According to studies, deficiencies do depend mostly on your diet, however, social class, cultural background and entourage, economic status, education, genetics, age, habits also matter. About 30% of women are known to suffer from a deficiency of an important mineral or vitamin, in many cases without even being aware. The worst part of this is that most women depend on supplements instead of diet to get most of their nutrient – which also lowers the absorption rate taking that most supplements/vitamins are taken wrongly.
While many other deficiencies can happen, the following are the most commonly found in women:
- Iodine: I talk about iodine deficiency a little bit more in depth here. To put it shortly, iodine deficiency is a grave issue especially for young women in fertile age when looking to fall pregnant and that’s because iodine is extremely important for the growing and developing baby aiding his/her brain to develop properly.
At the same time, iodine is also crucial for healthy production of thyroid hormone – hence it sets your metabolic health.
- Iron: While everyone can suffer from iron deficiency, women and toddlers are those that are most affected, in both developing countries and the West. Find the WHO stats on anaemia here. They estimate that around 30% of the world population is actually anaemic and most vulnerable groups are elderly, small children and vegans, vegetarians, teenage girls are in the highest risk due to the fact that there is an increased iron requirement with the beginning of the menstruation.
- Vitamin D: The fight against the ”evil sun” is going strong still with very poor advise of covering one self in toxic creams, while the sun can be powerful and difficult to take in different parts of the world, limited sun exposure because of sunscreen marketing campaigns can be highly dangerous. Vitamin D deficiency happens world wide, even in sunny countries, in both adults and children and often goes in hand with calcium deficiency as calcium cannot be absorbed – hence bone structure issues arise. Cardiovascular health, testosterone and immunity also depend directly on vitamin D.
In the USA, it is estimated that 35% of the population suffers from a vitamin D deficiency. You can read here more about Vitamin D, find tips and learn how to safely expose yourself and care for your skin.
- Calcium: While calcium poor absorption goes hand in hand with poor vitamin D intake, intense exercise and loss of minerals, it is advised to avoid calcium supplements as they do not absorb as well as dietary calcium and end up causing more issues than solutions.
If you believe you are lactose intolerant (you shouldn’t be if genetically speaking you are of European descent, however there are more reasons why you ended up with an allergy), you should look into raw milk and read about it more here. You can also read more about how to heal your gut, which is directly related to allergies, read more about it here.
- Vitamin B12: This is a very frequent issue for those that follow a vegetarian or vegan diet as vitamin B12 is ONLY TAKEN FROM ANIMAL-BASED FOODS or, if you consume animal-foods and you are unable to absorb it correctly for an array of reasons – that needs a closer look. It can once again be connected with gut health or inflammatory bowel disease – which is also a reason why a vegan diet is not recommended as it often requires either raw or poorly prepared and very high quantities of highly inflammatory foods.
- Folate: Folate is especially important for those women looking to conceive at some point in their fertile years. Folic Acid is the synthetically produced alternative which is added to most prenatals and multivitamins, with poor absorption and not even close to folate. Folic acid usage in a woman that conceives can affect the newborn.
Folate is easily absorbed and used after it’s metabolised in the small intestine. Meanwhile, folic acid is a supplement introduced in 1940s, synthetic, requiring the presence of dihydrofolate reductase enzyme which is already quite scarce in the body. The reason why this is important to understand is because folic acid, henceforth, doesn’t fully metabolise – which means a lot of it (most of it) will remain in the body and change sex hormones, provoke sleep issues, B12 deficiency and lack of concentration. High levels of folic acid can also be linked to developing cancers (read more here).
- Potassium: Insufficient quantities of potassium were found in many teenager girls and women in a study (read more about daily intake here) – deficiency in potassium can affect blood pressure, higher kidney stones risk, increased urinary calcium excretion, salt sensitivities, among other issues especially in patients that are taking medications that may interact with the mineral levels in the body.
- Magnesium: While this is a very common and available electrolyte, magnesium deficiency is also one of the top most common issues. Magnesium helps regulating calcium, potassium and used for over 300 different biochemical functions all throughout the body.
Our soil is unfortunately depleted of magnesium, resulting in poorer crops, while our gut health is also many times suffering and at a higher scale than how it happened in the past all due to the modern diet and improper food preparation.