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10 Best Kitchen Garden Herbs

Herbs are the plants with aromatic properties which can be used for flavouring and garnishing and for medicinal purposes.  The culinary uses of herbs mark its importance in almost all the cooking styles, either its, Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Italian, Spanish or Latin cuisines. It uses vary with different geographies.

The herbs are not equally used across the globe. The farming of herbs depends upon geographical significance of the specific herb. However, some of the herbs which have wide range of utility in culinary can be grown in kitchen garden which ensures the freshness quality and accessibility of the herbs.

The utility of herbs is multipurpose, one single herb can be used for different purposes. It can be used for culinary purposes and at the same time it may serve some medicinal purposes. Prolonged and controlled uses of herbs are known to boost our immunity and repels several viral and bacterial infections.

Best Home-Grown Herbs

The best herbs which can be grown in home with their culinary and medicinal properties are illustrated below: 

Mint

There are several varieties of mints are available in the nature with variable menthol concentration. Peppermint contains the highest concentrations of menthol followed by other varieties of min. The most commonly available variety is spearmint having leaves like spear. It is used in mojitos, and several mocktails, salads, biryani, flavoured rice however, it is widely used as mouth freshener and mint tea.

Medicinal Properties: helps in relieving headaches, bowel movement regulation and digestion.

It is an invasive species and grows in uncontrolled manner if supplied with enough nutrients and water. It easily grows on the banks of small water bodies.

Basil

Basil is considered as very popular herb in many cuisines. It has several varieties like broad leaf Italian basil or large purple sweet basil; it can be used in cooking pasta, pizzas, salads and sauces. The Indian basil which has small and purple leaves are often used for flavouring the food however it has more uses as medicinal plants. As per Hindu mythology, Indian basil or Tulsi is considered as holy and worshiped as goddess due to its incredible medicinal properties. It is available in almost all the houses in India.

Medicinal Properties: It acts as antioxidants and helps in relieving free radicals from the body. It prevents against low blood sugar, relieving cold and cough and boosts immunity.

Coriander

 Coriander is also known as cilantro which is the most used herb in Indian cooking. It is used for garnishing, seasoning, salads, sauces and dips. In addition to Indian cooking its also been widely used in Mexican, Chinese and South-Asian cuisines. In general, it is grown in specific season however, current shifts in business paradigm and technological advancement makes it available across all the seasons.

Medicinal Properties: It may help in lowering blood sugar, bowel movements, digestions and immunity boosting. 

Lemon Grass

Lemon grass have strong lemon flavour which is used for brewing tea and as an herb for seasoning. Lemon grass can also be used as ingredients for cooking lemony flavour food like lemon rice. It can be grown outside as well as inside however indoor grown lemon grass stalks are smaller than outside. Apart from kitchen uses it have very distinctive medicinal properties.

Medicinal Properties: It provides antioxidants to the body and helps in relieving free radicals and prevents against cancer and eye inflammation.

Rosemary

Rosemary is rich in aroma and flavour which urges its presence in cooking of poultry, meat, fish and vegetables. It can also be used for brewing tea because of its medicinal properties. Rosemary grows like bushes which can be transplanted during spring season. Because of its fragrance it can be used for floral decorations. It grows on relatively drier soil and excess watering may damage the plant.

Medicinal Properties: It acts as antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, improved metabolism and prevents against neurological ageing and cancers.

Chamomile

Chamomile is widely used as ingredients to herbal tea in United States and Europe due to its medicinal significance. It is one of the most widely used herbal tea in the world. The most popular varieties of chamomile are German chamomile and Roman chamomile. The uses of these varieties are interchangeable however they are grown in different fashion.

Medicinal Properties: Traditionally chamomile have been used as settling stomach and nerve calming. It is also used in ailments like hay, fever, gastrointestinal disorders, inflammation, muscle spasm insomnia and many more.

