Many nutrients are important for good overall health. Most of them the body gets from certain foods. However, the typical American diet — which consists of a lot of grains, sugar, and saturated fats and not enough fruits and vegetables — is low in certain vitamins and minerals that are essential for many body functions.
A nutrition report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that nearly 10% of the U.S. population has nutrition deficiencies. The common nutritional deficiencies vary by age, gender, and race/ethnicity and could be as high as a third of certain population groups.
There are a number of reasons the body may not be getting enough nutrients. Health problems such as kidney or celiac disease can hinder the absorption of crucial vitamins and minerals. This can be a side effect of certain medications, too, or the result of a restrictive diet, such as veganism. And some common foods are just not as healthy as people think.
While a consistently healthy diet is usually enough to supply the body with the nutrients it needs to function at its best, some people may need a higher amount of certain vitamins for body development and the prevention of diseases, depending on age and overall health. Nutritional deficiencies can lead to conditions such as anemia, scurvy, rickets.