During the winter, due to prolonged cold weather, a small amount of sun, and a shortage of fresh berries and vegetables, our body’s reserves are depleted. As a result, in early spring, many people feel unwell: weakness, depressed mood, and drowsiness appear, there is a decrease in concentration and memory impairment, deterioration of the skin, hair, nails, bleeding gums, poorly healing cracks in the corners of the mouth, and sometimes even cramps, muscle pain, and poor coordination.

It is customary to explain such symptoms as vitamin deficiency, but in fact, this disease (a severe form of vitamin deficiency) is quite rare. What happens to the body in the spring, it is more correct to call “hypovitaminosis” – this is a reversible condition caused by incomplete satisfaction of vitamin needs. In order to establish metabolic processes in the body, you need not only a sufficient amount of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, but also a supply of vitamins, micro- and macroelements – metabolism catalysts.

Symptoms of spring vitamin deficiency

How do you know if you are vitamin deficient? First, you can do a blood test that will show which vitamins should be added to the diet. And secondly, our body itself can show us what exactly it lacks. There are many symptoms of vitamin deficiency (1), the most common of them are:

Depending on which vitamin is lacking in the body, other additional symptoms may appear. The presence of even two signs from this list signals the need for an operational fight against progressive spring vitamin deficiency.

Groups of vitamins and what they affect

The human body is practically unable to synthesize vitamins or even accumulate many of them. Only vitamins A, D, E, and B12 can be retained in the body in small amounts. “Good” gut microbiota can synthesize some vitamin-like substances, but most vitamins are supplied to the body from outside – with food or with the help of special nutritional supplements.

At the same time, a lack of vitamins can have a very serious impact on health and well-being, so it is important to correctly build a diet in order to eliminate the lack of certain substances in the body.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, that prevents ageing of the body, improves the healing of damaged tissues, prevents the development of atherosclerosis, improves immunity and performance (2). With its lack, the synthesis of collagen is disrupted, which leads to an increase in the permeability of the vascular wall, which means the development of bleeding (uterine, nasal, gastrointestinal). In addition, efficiency decreases, weakness, irritability, and iron deficiency anemia may appear. Our body does not accumulate vitamin C, so it is recommended to regularly eat foods containing it or take supplements.

Vitamins B (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12) are actively involved in the functioning of the nervous system, in the processes of tissue regeneration, in the synthesis and metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, and ensure the process of hematopoiesis (3). Lack of B vitamins can cause disorders of the central nervous system and gastrointestinal tract, anemia, inflammation, skin lesions, headache, and nausea. 

Folic acid is involved in the division of all cells and hematopoiesis. It is necessary for the formation of DNA of many biologically active substances. With a deficiency of folic acid, not only hemoglobin and red blood cells decrease (which can lead to anemia) but also white blood cells and blood platelets (4). Due to its lack, the digestive organs are affected: inflammation of the tongue, esophagus, and stomach, a decrease in gastric secretion, and dyspepsia may occur. 

Vitamin A (retinol) is necessary for the growth, development, and regeneration of tissues, maintaining the activity of the immune system, and ensuring good vision (5). A lack of vitamin A leads to damage to the skin (dryness, keratinization, predisposition to furunculosis) and respiratory tract (prone to runny nose, bronchitis), and a decrease in resistance to infections. 

Vitamin D accelerates the absorption of calcium in the intestines and its deposition in bone tissue improves immunity (6). The initial symptoms of D-hypovitaminosis are sleep disturbance and irritability. This condition can occur due to insufficient sun exposure, as well as a lack of calcium and phosphorus. 

Vitamin E has an antioxidant effect, reduces the formation of blood clots, prevents the development of atherosclerosis of blood vessels (7). With hypovitaminosis E, muscle weakness, decreased erection in men, increased risk of miscarriage in women, visual impairment, and damage to the nervous system are observed. In addition to vitamins, other substances affect the normal functioning of all body systems – micro-, macronutrients, trace elements. They are also involved in the assimilation of food, the regulation of functions, the implementation of the processes of growth, adaptation, and development of the body. For example, zinc is important for immunity, growth, and fertility, iron helps naturally build muscle and support the process of blood formation (8).

