Avitaminosis: the lack of vitamins

Avitaminosis is the total absence of vitamins in a person. However, this is rare. Thus, we can talk about hypovitaminosis, which is the partial lack of one of them in the organism.

Vitamins are necessary nutrients for our body. If a varied diet containing all food groups is not consumed It is relatively easy not to cover the recommended daily amounts.

Causes of avitaminosis

Our body needs relatively small amounts of vitamins. if we compare them with the amount of proteins or carbohydrates that we have to consume. However, many people do not receive enough vitamins.

Unbalanced diet with severe restrictions

Restrictive diets that suppress important nutrient groups can cause avitaminosis.

These types of diets prevent the contribution of minimum vitamin recommendations. It may be due to external food circumstances in the case of famines, droughts, war conflicts or refugee movements.

But it also originates due to self-imposed limitations: very strict diets without professional control, elimination of basic food groups for health, inadequate and maintained dietary habits over time, and so on.

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Increase in nutritional needs

This may be due, for example, to the period of breastfeeding, a rapid stage of development or a season of intense physical activity. The above may cause that, despite eating more or less similarly, some deficiency is generated, since they are situations where more vitamin content is needed.

Increase in vitamin absorption losses

This can become a problem if it is maintained over time. In addition, it is common in the case of pathologies that occur with chronic diarrhea, such as celiac disease, inflammatory bowel diseases or food intolerances.


As a study published in the medical journal points out American Journal of Public Health, This habit usually destroys part of vitamin C. Therefore, it is advisable to increase the consumption of this vitamin in smokers.


According to a publication in the International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research, Many patients with chronic alcoholism have malnutrition, either because they reduce the usual intake of essential nutrients or because Alcohol prevents proper digestion and absorption of vitamins.

The vitamins

Vitamins start up and stimulate practically all the biochemical activities of the organism, necessary for life and health.

The 13 essential vitamins are divided into two groups. One of them is the group of water-soluble or water-soluble vitamins, which they must be obtained daily, since they are rapidly excreted. And the other group are non-water soluble or fat soluble vitamins, which the body is able to store for weeks or months.

Avitaminosis of water-soluble vitamins

Vitamin C avitaminosis and other water-soluble vitamins can influence the development of different diseases that affect the quality of life.

  • Ascorbic acid or vitamin C: It can cause oral changes, dermatological and hair changes, and increased fractures. Scurvy is the syndrome that appears after a deficit of this vitamin.
  • Thiamine or Vitamin B1: its manifestations are varied include neurological, cardiovascular and psychiatric disorders. Beriberi and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome are clinical conditions that appear due to thiamine deficiency.
  • Riboflavin or vitamin B2: its low contribution triggers alterations in the mucous membranes, especially mouth and eyes. Swelling of the tongue, dry eyes or persistent tearing.
  • Niacin or vitamin B3: It involves symptoms such as gastrointestinal, dermatological and dementia. A disease called pellagra may appear.
  • Pantothenic acid or vitamin B5: can cause dermatological, digestive and neurological alterations.
  • Pyridoxine or vitamin B6: its deficit can cause anemia, and neurological, nervous and digestive problems.
  • Folic acid or vitamin B9: It can produce megaloblastic anemia and is essential for the maturation of the fetus.
  • Biotin or vitamin B8: seizures, alopecia, dermatitis and delayed psychomotor development may occur.
  • Cobalamin or vitamin B12: May cause pernicious anemia, neuromuscular or blood problems.

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Avitaminosis of fat-soluble vitamins

  • Vitamin A: It has a very important role in vision, which causes night blindness. It also damages the immune system.
  • Vitamin D: is one of the most frequent lacks. Important for bone health and reduce the risk of fractures.
  • Vitamin K: its deficiency causes hemorrhagic disease of the newborn and hemorrhages in adults.
  • Vitamin E: the main symptoms are hemolytic anemia and neurological deficits.

Therefore, to replace these deficiencies the most important thing is to consume a varied diet where all food groups are included. And in the case that they cannot be covered with food, you could opt for vitamin supplementation, as long as it is recommended by a professional.