Bay Leaves

Bay leaves are known for its aromatic flavours which can be added in slow-cooked cuisines like, soup, stews and sauces and removed once the flavour is absorbed. There are different varieties of bay leaves are available such as Turkish bay leaves which is native to Mediterranean region and California bay leaves. Some bay leaves are grown as shrubs however Indian bay leaf can be a full-grown tree.  It can be used either as fresh or dried leaves.

Medicinal Properties: Sweet bay leaves are used to treat gastrointestinal disorders cancer and catalysts for bile flow.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is the most widely used herb present in everyone’s kitchen garden. It is known for its soothing properties against burns and skin problems. The are more than 250 varieties of aloe vera and most of it are native to Africa. It contains almost 95% of the water which makes it vulnerable in extreme cold and frosts. Apart from soothing properties it has other medicinal uses which makes it consumables in the form of aloe vera juice.

Medicinal Properties: It acts as soothing agent against burn and rashes, helps in digestion and blood circulation, antioxidants, prevents diabetes induced ulcers.

Parsley

The most common use of parsley is garnishing of food. The curly green parsley has bitter flavour which facilitates balancing of flavours in slow cooked food like stews. Parsley can be grown along the year but in moderate climates it may remain evergreen. In addition to its culinary uses it can also be used for its medicinal properties.

Medicinal Properties: It helps in improving digestion and treating bladder infections, kidney stones, GI disorders, cough and asthma.

Celery

Green celery stalks are rich source of fibre and can be used as low-calorie snacks. It is commonly used as ingredient to salad and detoxification drinks. It is very rich in aroma and flavour which makes it difficult to consume sometimes however it can be consumed along with other ingredients to subtle its aroma. Along with its culinary uses it cam also be used for its medicinal attributes. 

Medicinal Properties: It has antioxidant properties and can also be used to prevent indigestion due to its high fibre content, inflammation and rich source of vitamin and minerals.

The herbs which can easily be grown have wide range of utilities. It can be used as culinary ingredients and well as for its medicinal properties and since it can be grown in kitchen garden its availability is round the clock. However, it may have harmful side effects if consumed in large quantities and it may require medical interventions. “Stay Fit Stay Healthy”.

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Why Sulphur is Essential to Health……?

Sulphur is an essential mineral naturally found in many of the food items. It is quintessential ingredient for the synthesis of protein. Protein contains ~3-6% of sulphur. Sulphur based amino acid like methionine and cysteine are responsible for synthesis of protein in the body.  

Sulphur smells like rotten egg and similar odour is observed during burning of hair which indicates the presence of sulphur in hair. In addition to protein synthesis sulphur is responsible for metabolism intermediaries like glutathione.

Functions of Sulphur

Sulphur works as cofactor for various proteins and regulates the synthesis of protein in the body. It actively participates in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and protein. Sulphur deficiency leads to disruption of protein synthesis in the body and in result affects different part of the body.

What is Sulphur Deficiency?

Sulphur deficiency is very common, and we often ignore that fact. It is caused by prolonged deprivation of sulphur rich diet. However, it can also be caused by the malabsorption of sulphur due to preexisting health conditions like gastrointestinal disorders, renal failure, diabetes and prolonged alcoholism.   

Sulphur deficiency leads to the health conditions like impaired protein synthesis, metabolism and Gi disorders, Alzheimer, cardiovascular disease. 

Causes of Sulphur Deficiency

The condition of sulphur deficiency can be developed due to various factors. Some of the major cause have been illustrated below:

  • Inadequate Diet: The long-term deprivation of sulphur rich diet is the common cause of its deficiency. The major source of sulphur is animal produce.  It may be inaccessible to various groups and may cause its deficiency. It is very much evident in South-Asian and African countries. 
  • Unavailability of Nutritious Food: Soils from different geographies have different composition. Soil deficient in sulphur may produce sulphur deficient agricultural produce. It caused by the overexploitation of fields and can be rectified by providing phosphate rich fertilisers and fortified seeds. 
  • GI Disorders: Majority of the sulphur forms part of protein in the body. It is directly linked with the synthesis of protein in the body which are necessary for the metabolism. Gastrointestinal disorders affect the absorption of protein in the body and hence affects the metabolism.     

