vitamin A
    4. Vitamin D
    5. Magnesium
    6. Vitamin C
    7. Vitamin B12
  • 11 signs of nutrient deficiency:

    1. hair loss
    2. discoloration or ridges on nails
    3. dark circles under the eyes
    4. skin rash or acne that persists
    5. periodontal disease
    6. sores on the mouth
    7. tingling or other sensations in the extremities
    8. brain fog and other cognitive dysfunction, such as memory loss
    9. loss of sexual drive/ libido
    10. depression and/or lethargy
    11. ongoing fatigue
  • Supplementation is a great way to combat nutrient deficiency.

Reader Interactions


    • Sandra,
      We would suggest speaking with a trusted medical professional before starting any new supplements.

    • With all due respect Sandra, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure are caused by easily controllable environmental conditions within your body, and only 5% genetic. Please see a Naturopathic Doctor where you can completely reverse this..

    • Please I implore you research everything is on the Internet look at Mike Adams look at see your jeep green med do your own investigation it’s not every doctor out there knows how to heal you they know how to give you a Band-Aid which are the pharmaceutical drugs look after yourself no one else is going to do it

    • Sandra, always read leaflets that come with medications (especially your Metformin), & if there isn’t one, ask the pharmacy for one. It’s compulsory that they provide it.

    • Sandra, I had type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and a few other complaints, when I looked into natural remedies, I was not that confident when I started, but now all is fixed, real natural cinnamon for diabetes and olive leaf and beet greens for blood pressure. Try this, and when your doctor says you are OK, try the Multi-Vita-Maxx. If you ask while you still have the problems, your doctor will tell you to wait until your problems are gone, and this will never happen, and he/she knows it.

    • Sandra
      There is a wonderful holistic Dr..he is on Facebook….you can watch his videos on there or You Tube.He is Dr Gregory Armstrong.He teaches people how to get off Diabetic Medicines and reverse your diabetes.just check him out….you willlove him…he is a wonderful man.

  1. Hello. I am not sleeping well and my son tells me I may need to take HGH, human growth hormone. What can y’all tell me about taking HGH and sleep ?

    • Can’t tell you anything about hgh but can tell you that I haven’t slept well for 40 years. 2 weeks ago I started taking 250 mg of magnesium at bedtime and I sleep like a log. Makes mad that no doc ever suggested trying it.

      • I take a calcium/magnesium combo at bedtime and sleep like a baby. Vivid dreams, the whole shebang! Good luck to you Fritz and Suzette.

    • More likely you are magnesium deficient. Choose a quality magnesium powder and take in the evening when your body best absorbs minerals. CALM is a good brand that I take.

      • I use to use Calm and my Doc told me to stop using it. All the ingredients is not so wholesome .
        For sleep get some lavender essential oil or melatonin ..
        Organic India sleepy tea is my favorite.

    • Hello a simple solution for this is drink sleepy time tea by selestrial.
      Sound to easy it is I could not sleep I was getting sick. Then I came across this healthy tea.
      No other band or tea works. I buy it foodland ir Coles or Woolworths

    • I am speaking only about myself on this one. I had the same problem and stated taking Magnesium every night and it worked for me.

    • For sleep …you are probably magnesium deficient and beef up your B-6. Chelated or Pico magnesium for maximum absorption.

  2. I need to avoid folic acid. This says it has folic acid it. I assume this isn’t the synethic version? If so you should change it to say folate as you will lose many customers who wrongly assume it has folic acid which many avoid due to mthfr.

    • Kelly,
      There are no synthetic ingredients or preservatives in this product. All ingredients are fermented or enzyme activated, fully bioavailable, non-synthetic from food sources. No ingredients are added to our products other than what is listed on the label. The Multi-Vita-Max formulation derives its folate from natural sources such as Red Lettuce, Green Lettuce, Spinach, Kale, Purple Cabbage, and Broccoli.

  3. All of us are impacted by electro-magnetic interference of our energy fields, thanks to our addition to electronic gadgets, which adds to our nutrient deficiencies. Now when we get unexplained symptoms or fail to improve, we must think environment. The rollout of 5G technology will only make matters worse. Vey few people are talking about this, so we have to educate ourselves.

  4. There are too many ingredients in your formula. I have MTHR and was told not to take the folic acid which is a synthetic.

    • Carol,
      Thanks for the feedback!
      There are no synthetic ingredients or preservatives in this product. All ingredients are fermented or enzyme activated, fully bioavailable, non-synthetic from food sources. No ingredients are added to our products other than what is listed on the label. The Multi-Vita-Max formulation derives its folate from natural sources such as Red Lettuce, Green Lettuce, Spinach, Kale, Purple Cabbage, and Broccoli.

