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5 Common Nutrient Deficiencies (and What to Do About Them)
Posted By Mark Sisson On April 19, 2012 @ 8:00 am In Health,Supplements | 176 Comments
If the Primal way of eating  is so healthy, why am I writing a post on common nutrient deficiencies? Well, mostly because you asked. For months now, I’ve received emails from Mark’s Daily Apple readers asking about iodine, selenium, magnesium and other vitamins and minerals, so I figured it’s about time to highlight these key nutrients, explain how and why some people find themselves deficient and provide my opinion as to what they can do about it.
I also wrote this article to make the point that quitting grains , legumes , seed oils , and sugar  is just part of the equation. There’s a whole lot more to healthy eating than just deciding what not to eat. You also have to be mindful of the things you do eat, and – hopefully – those things will be incredibly nutritious.
Consider this post your guide to avoiding some of the most common nutrient deficiencies. Let’s jump right in…
Iodine is a trace mineral with big implications for our health, especially of the thyroid. Although most assume deficiency is relegated to developing nations , recent research has found deficiency in places like the UK  and France .
RDA is 150 micrograms. Seaweed-eating Japanese populations often get upwards of 12.5 milligrams (or 12,500 micrograms) per day, while the general Japanese population gets beween 1-3 mg per day . 150 mcg should be the bare minimum, and if you’re feeling any of the deficiency symptoms, consider increasing your intake. Paul Jaminet  recommends starting low (500 mcg/day) and slowly increasing intake by doubling every month. As I mentioned here , you’ll also want to make sure you’re getting enough selenium (see below) before increasing iodine intake. If you stick to food sources, you’re not in much danger of going overboard.
While severe selenium deficiency in adults is pretty rare, minor deficiency is easy to get and can have some unpleasant effects on our health.
200 mcg appears to be the safe supplemental dose, but there’s very little evidence of selenium toxicity from a diet high in selenium rich foods , so that Brazil nut-encrusted salmon kidney in shiitake/crimini mushroom sauce with a turkey egg omelet should be safe.
Ah, magnesium. Everyone touts its importance, and yet few seem to get enough through diet. In fact, most research suggests that only around half of US adults reach the RDA , with low intakes being linked to type 2 diabetes , metabolic syndrome, osteoporosis, heart disease, asthma, and colon cancer.
400 milligrams daily is the minimum, I’d say. Aim to get it from food if possible.
Most people haven’t even heard of vitamin K2 . Is it any surprise that they might be a bit deficient, too?
It’s tough to say. Studies on osteoporosis and heart disease use rather large doses (45 mg/day) without ill effect, but the amount you’d get from food is far lower – maybe 1 mg, max.
According to Chris Kresser, vitamin B12 deficiency is quite common , even among those who eat plenty of the richest source of B12: animals.
If you eat animal products regularly and liver occasionally, you’ll be getting plenty of B12 in your diet. No need to supplement if you have none of the symptoms listed above. But if you have some of the symptoms, or you have a gastrointestinal disorder that may be compromising your ability to absorb vitamin B12, consider getting your levels tested during your next visit to the doctor. In that case, Chris recommends 1 mg/day of sublingual methylcobalamin , which will bypass the intestinal tract and pass directly into the bloodstream.
Do any of these sound familiar? Are you getting enough of these nutrients? I hope so, and if not, now you know how. And if there are any other nutrients you’ve been wondering about, let me know in the comments and maybe I can get a sequel going. Thanks for reading, folks.
