Main nutritional deficiencies


Nutrient inadequacies
Nutritional biomarkers
Micronutrient deficiencies
Dietary supplements


Nutrition is the source of energy that is required to carry out all the processes of human body. A balanced diet is a combination of both macro- and micronutrients. “Nutritional inadequacy” involves an intake of nutrients that is lower than the estimated average requirement, whereas “nutritional deficiency” consists of severely reduced levels of one or more nutrients, making the body unable to normally perform its functions and thus leading to an increased risk of several diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Malnutrition could be caused by environmental factors, like food scarcity, as well as disease conditions, like anorexia nervosa, fasting, swallowing inability, persistent vomiting, impaired digestion, intestinal malabsorption, or other chronic diseases. Nutritional biomarkers – like serum or plasma levels of nutrients such as folate, vitamin C, B vitamins, vitamin D, selenium, copper, zinc – could be used for the evaluation of nutrient intake and dietary exposure. Macronutrients deficiencies could cause kwashiorkor, marasmus, ketosis, growth retardation, wound healing, and increased infection susceptibility, whereas micronutrient – like iron, folate, zinc, iodine, and vitamin A – deficiencies lead to intellectual impairment, poor growth, perinatal complications, degenerative diseases associated with aging and higher morbidity and mortality. Preventing macro- and micronutrient deficiency is crucial and this could be achieved through supplementation and food-based approaches


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