Studies have found out that controlled intake of sulphur helps in its absorption however, excess of Sulphur intake leads to its excretion through urine. 

Symptoms of Sulphur Deficiency 

The common symptoms of sulphur deficiency include:

  • Joint pains
  • Acne
  • Fragile nails and hair
  • Convulsions
  • Depression
  • Memory loss
  • Rashes
  • Impaired wound healing 

Health Risks due to Low Sulphur

  • Impaired Metabolism: Sulphur is key to the amino acid glutathione which acts as metabolism intermediaries. Sulphur deficiency will cause low concentration of glutathione in the body and may adversely affect the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Insufficient sulphur contents may cause GI disorders in severe case. 
  • Protein Synthesis: Sulphur acts as cofactor for protein synthesiser amino acids like methionine and cysteine. These proteins are essential element for the protein synthesis and its deficiency can lead to insufficient protein in the body which may have multidimensional impact on functionality of the body. 
  • Cardiovascular Diseases: Protein forms the core of the human cells and it can be damaged in case of protein imbalance in the body. Sulphur deficiency causes protein insufficiency which may lead to heart cell damage.  
  • Alzheimer: Severe sulphur deficiency may lead to irreversible brain cell damage and cause loss of memory. Several studies found out that sulphur deficiency may cause Alzheimer however, further study is required on the same.  

Tests for Sulphur Deficiency

Sulphur measurement (total and free) is done through the urine test.  The sulphation of renal tubular proteins depends upon the presence of sulphur in the body.   

  • Urine Test: Sulphur have very wide range of functionality and its absorption and excretion of excess concentration depends upon the concentration of sulphur in the body. The renal tabular proteins which is sulphur dependent, regulates renal excretion. It measures the total and free sulphur. 

Ideally, we don’t require any precautions before the teat however, we should stop any sort of medications which might interfere with the concentrations of sulphur in the body.

Remedies of Sulphur Deficiency 

  • Sulphur Supplements: The clinical remedies of sulphur deficiency are to take sulphur supplements. If you are diagnosed with severe Sulphur deficiency, you should consider medical supplements under supervision of doctors. As higher Sulphur may have side effects.
  • Sulphur Rich Diet: The simple way to prevent sulphur deficiency is inclusion of sulphur rich food items in daily diet. Some of the sulphur rich food items are like Meat, poultry, fish, seafood, legumes, onion, garlic, sprouts, egg.
  • Fortified Food Items: Several agricultural lands across the globe are poor in micronutrients which produces nutrient deficient food items. It can be overcome by using sulphur rich fertilisers and fortified seeds. 
  • Vitamin D Rich Diet: Moderate sulphur deficiency can also be cured by consuming vitamin D rich food items along with sunlight. Some of the food items rich in vitamin D are Salmon, tuna, mackerel, fish oil, milk and cheese.

Prevention of Sulphur Deficiency

It is often said that “Prevention is better than Cure” and indeed this is very much true with reference to micronutrient deficiencies. Sulphur deficiency can be prevented through consumption of Sulphur rich diet.

Food items rich in sulphur:

  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Seafood
  • Legumes
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Sprouts
  • Egg

Food items rich in Vitamin D:

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Mackerel
  • Fish oil
  • Milk 
  • Milk Products

Adequate Intake (>19 yrs.):

Simple way to prevent Sulphur deficiencies is to maintain recommended daily intakes. The intakes of sulphur vary with the different age groups however, the recommended daily intake of sulphur has not yet reached the consensus.

Sulphur is essential for the synthesis of proteins and make cells healthier. It also plays key role in metabolism and renal functions. Its deficiency may lead to cell damage which may affect different parts of the body differently. 

Although Sulphur deficiency has several ill effects, it can be treated with the right consultation and medical supplements as prescribed by medical experts however, high concentration of sulphur may be deadly. The best possible way to avoid these complications by consuming sulphur and vitamin D rich diet.  