  5. I very much like this mixture of vitamins and their preparation. My one complaint:
    why not use real folate rather than synthetic folic acid?

    • Brenda,
      There are no synthetic ingredients or preservatives in this product. All ingredients are fermented or enzyme activated, fully bioavailable, non-synthetic from food sources. No ingredients are added to our products other than what is listed on the label. The Multi-Vita-Max formulation derives its folate from natural sources such as Red Lettuce, Green Lettuce, Spinach, Kale, Purple Cabbage, and Broccoli.

  6. Thank you for this excellent article! and I take this opportunity, Ty Bollinger and staff, to say Thank You for educating us on the TTAC website, Oh how I love y’all … The Organixx supplements sound like an incredible product. Maybe I should stop taking all the vitamins I do and take Organixx instead … for one thing, it takes time to open all those many bottles!

    • Marina,
      We would suggest speaking with a trusted medical professional to speak about your specific situation and how our supplements could affect you.


  8. I have none of the symptoms on your list except possibly slight hair loss. I am 84, strong, healthy, med free, and pain free. I eat a handful of domestic pumpkin seeds every day. I raise my own veggies in raised back yard beds. I use Miracle gro potting soil, and I use only onions and lady bugs for insect control.i always eat either spinach, kale, turnips and greens, or beets and greens every day. I also eat either pumpkin or sweet potatoes, or carrots every day. i drink a lot of whole milk from healthy pasture fed cows.i eat a lt of eggs and beans; I eat salmon twice a week. I do not think i could feel so well if I were nutrient deficient.

    • Bobbie, thank you for talking about what you eat and where you get your food (from your own garden) do you eat any other meat besides salmon? Do you live in the north or south? In the south (South Texas along the coast) we get two growing seasons.

  9. I suffer from bouts of nausea often! My dr. thinks it is fibromyalgia related but I’m not so sure. Thoughts?

  10. Does the fermentation of your multi vitamin- mineral supplement effect sugar levels, or interfere with gut health- how does it make it more absorbable. I just bought your iodine to try and I need a very good multi vitamin and mineral supplement. For me right now it’s crucial I get the very best absorbable one available. Thanks!!

  11. I take Calcium, MACA, Glucosamine Vhodroitim, fish oil, Milk Thistle, Garciria Cambogia, Echinucea, Bitamin E, and Tumeric Curcumin. The only presvriptions I take are Omepraxole and Furosemide as needed.

  12. Just to encourage you, when I started eating eating organic and almost all vegetables and fruits only, I lost a whole bunch of weight and I no longer had blood pressure or sugar diabetes issues which meant I no longer needed medication for either of those.

  13. The real key to nutrients is the ability of ones body to absorb these nutrients and transport them to the organs and cells that need these depleted areas. Likewise, they also need to get to the places where your body is most toxic, so a toxic clean is needed.
    In todays world these discussions are missing. We must first rid our bodies for the toxins that are slowing us down and then provide our bodies what nutrients we are deficient in.
    So what I am looking for is a complete process that takes my body through this process. We also know that drink fresh clean water, and breathing clean air helps to detox the body and organs.
    People need to take the time each day to do these things. Now let me be clear. How do I know the nutrient that Organixx sells actually pernitrate in to the bodies in a balanced manner that over time give back the vitality and energy that is needed.

  14. This vitamin supplement contains broccoli, kale, and other goitrogens..are they formulated in such a way as to not interfere with thyroid health?

    • Kasren,
      We would suggest that you speak with a trusted medical professional about this and how this supplement may affect you.

  15. I’ve heard that follic acid is bad for you and yet it is recommended for pregnancy, why is that?

    • We don’t have more information about this at this time Alexis. This would be a great question for a trusted medical professional.

    • Folic acid is the synthetic version of “Folate”. I’m guessing that you’ve read its “bad” because its typically not naturally derived, but made in a lab. Folate is the natural form of folic acid, so just look for supplements that contain Folate instead. Google folic acid vs folate and you’ll find plenty of articles.

  16. Thank you for such a helpful article – clearly set out and easy to understand what to avoid, look for and how to remedy the problem(s). 🙂

    • My naturopath that I saw before, during and after my 18 rounds if chemo, put me on 2-per-day multivitamin without copper or zinc. He said this was to prevent angiogenesis or the creation of new blood vessels that would supply blood to small tumors.

  17. I’ve just had blood tests and I’m low in calcium, low white blood count and liver function isn’t good. I take Holland & Barratt ‘Superone’ multivitamin and minerals and extra supplements so I’m puzzled as to why I have low calcium.
    I’m having more blood tests today.

    • I do also but my doctor told me to take magnesium to counter the iron caused constipation. I take 1/8-1/4 tsp powdered in water at night. It works.