Other causes of hypovitaminosis and poor absorption of substances

Except for spring, there can be other causes of hypovitaminosis (9):

Who needs to take vitamins?

Although the range of fruits and berries in stores is quite diverse, their health benefits are questionable. After all, they all undergo pre-treatment for long-term storage, cover long distances, as a result of which they lose most of their useful properties. So different supplements are the best choice to fulfil organism with vitamins and minerals

Some people benefit from certain supplements on a short-term or long-term basis, but this does not apply to everyone, and in some cases, supplements can do much more harm than good. So how do we know if we need it?

Nutrients that are at increased risk of deficiency in the general population include iron, calcium, vitamin D, folate, and vitamin B12 (for those who follow a vegan diet). People who may find it helpful to take supplements include:

How to choose perfect vitamins?

Of course, it is difficult to find the perfect vitamin supplements. Especially since often vitamins are almost not absorbed or are of poor quality, or too expensive … But there are several good complexes of vitamins, minerals, polyphenols, and antioxidants that can be used in combination or alone, depending on needs.

Neotosil®

Neotosil® is an innovative dietary supplement with a complex of bioavailable polyphenols and bioactive vitamins. It contains Vitamin C, alpha-lipoic acid, beta-glucan (from yeast), quercetin, beta carotene, curcumin, resveratrol, Vitamin E, B12 vitamins, the bioactive form of folic acid, plant and herbal extracts (Triphala churna, chokeberry, and moringa). The combination of vitamins, polyphenols, and nutrients has been specially designed for the needs of modern man, who is daily exposed to various stressors that reduce natural resistance and immune system function and accelerate degenerative processes.A diet enriched with powerful antioxidants in the form of vitamins and polyphenols can help prevent damage to health caused by stress in the form of silent inflammation and have a positive effect on the regeneration of the intestinal mucosa (10). Neotosil® is targeted to help reduce oxidative stress, reduce fatigue and exhaustion, and normal psychological functioning. Polyphenols, herbal extracts, and vitamins in Neotosil® synergistically support cells and cellular processes in exactly the places where it is most needed to maintain health (11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16).

Premium Asta Omega-3®

Premium Asta Omega 3® – is a pure sustainable source of omega 3 fatty acids (ECOC and DHK) for the whole family. Premium Asta Omega-3® is also the highest quality oil. It is obtained from freshly caught fish from sustainably certified catches, tested for heavy metal content (17). All this ensures the highest purity of the product and the best taste, rounded off with the natural essence of lemon. In Premium Asta Omega-3® oil, producers have maintained the form of natural triglycerides that the body uses immediately and easily. Also, it contains Astaxanthin, a red-colored xanthophyll carotenoid, has a strong antioxidant capacity and can scavenge singlet oxygen and free radicals, thus preventing lipid peroxidation (18).

Immunostar®

Immunostar® as an all-in-one capsule immune defence is effective for both prophylactic use and treatment of a variety of viral diseases, giving special support against respiratory infections. The combined use of vitamins C and D3 and Zinc is effective for maintaining immune defences and faster recovery in the case of vitamin deficiency or different inflammatory or virus diseases. Together, Vitamins C and D3 and Zinc provide our body with powerful protection against viruses and other pathogens, oxidative stress (due to antioxidant capabilities), help to regulate the immune response and the activity of the inflammatory process (19, 20, 21).Also, Immunostar® helps to alleviate symptoms in Covid-19, reduce the severity and duration of the disease. Due to its components, Immunostar® may have a significant impact in counteracting the immune-suppressive activity of SARS-CoV-2 and may attenuate several aspects of the host’s excessive immune response against this pathogen (22).

Prevention of vitamin deficiency 

To avoid all the “charms” of vitamin deficiency in the spring, it is recommended to be attentive to your diet during the winter and in early spring and use different vitamin supplements. Vitamins must be consumed regularly because most of these useful substances cannot be accumulated for the future.

So, lead a healthy lifestyle, have a complete diet and vitamin deficiency will not be terrible for you!

Dr. Oksana Klymenko M.D., PhD, 
SNHS Dip. (Holistic Nutrition), Medical Doctor, Researcher in the fields 
of molecular physiology and pathophysiology, 
molecular biology, genetics, cell biology

References

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