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Selenium and its Role in Human Health

Selenium is an essential trace mineral required for normal function of the body and metabolism. Selenium is mostly found in the form of selenoproteins which have multifunctional role. Its daily requirement to human body is minimal however excessive amount may lead to selenium toxicity. Selenium deficiency may lead to several health conditions like, cardiovascular disease, impaired immunity and metabolism, infertility and cognitive decline. 

Functions of Selenium

The available form of selenium in human body is selenoproteins which is essential for the proper functioning of the body. Selenium acts as cofactor to the enzymes responsible for deiodination of thyroid hormone. It also cats as antioxidants and crucial in expulsion of free radicals from the body. In addition to this selenium deficiency affects the immunity system and progression of HIV to AIDS.

What is Selenium Deficiency?

Selenium deficiency is caused by the prolonged deprivation of selenium intake which may primarily be caused by unavailability of selenium rich diet and secondly, the malabsorption due to presence of certain health conditions like phenylketonuria & gastrointestinal disorders.  

Selenium works as antioxidants along with vitamin E to remove free radicals from the body. Its deficiency can cause impaired immunity, impaired wound healing and very rare disorders like Keshan disease and Kashin-Beck disease.

Causes of Selenium Deficiency

The condition of selenium deficiency can be developed due to various factors. Some of the major cause have been illustrated below:

  • Inadequate Diet: The long-term deprivation of selenium rich diet is the common cause of its deficiency. The major source of selenium is animal produce that rely on selenium rich plant diet. The availability of selenium rich food item is scarce in certain regions. 
  • Unavailability of Nutritious Food: Selenium deficient soil can be another cause of availability of selenium deficient food item. It occurs in different geographies and can be resolved with selenium rich fertilisers and fortified seeds.
  • GI Disorders: Selenium is mostly stored in in the form of protein. However, its absorption is affected by the gastrointestinal surgeries like bariatric surgeries. It can also be cause by the small intestine tract infections.

In addition to the major causes mentioned above, selenium deficiency can also be caused by the phenylketonuria.

Symptoms of Selenium Deficiency 

The common symptoms of Selenium deficiency include:

  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Hair loss
  • Infertility
  • Impaired Immunity
  • Thyroid

Health Risks due to Low Selenium

  • Keshan Disease: Keshan disease is associated with selenium deficiency. It is very rare heart disease which causes hear failure, heart enlargement, abnormal electrocardiograph, heart rate abnormalities and even cardia shock. It is generally observed in pregnant women and children with morbidity rate of more than 50%.
  • Impaired Thyroid Regulation: Selenium acts as cofactors of the enzymes responsible for deiodination. The conversion of inactive thyroid (T4) to active thyroid (T3) depends upon the presence of selenium in the body. 
  • Impaired Immunity: Selenium deficiency compromises the immunity. It can lead to immune deficiency diseases like AIDS and. Impaired wound healing and frequent infections are another outcome of selenium deficiency.  
  • Free Radicals: The metabolism activity constantly releases free radicals due to oxidation however, in can be removed by the presence of micronutrients with antioxidants properties. Selenium works in the association of vitamin in removing free radicals from the body. 
  • Male Infertility: Selenium is essential for biosynthesis of testosterone in the body and affects the production of normal sperm. Large concentration of selenium is present in testicular tissues and its deficiency affects male fertility.
  • Cognitive Impairment: It has been observed that selenium deficiency may lead to very rare cognitive disorders like Kashin-Beck disease.

The effect of selenium with reference to cancer is being studied however there is not much success in this field.

Tests for Selenium Deficiency

Selenium is the trace mineral present in body. It is mainly available as cofactor with several proteins and enzymes. 

  • Glutathione Peroxidase: It’s very difficult to diagnose selenium deficiency because there isn’t any test available for it. However, in several cases the level of glutathione peroxidase, a selenoproteins is measured to identify the deficiency of selenium.

However other indirect methods like scalp hair and nails are used for the identification of selenium deficiency.  These methods are more convenient than the serum test.

