Introduction to Minerals Deficiency
Minerals are different sorts of nutrients which a human body requires to function efficiently. When a human body does not acquire or consume the essential amount of minerals, it causes mineral deficiency. Mineral deficiencies adversely impact millions of people globally and is a reason for the heavy burden on well-being and economic development. Most commonly, lack of iodine, iron or zinc hurt human health and can cause diseases like anaemia and goitre. However, minerals like calcium, fluorine, etc. make a major contribution to health problems.
One of the significant sources of mineral deficiency is not obtaining necessary minerals from dietary sources. Poor dietary habits that depend on junk foods or lack of fruits and vegetable intakes also cause mineral deficiency. Constipation, bloating, or abdominal pain, decreased immune system, diarrhoea, irregular heartbeat, loss of appetite, muscle cramping, nausea and vomiting, numbness, poor concentration, slow social or mental development in children and weakness or tiredness are the major causes of mineral deficiency.
The World Health Organization Vitamins and Mineral Nutrition Information System (VMNIS) reportedly gathers data on mineral and vitamin deficiencies at the global, federal and local level. The data from WHO has been studied to determine the importance of mineral deficiencies in causing weakness, disabilities and premature deaths. The VMNIS provide tools for assessing vitamin and mineral nutritional status in populations. Also, they provide financial health to meet the deficiencies of minerals and vitamins.
Types of Mineral Deficiencies
The condition in which a body suffers a deficiency of iron to fulfil its requirement is called Iron Deficiency. A human body requires iron to produce haemoglobin which is a protein in RBC’s that helps to transport oxygen throughout the body. ‘Anemia’ is the most common disease that causes due to lack of iron. In a 2008 survey, WHO reported that iron deficiency causes nearly of all the cases of anaemia nationwide. Some of the sources that are high in iron are: spinach that contains 2.7 mg of iron; Organ meats like liver, heart, brain and kidneys are rich in iron. The liver contains 6.5 mg of iron; Red meat is also rich in proteins and mineral zinc; Pumpkin seed is another essential source of iron. It may contain 2.5 mg of iron in total.
Causes of Iron Deficiency
- One of the common causes of iron deficiency is blood loss as blood contain iron within RBCs.
- Insufficient iron consumption because of an improper diet that does not fulfil daily nutritional needs.
- Within the human body, if any part of the small intestine has been surgically bypassed, this may affect the ability to consume iron.
Symptoms of Iron Deficiency
- Unusual tiredness
- Difficulty in breathing
- Skin Paleness
Calcium is required for healthy bones and strong teeth. It also helps in the proper functioning of blood vessels, muscles and hormones. Calcium deficiency is also known as hypocalcaemia which is a major public health problem. People around the world don’t get enough calcium through their intakes. And if a body does not obtain enough calcium to maintain its basic functions running properly, it will extract calcium from the bones to meet the requirement of calcium. The most important source of calcium is cheese. The cheese contains about 331 mg of calcium.
Yoghurt is another excellence source of calcium. Low-fat yoghurt is mostly higher in calcium. Beans and lentils also contain a decent amount of calcium. Another important source of calcium is milk and fortified drinks that contain a high level of calcium and can help in strengthening bones and teeth. They contain around 244 mg of calcium in total. All the nuts, especially Almond is the highest in calcium. Eating nuts can prevent a body from many diseases that cause due to calcium deficiency.
Causes of Calcium Deficiency
- Lack of Vitamin D causes calcium deficiency.
- Parathyroid hormone, estrogen and testosterone are some of the hormonal disorders that cause Calcium deficiency.
- Insufficient calcium consumption because of an improper diet that does not fulfil daily nutritional needs.
Symptoms of Calcium Deficiency
- Muscles cramps
- Brittle fingernails
- Loss of appetite
- Tooth Erosion
- Anxiety and Depression
Hundreds of chemical reactions that took place in a human body require magnesium. It controls the functioning of muscles and nerves, protein development and neural functions. Magnesium deficiency is an electrodes disorder in which the body has a lack of magnesium. Magnesium deficiency is also influenced by the presence of many diseases like hypocalcaemia, hypokalemia and cardiac and neurological manifestations. Dark chocolates, avocado, nuts, tofu, pumpkin and chia seeds, grains, fatty fish, bananas and green leaves are all rich sources of magnesium and help in meeting the requirements of magnesium within a human body.
Causes of Magnesium Deficiency
- Magnesium deficiency usually caused because of reduced consumption of magnesium in the intestine.
- It is also caused by excessive excretion of magnesium in the urine.
- Chronic diseases can lead to magnesium deficiency.
- Low dietary of magnesium intake is one of the other causes.
Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- Muscles cramps
Zinc is an important mineral that a body needs to fight off infections and to produce cells. It plays an important role in healing wounds and to build DNA. It is essential for growth, producing maturity hormones, helps to control appetite, tension and sense of taste and smell. Zinc deficiency is characterized by poor appetite, slow growth and weak immune system. Sources of Zinc that provide enough zinc to a body are meat which is an excellent source of zinc and contain 4.8 mg of total zinc in it; Shellfish is low calories source of zinc and contain 32 mg of total zinc; flax and squash seeds, nuts, egg and all products of dairy, grains, vegetables and dark chocolate are the main sources to meet zinc deficiency in a body.
Causes of Zinc Deficiency
- Poor intake of zinc diet.
- Chronic diseases can cause zinc deficiency.
- Cancer and diabetes are a major cause of zinc deficiency.
Symptoms of Zinc Deficiency
- Hair loss
- Weak immune system
- Open pores on the skin
- Weight loss
- Unhealed wounds
- Poor appetite