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In the American population, there are five main categories of mineral deficiencies:
Calcium – This is common concern, especially in women as they get older. It is common for women to need supplements as they age. It is important in any case to eat plenty of leafy green vegetables. Some foods like cereals are fortified with calcium. It is very important to take calcium deficiency seriously, as in the long-term it can cause osteoporosis.
Iron – Iron deficiency is also very common, especially in the American diet. It is often under-supplied if you don’t get enough vegetables. The WHO estimates that 42% of children and 40% of pregnant have iron-deficiency anemia.
Magnesium – 60% of the magnesium in the body is in the bones, and 40% in the muscle and soft tissue. If you are otherwise healthy and have a good diet, it is unlikely you could have this. Some conditions, such as alcoholism, can cause deficiencies in magnesium.
Potassium – this mainly serves as a an electrolyte, allowing the nerve function of the muscles such as the heart. So getting enough potassium is obviously very important. The most likely way one can get a potassium deficiency is through the loss of too much fluid, usually through vomiting or urination.
Zinc – This has a large function in metabolism, such as protein and DNA synthesis and immune system function. If you are deficient, you may lose appetite, or your sense of smell and taste. Whole grains and legumes are a good way to get zinc.
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