Remedies of Selenium Deficiency 

  • Selenium Supplements: The clinical remedies of selenium deficiency are to take selenium supplements. If you are diagnosed with severe Selenium deficiency, you should consider medical supplements under supervision of doctors. As higher Selenium may lead to selenium toxicity.
  • Selenium Rich Diet: The simple way to prevent selenium deficiency is intake selenium rich food items in daily diet. Some of the selenium rich food items are nuts, sardines, ham, pork, beef, turkey, chicken, fish, shellfish, and eggs.
  • Fortified Food Items: Several agricultural lands across the globe are poor in micronutrients which produces nutrient deficient food items. It can be overcome by selenium rich fertilizers and fortified seeds. 

Prevention of Selenium Deficiency

It is often said that “Prevention is better than Cure” and indeed this is very much true with reference to micronutrient deficiencies. Selenium deficiency can be prevented through consumption of Selenium rich diet.

Food items rich in selenium:

  • Nuts
  • Sardines
  • Ham
  • Pork
  • Beef
  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Eggs
  • Seeds
  • Mushroom

 Adequate Intake (>19 yrs.):

Simple way to prevent Selenium deficiencies is to maintain recommended daily intakes. The intakes of selenium vary with the different age groups however, the recommended daily intake of selenium for an adult is 400 micrograms.

Selenium is essential trace mineral require to performs multifactorial roles for the proper function of the body. It acts as cofactor for several proteins and enzymes responsible for regulating endocrine system, male fertility and improved immunity. Selenium deficiency causes rare diseases like Keshan which is related to function of heart and Kashin-Beck disease which is associate with cognitive impairment.  

Although Selenium deficiency has several ill effects, it can be treated with the right consultation and medical supplements as prescribed by medical experts however, high concentration of selenium may be deadly. The best possible way to avoid these complications by consuming adequate amount of Selenium as per RDA through various Selenium rich diet.

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Why Copper is Essential for Human Health……?

Copper and its benefits have been recorded throughout the past and even now we prefer to drink water from copper utensils. It is a naturally occurring element which is essential for development and functioning of the body. Copper is a trace mineral which is heavily involved in the oxidation process of the body. The presence of copper deficiency is very common, and it can occur in different forms like anaemia, neutropenia, myelopathy, neuropathy and genetic disorders like Menkes.

Functions of Copper

Copper is present is in proteins and almost all the body copper is associated with proteins. Adequacy of copper concentration in body is required for the proper functioning of other vitamins like B12 and minerals such as zinc and iron. 

Copper deficiency may lead to connective tissues issues, impaired bone calcification, myelopathy and neuropathy. These health conditions are mainly due to acquired deficiency however, inherited deficiency is caused by the Menkes a rare form of genetic disorder.  

What is Copper Deficiency?

Clinical evidences of acquired copper deficiency can be caused by the inadequate consumption of copper in our daily intake it can be food item or drinking through copper utensils. It can also be caused by the malabsorption of copper due to several health conditions like gastrointestinal surgeries, sprue, cystic fibrosis. 

Another form of copper deficiency is inherited deficiency which is caused by Menkes. It occurs in male infants who inherit mutant X-linked gene. It is very rare, and the possibility of its occurrence is 1 in 250,000 live births.  

Causes of Copper Deficiency

The condition of copper deficiency can be developed due to various factors. Some of the major cause have been illustrated below:

  • Inadequate Diet: The long-term deprivation of copper rich diet is the common cause of its deficiency. In children it is caused by the low consumption of protein rich diet. The major source of copper are fruits, nuts and vegetables which are unavailable to certain groups of people. This condition is very much common in South-Asian and African countries than developed countries.
  • Unavailability of Nutritious Food: Copper deficient soil can be another cause of availability of copper deficient food item. It occurs in different geographies and can be resolved with fortified seeds.
  • GI Disorders: Copper is mostly stored in in the form of protein. However, its absorption is affected by the gastrointestinal surgeries like bariatric surgeries. This kind of surgeries are very common in countries with huge consumption of fast foods. 
  • Zinc Intake: Excessive zinc intake is another cause of copper deficiency. Based on the reactivity series, zinc is more likely to replace copper as it is more active than copper. This results in malabsorption of copper in the body. 
  • Chronic Diarrhoea: The long-term condition of diarrhoea and vomiting leads to the deficiency of copper in the body. It doesn’t provide any settling time for copper rich food to absorb properly through GI tracts and causes its deficiency. 

