Micronutrient Deficiencies Harmful Effects

Micronutrient Deficiencies Cause Significant Damage

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6 essential micronutrient deficiencies cause similar ailments within the human body. When a child or adult lacks multiple micronutrients at the same time, it could bring significant harm. Similar medical conditions between the 6 micronutrient deficiencies include trouble breathing, brain impairments, multiple pregnancy issues for mom and child, muscle issues, effect a child's growth and development, fertility issues, fatigue, diarrhea, and death. 

6 Essential Micronutrients

The 6 essential micronutrients include iron, vitamin A, vitamin D, iodine, folate, and zinc, which are very essential for the body even though they are not produced naturally, besides vitamin d, within the body (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). 

Iron deficiency can lead to anemia - making it difficult for your body to transport oxygen throughout your body, causing breathing issues and fatigue (Mayo Clinic). 

Lack of vitamin A can lead to blindness, major pregnancy issues in women including death, and cause an assortment of serious medical conditions and diseases in children including death (WHO). Children could die from diarrhea and the measles due to lack of vitamin A (Villamor, Eduardo, and Wafaie W. Fawzi). 

If your body is not getting enough vitamin D it can have an adverse effect on your bones and muscles causing hypocalcemia leading to hyperparathyroidism (Cleveland Clinic). Hypocalcemia is when calcium levels in the blood are low, causing issues in the body like muscle aches and muscle stiffness when unbound calcium levels are low (Lewis). Low levels of calcium cause the parathyroid glands to make more of the parathyroid hormone (PTH) and too much is hyperparathyroidism, which can cause loss of appetite, kidney stones, memory loss, confusion, and more (Delgado). 

Iodine deficiency can cause goiter, hypothyroidism, and issues with pregnancy (American Thyroid Association). A goiter is when your thyroid gets bigger possibly effecting your breathing, maybe causing a stiff neck, or symptoms such as weight gain, depression, and muscle cramps (UCSF Health). Our thyroid is included in the front of the neck. When it does not produce enough thyroid hormones it is called hypothyroidism which can cause a slowed heart rate, muscle pain, joint pain, weight gain, fatigue, fertility issues, and depression (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases). National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey datasets from 2003-2014 show a significant number of pregnant women were iodine deficient which effects the growth and development of the child and brings harm to the baby's brain function (National Institutes of Health). 

Folate deficiency includes fatigue, weakness, diarrhea, memory and cognitive issues, breathing issues, loss of appetite and more (NHS Choices). 

Zinc is a mineral and when the body lacks this mineral it causes changes to a persons skin, along with hair loss, diarrhea, loss of appetite, fertility issues, weight loss, and healing issues (Australia, Healthdirect). 


When your body is lacking multiple micronutrients, it causes significant damage to your body. The individual deficiencies are bad enough, however, when the deficiencies are combined together it brings significant harm to your body. 

Works Cited 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Micronutrient Facts.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30 Apr. 2018, www.cdc.gov/nutrition/micronutrient-malnutrition/micronutrients/index.html.

Mayo Clinic. “Iron Deficiency Anemia - Symptoms and Causes.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic, 18 Oct. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/iron-deficiency-anemia/symptoms-causes/syc-20355034.

WHO. “Vitamin a Deficiency.” Www.who.int, 2009, www.who.int/data/nutrition/nlis/info/vitamin-a-deficiency.

Villamor, Eduardo, and Wafaie W. Fawzi. “Effects of Vitamin a Supplementation on Immune Responses and Correlation with Clinical Outcomes.” Clinical Microbiology Reviews, vol. 18, no. 3, July 2005, pp. 446–64, doi:https://doi.org/10.1128/cmr.18.3.446-464.2005.

Cleveland Clinic. “Vitamin D Deficiency: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment.” Cleveland Clinic, 8 Feb. 2022, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15050-vitamin-d-vitamin-d-deficiency.

Lewis, James. “Hypocalcemia (Low Level of Calcium in the Blood).” Merck Manuals Consumer Version, Merck Manuals, 2018, www.merckmanuals.com/home/hormonal-and-metabolic-disorders/electrolyte-balance/hypocalcemia-low-level-of-calcium-in-the-blood.

Delgado, Amanda. “Hyperparathyroidism.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 21 June 2012, www.healthline.com/health/hyperparathyroidism.

American Thyroid Association. “Iodine Deficiency.” American Thyroid Association, 2016, www.thyroid.org/iodine-deficiency/.

UCSF Health. “Thyroid Nodules and Goiter.” Ucsfhealth.org, www.ucsfhealth.org/conditions/thyroid-nodules-goiter.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. “Hypothyroidism (Underactive Thyroid) | NIDDK.” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 7 July 2019, www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/endocrine-diseases/hypothyroidism.

National Institutes of Health. “Office of Dietary Supplements - Iodine.” Nih.gov, 2017, ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iodine-HealthProfessional/.

NHS Choices. “Symptoms - Vitamin B12 or Folate Deficiency Anaemia.” NHS, 23 May 2019, www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamin-b12-or-folate-deficiency-anaemia/symptoms/.

Australia, Healthdirect. “Zinc Deficiency.” Www.healthdirect.gov.au, 23 Apr. 2021, www.healthdirect.gov.au/zinc-deficiency.


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