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Micronutrients in Health and Disease

Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals that are needed in small amounts for optimal health. There are 28 essential vitamins and minerals that play key roles in the body. Many, such as vitamins C and E, act as antioxidants.

Although vitamin deficiency diseases, such as scurvy and pellagra, are no longer common in developed countries, less obvious deficiencies may be common. Recent studies show that many Americans take in less than the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for many micronutrients, such as zinc, folic acid, vitamin D, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12.

Insufficient micronutrient intake has short–term and long–term health consequences. For example, the immune system is weakened by poor intakes of nearly every essential vitamin and mineral, and a lack of nutrients that are required for DNA function may increase the risk for certain cancers.

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Micronutrients: Common Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency States >>