Symptoms of Copper Deficiency 

The common symptoms of Copper deficiency include:

  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Pale skin
  • Arterial Rupture
  • Sparse hair
  • Muscle soreness
  • Always feeling cold

Health Risks due to Low Copper

  • Anaemia: The role of copper deficiency in human is complex and multifunctional. Its heavily involved in cell oxidation process and certain copper binding protein participates in oxidation to make certain compound like ferrous oxide into more usable form like ferric oxide. Copper deficiency can also cause low with blood cell counts. It may also cause non-responsive of iron to chronic anaemia.
  • Neural Disorders: Copper acts as cofactors of several protein responsible for proper structure and function of nervous system. It also participates in cell division and protein synthesis. Copper deficiency can cause several neuro-disorders like myelopathy and neuropathy. 
  • Menkes: It is a rare genetic disorder which causes malabsorption of copper in children. The victims of Menkes rarely survive more than 10 years. The common symptoms of Menkes are impaired cognitive abilities, vomiting, diarrheas, arterial rupture, bone deformation. 

Some other health risk associated with copper deficiencies are impaired bone calcification, enzootic ataxia, hyper flexibility of the joints and fragility of the veins in newborns, increased risk of atherosclerosis and impaired bone marrow.

Tests for Copper Deficiency

Copper is the trace mineral present in body. It is mainly available as cofactor with several proteins. The blood test of copper involves the measurement of copper binding protein ceruloplasmin.

  • Serum Test: In order to measure the concentration of copper in human body serum copper test is performed. It involves the measurement of copper binding protein ceruloplasmin. However, the results obtained from these tests are not very reliable. The same test has been used for the diagnosis of Menkes as well.

Remedies of Copper Deficiency 

  • Copper Supplements: The clinical remedies of copper deficiency are to take copper supplements. If you are diagnosed with severe Copper deficiency, you should consider medical supplements under supervision of doctors. As higher Copper may lead to copper toxicity.
  • Copper Rich Diet: The simple way to prevent copper deficiency is intake copper rich food items in daily diet. Some of the copper rich food items are liver, crab, oyster, mushrooms, lobster, leafy veggies, nuts.
  • Fortified Food Items: Several agricultural lands across the globe are poor in micronutrients which produces nutrient deficient food items. It can be overcome by copper rich fertilisers and fortified seeds. 
  • Balanced Zinc Diet: Presence of excessive zinc in the body interferes with the absorption of copper. It is necessary to maintain the balance between zinc and copper concentration in the body.

Prevention of Copper Deficiency

It is often said that “Prevention is better than Cure” and indeed this is very much true with reference to micronutrient deficiencies. Copper deficiency can be prevented through consumption of Copper rich diet.

Food items rich in copper:

  • Organ Meat
  • Crab
  • Oyster
  • Mushrooms
  • Lobster
  • Leafy veggies
  • Nuts 

 Adequate Intake (>19 yrs.):

Simple way to prevent Copper deficiencies is to maintain recommended daily intakes. The intakes of copper vary with the different age groups however, the recommended daily intake of copper for an adult is 900 mcg.

Copper is essential trace mineral require to performs multifactorial roles for the proper function of the body. It acts as cofactor for several proteins responsible for proper structure & function of nervous system and enzymes responsible for absorption of other essential minerals in the body.  Copper deficiency causes one of the rare and deadliest genetic disorder Menkes. 

Although Copper deficiency has several ill effects, it can be treated with the right consultation and medical supplements as prescribed by medical experts however, high concentration of copper may be deadly. The best possible way to avoid these complications by consuming adequate amount of Copper as per RDA through various Copper rich diet.

