Recently, we sat down with Registered Nutritionist, Anita Bean to discuss what the main vitamin deficiencies among men in the UK are and how to best prevent them. The best way to thwart a vitamin deficiency is to eat a well-balanced diet that includes nutrient-dense foods and plenty of fruit and vegetables. This may be the case in a perfect world but ultimately finds many of us eating too many ultra-processed foods and on sugary snacks that leave us low in vital vitamins and nutrients. and nutrients. Here’s what you’re most likely missing and how it affects you.
Around 20% of people in the UK are clinically deficient in this vitamin and 75% have an insufficient intake as many of us don’t actually get enough from sunlight to store it throughout the year. Vitamin D deficiency symptoms include impaired muscle function, weak bones and depressed immunity. It is mainly gained through exposure to sunlight. However, during autumn and winter, our sunlight is limited, so Public Health England recommends taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms to maintain a sufficient level.
Selenium plays an important role in our immune system and acts as an antioxidant to prevent damage to cells and tissues. Around 1/3 of people fall short of the necessary intake of Selenium and a deficiency in its mildest form can lead to muscle weakness, a weakened immune system and loss of hair. Levels of this nutrient can be kept up with the intake of brazil nuts, fish, meat and eggs whilst also taking a daily multivitamin.
Data shows that 10% of men have a low intake of this mineral. Potassium is important for controlling the balance of fluids in the body as well as the correct functioning of the heart muscle. It also helps nerves and muscles communicate with each other. You will find Potassium in fruits, veg and nuts but also in a high-quality multivitamin.
In the UK, 12% of all adults fall short of this nutrient. Magnesium is a key mineral in the body as it helps turn the food we eat into energy and is essential for bone health and healthy teeth structure. Having a balanced and healthy diet containing whole grains, nuts and green, leafy vegetables can help boost your intake of magnesium, as well as a daily multivitamin containing this mineral. Being deficient can cause nausea, fatigue, weakness, insomnia and diarrhoea.
Iodine is an essential mineral needed for making thyroid hormones – which helps keep cells and the metabolic rate healthy – and can be found in fish, milk and dairy products. Iodine deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the world and 8% of people fall short of it. The most common symptom of iodine deficiency is a slow down in the metabolic rate, fatigue, muscle weakness and weight gain, so make sure your levels of this essential mineral are topped with a daily supplement.
Vitamin B12 is only found in animal products such as eggs, dairy, fish and meat. It helps to keep our nervous system healthy, make red blood cells and release from the food we eat. Being deficient in this vitamin can result in tiredness, muscle weakness and problems with concentration.