  18. I want to try all these products for my husband health.. are these products safe with a kidney failure patients whose going through dialysis treatment? What would you recommend for him to take as supplements?

    • Divina,
      We would suggest speaking with a trusted medical professional before taking any new supplements.
      Best wishes to you and your husband!

  19. Thanks for creating what looks to be a great product! Based on some of the comments and my personal preferences, perhaps when the next “batch” is produced, you may consider (if possible) adding more specifics on the label. For example Folic Acid or Folate? B3- niacin or niacinamide? What form of Vitamin K (1 or 2)? I am more inclined to make an investment like this when I know exactly what the nutrients are. Just a thought . . . Thanks for all you do!

  20. I too have a problem with MTHFR. I use Methylated folic acid. I take
    Deplin recommended by my doctor.

  21. Hi I’ve been diagnosed with lymphoma. And now have lumps on neck which could be related to thyroid as I have a very very active thyroid. I have chronic digestive issues (severe diaorreha) unable to tolerate the tiniest fiber or any oils or fats (due to liver/gall bladder). Even natural sugars (fruits) I disagree with. Due to this my diet consists of white bread and basically food with little to no nutrional value. I have all the above signs and deficiencies. I’ve been working alongside a naturopathic doctor (hes been highly recommended) for several months now – who is also now at a lose end with me. On a very good day however I can tolerate chicken with potatoes/carrots/asparagus. Therefore I just wanted to ask would these supplements containing broccoli and kale etc would .. and if so how it will sit well with me or with anyone with digestive issues as you’ve mentioned above ? Also if anyone would pls clarify is glutamine worse for cancers than sugars?

  22. Vaccinations alone play a huge role in vitamin deficiency. Vaccines contain formaldehyde, mercury, aluminum, unborn fetal matter ( listed as “natural ingredients”), genetically modified organisms and more! Big Pharma wants our money, not keep us healthy! Vaccines have been proven to be the cause of autism, mental health issues, depression, auto-immune diseases, cancer and much more! I am a chronic Lyme patient and was misdiagnosed for many years! I also worked at a surgeons office for 3 years, which also required me to receive the flu vaccine 1-2 times a year, (that’s a lot of heavy metals, which kill the gut and wreaks havoc on our micro-biome/good gut bacteria-our centrally located immune system). Little did I know at that time, that I was harming my body more than anything else and noticed my health declined more and more with each administration of the flu vaccine with depression, chronic fatigue, joints pains, brain fog, bi-polar like symptoms, blood sugar issues, etc. I encourage anyone to do their own research! Don’t trust your medical Dr’s! You know how you should feel! Everyone needs to be their own health advocate and take matters in their own hands, find a natural path doctor or Lyme disease specialist, etc. The CDC is corrupt just like other forms of government, and they are the ones who write most of the health professional curriculums, which contain false data! Many former CDC employees have stepped down from their positions and quit their jobs there, because of all the deceit, corruption and misconstrued data they saw first hand to present to the public!! Don’t trust pharmaceuticals or vaccines! Period! Anything to do with Big Pharma is awful for our health! Monsanto, who is the devil of our food and pharmaceutical industry, comes from Hitler decent!!! His ultimate goal is to deceive us and “kill the U.S. slowly!” That’s basically what Hitler stated too, after the U.S. won the war against them! Great resources to refer to are The Truth About by Ty Bollinger, founder of The Truth About and and anything by Dr. Joshua Axe (, Jordan Rubin, Eric Zielinski, Ty Bolling, Jonathan Otto ( or Sayer Ji are highly reputable sources!! Check them out on YouTube or their websites. Also, wakeup is another awesome, reputable website for many topics, including geo-engineering our skies, etc. which also have a hug effect on our health! In summary, keep the faith, remember God ultimately has our backs and will not put us through more than we can handle, as His Word promises us! Ask God for His guidance and wisdom in all aspects of your life, including your health, and you will be astonished at what He reveals to you to guide you on your personal journey! God revealed to me last year through Jonathan Otto’s Bible Health Secrets docu-series, what it states in Revelation 18:23; “and the light of a lamp will shine in you no more, and the voice of bridegroom and bride will be heard in you no more, for your merchants were the great ones of the earth, and all nations were deceived by your sorcery.” – English Standard Version. The Greek meaning of sorcery is pharmakiea/pharmaceuticals! That alone is proof enough for me of what to stay away from regarding mine and my families health! May God speak to anyone reading this, and have the same effect on you as well! God Bless! ✝️❤️?

    • Thank you for sharing, agree with these wonderful resources. Will look up about geo-engineering our skies as always felt in my spirit that more then the average person knows (is aware of) is going on!!.


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