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Why Phosphorous is Crucial to Human Health……?

Phosphorous is an essential mineral naturally found in many of the food items. About 85% availability of phosphorous is found mostly in association with the calcium while 15% is evenly distributed across the cells and tissues in association with nitrogen. 

It forms the integral part of cell membrane and cell nuclei and play important role in gene transcription. The role of phosphorous is multifunctional and it helps in metabolism of carbohydrates and fats, strong bone and teeth structure, gene transcription. However, its deficiency can be caused by renal failures.

Functions of Phosphorous

Phosphorous works in association with calcium due to certain enzymes like vitamin D and maintain the strong bone structure and prevent from dental caries. It is closely associated with renal synthesis of calcitriol which depends upon the phosphorous supply. It also presents the cell nuclei which is responsible for the sortation of genetic information. 

What is Phosphorous Deficiency?

Phosphorous deficiency is condition caused inadequate supply of phosphorous for very long time. It can be caused by the insufficient intake of phosphorous through diet. It can also be caused by the malabsorption caused by the health condition like gastrointestinal disorders, renal failure, diabetes and prolonged alcoholism.   

Phosphorous deficiency leads to the health conditions like impaired bone mineralization, dental caries and in case of sever deficiency osteoporosis and osteomalacia. It also causes rickets in children. 

Causes of Phosphorous Deficiency

The condition of phosphorous deficiency can be developed due to various factors. Some of the major cause have been illustrated below:

  • Inadequate Diet: The long-term deprivation of phosphorous rich diet is the common cause of its deficiency. The major source of phosphorous is animal produce, nuts and beans.  It may be caused by the inaccessibility of these food item due to financial constraints in developing countries. 
  • Unavailability of Nutritious Food: Majority of the soil is deficient in soil and widespread across the globe. It caused by the overexploitation of fields and can be rectified by providing phosphate rich fertilisers and fortified seeds. 
  • GI Disorders: Most of the phosphorous is present in bone and teeth however small amount of it present in cell and tissues absorbed during metabolism. Gastrointestinal disorders affect the absorption of phosphorous in the body lead to its deficiency.   
  • Renal Failure: Chronic kidney disorders leads to phosphorous deficiency. It caused by the renal leak of phosphorous and non-absorption of phosphorous during the process of reabsorption.

In addition to the major causes mentioned above, phosphorous deficiency can also be caused by the chronic alcoholism and diabetes.

Symptoms of Phosphorous Deficiency 

The common symptoms of phosphorous deficiency include:

  • Apatite loss
  • Weight loss
  • Irritability
  • Numbness
  • Bone loss
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Stiff joints
  • Rickets

Health Risks due to Low Phosphorous

  • Osteoporosis: Severe calcium deficiency compromises bone health and makes it susceptible to fractures or break even you sneeze. In this condition individual the bone become porous and develop a honeycomb internal structure. It is mainly caused by calcium however the association of calcium and phosphorous together affects the bone in case of hypophosphatemia.
  • Osteomalacia: It is the health condition found in adults due to lack of phosphorous. In this condition the bone becomes soft due to impaired bone mineralization. It occurs in old age and makes bone susceptible for fracture. 
  • Impaired Metabolism: Phosphorous acts as cofactor with enzymes and help in metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins and releases energy. Its deficiency causes disruption of metabolism cycle and energy production.
  • Tooth Decay: Calcium in association with fluoride protects our teeth. Calcium deficiency results in tooth decay and in severe case it may lead to large cavities. 
  • Rickets: Rickets is the impaired bone development rarely found in children and its primary cause is vitamin D deficiency. However, it can also be caused by phosphorous deficiency.

Tests for Phosphorous Deficiency

Phosphorous is the essential mineral present in body. It is mostly concentrated in bone and teeth over small quantity of phosphorous is evenly distributed throughout the body. 