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 relegated to developing nations: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22473332
 UK: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21640375
 France: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22468941
 Iodine: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/iodine-deficiency/
 PDF: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=iodine%20deficiency%20during%20pregnancy%20cretinism&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mdpi.com%2F2072-6643%2F3%2F2%2F265%2Fpdf&ei=1DWPT7K0JeLniALo9ISPAw&usg=AFQjCNFzcbm0kZRJ9TPFtSVSzSISKQz4yw&sig2=U2X5a15-NoFyDPragx281w
 due to absorption from atmospheric iodine: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0883292790900103
 fish: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/introduction-fish-farming-aquaculture/
 shellfish: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/types-of-shellfish/#axzz1sThwcHGk
 Japanese analysis of commonly eaten fish: http://wholefoodcatalog.info/nutrient/iodine/fishes_and_shellfishes/high/
 PDF: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=nature%20and%20availability&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CDAQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.2ndchance.info%2FlowIodine-Harrison1965.pdf&ei=ikyPT97yMsKYiAKl1ezLAw&usg=AFQjCNFtJDfz3nIKNf3lh40VOb0ARkD4SQ&sig2=zLhpueO9hVToPgV0M56rHw
 seaweed: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/a-visual-guide-to-sea-vegetables/
 bones: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/cooking-with-bones/
 PDF: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=iodine%20yolk&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CC4QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fvri.cz%2Fdocs%2Fvetmed%2F51-3-93.pdf&ei=E02PT6rNI-zciALXytmBAw&usg=AFQjCNEUM1Ep10pvLuuCW2B20Ll433h-lQ&sig2=MGl3gNPQnw77Cpo99Ilxqg
 Lugol’s solution: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001AEFM9Y/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=marsdaiapp07-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B001AEFM9Y
 Iodoral: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000X843VG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=marsdaiapp07-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000X843VG
 Iosol: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000X5XMVQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=marsdaiapp07-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000X5XMVQ
 gets beween 1-3 mg per day: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21975053
 Paul Jaminet: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/
 here: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/dear-mark-glucosamine-chondroitin-and-msm-iodine-for-thyroid/#axzz1sRRDuDAa
 supports efficient thyroid hormone synthesis: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12487769
 Selenium deficiency symptoms look an awful lot like the side effects of statins: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(04)15739-5/fulltext
 map: http://tin.er.usgs.gov/geochem/doc/averages/se/usa.html
 reduce the absorption of selenium from foods: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9829360?dopt=Abstract
 one or two a day are enough to improve selenium status: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18258628
 salmon: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/salmon-factory-farm-vs-wild/
 kidneys: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/6-sneaky-ways-to-work-offal-into-your-diet/
 lamb: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/lamb/
 shrimp: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/a-quick-guide-to-shrimp/
 selenium toxicity from a diet high in selenium rich foods: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21856002
 only around half of US adults reach the RDA: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22364157
 type 2 diabetes: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/diabetes/
 Insulin resistance: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8505087
 Migraines: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8792038
 Restless leg syndrome: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9703590
 Cramping: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12011773
 Hypertension: http://hyper.ahajournals.org/content/13/3/227.abstract
 Fibromyalgia: http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/2012/02/magnesium-deficiency-and-fibromyalgia.html
 magnesium soil content map: http://tin.er.usgs.gov/geochem/doc/averages/mg/usa.html
 leafy greens: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/why-you-should-eat-leafy-greens/
 Grok: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/about-2/who-is-grok/
 seeds: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/quick-guide-edible-seeds/
 dark chocolate: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/why-you-should-eat-and-drink-high-cacao-dark-chocolate/
 halibut: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/halibut-snapper-and-shrimp-ceviche/
 find a spring nearby: http://www.findaspring.com/
 transdermal: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transdermal
 vitamin K2: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/vitamin-k2/
 Arterial calcification: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18722618?ordinalpos=30&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum%20%20http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15514282?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=1&log$=relatedarticles&logdbfrom=pubmed
 fermentation: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/fermented-foods-health/
 cheese: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/cheese-unhealthy/
 high-vitamin butter oil: http://www.amazon.com/Pastures-X-Factor-High-vitamin-Non-gelatin-Capsules/dp/B002LZDQD0/ref=sr_1_4?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1334825608&sr=1-4
 Thorne MK-4 drops: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FGWDTK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=marsdaiapp07-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000FGWDTK
 Life Extension: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004GW4S0G/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=marsdaiapp07-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B004GW4S0G
 vitamin B12 deficiency is quite common: http://chriskresser.com/b12-deficiency-a-silent-epidemic-with-serious-consequences
 diarrhea: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21560464
 sublingual methylcobalamin: http://www.amazon.com/Source-Naturals-MethylCobalamin-Flavored-Sublingual/dp/B001G7R8J2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1334825392&sr=8-2
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