  • Blood Phosphorous Test: The most common tests for phosphorous deficiency is serum blood test. It measures the concentration of phosphorous in body. The ideal range of phosphorous in human body is 2.5-4.5 milligrams/decilitre. 
  • Blood Calcium Test: The invisible connection between calcium and phosphorous maintains a perfect balance between its concentrations. If the calcium blood test is atypical then doctor may advise for phosphorous tests which might also be abnormal.
  • Urine Test: The association of phosphorous and it reabsorption by the kidney helps in identifying the concentration of phosphorous from urine samples. 

Ideally, we don’t require any precautions before the teat however, we should stop any sort of medications which might interfere with the concentrations of phosphorous in the body.

Remedies of Phosphorous Deficiency 

  • Phosphorous Supplements: The clinical remedies of phosphorous deficiency are to take phosphorous supplements. If you are diagnosed with severe Phosphorous deficiency, you should consider medical supplements under supervision of doctors. As higher Phosphorous may have severe side effects.
  • Phosphorous Rich Diet: The simple way to prevent phosphorous deficiency is inclusion of phosphorous rich food items in daily diet. Some of the phosphorous rich food items are Salmon, yogurt, milk and milk products, meat, beans, lentils nuts.
  • Fortified Food Items: Several agricultural lands across the globe are poor in micronutrients which produces nutrient deficient food items. It can be overcome by using phosphorous rich fertilizers and fortified seeds. 
  • Quit Alcoholism: Chronic alcoholism is the cause of several renal related disorders. It caused malfunctioning of kidney and promotes renal leak of phosphorous.

Prevention of Phosphorous Deficiency

It is often said that “Prevention is better than Cure” and indeed this is very much true with reference to micronutrient deficiencies. Phosphorous deficiency can be prevented through consumption of Phosphorous rich diet.

Food items rich in phosphorous:

  • Salmon
  • Yogurt
  • Milk
  • Milk products
  • Meat
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Nuts 

Adequate Intake (>19 yrs.):

Simple way to prevent Phosphorous deficiencies is to maintain recommended daily intakes. The intakes of phosphorous vary with the different age groups however, the recommended daily intake of phosphorous for an adult is 700 mg.

Phosphorous is essential for maintain the internal structure of bone, teeth and cells and it play various role in providing healthy body. It sis found in the core of the nuclei and responsible for carrying genetic transcripts. It works in association with other vitamins and minerals to ensure the integrity of bone and cells.  

Although Phosphorous deficiency has several ill effects, it can be treated with the right consultation and medical supplements as prescribed by medical experts however, high concentration of phosphorous may be deadly. The best possible way to avoid these complications by consuming adequate amount of Phosphorous as per RDA through various Phosphorous rich diet.

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Manganese & Health

Manganese is naturally occurring element which is essential for the proper function of the body. The impact of magnesium deficiency is far less than the high dosages of manganese. It causes manganese toxicity. Manganese in and important cofactor of several enzymes present in our body. The most important enzymes associated with manganese is manganese superoxide dismutase. It is mostly present in bone, liver, pancreas and kidney cells. 

Functions of Manganese

Manganese is the essential trace mineral required for the proper functioning of the cells and tissues. In cells it is stored in mitochondria and forms the mitochondrial and cell membrane. It regulates the digestion of carbohydrates, fats and protein to release energy. 

Manganese plays very important role in bone growth & development, enhancing immunity and would healing. It also known to expel free radical which are harmful to the body.

What is Manganese Deficiency?

Manganese deficiency is very rare disorder which can be caused by long-term deprivation of manganese in daily intake however, it may be caused malabsorption of manganese due to presence of pre-existing health condition like GI disorders, diabetes and osteoporosis. Manganese deficiency leads to impaired bone growth and bone mineral density.

Causes of Manganese Deficiency

The condition of manganese deficiency can be developed due to various factors. Some of the major cause have been illustrated below:

  • Inadequate Diet: The long-term deprivation of manganese rich diet is the common cause of its deficiency. The major source of manganese are fruits, nuts and vegetables which are unavailable to every group of people. This condition is very much common in South-Asian and African countries than developed countries.
  • Unavailability of Nutritious Food: Manganese deficient soil can be another cause of availability of manganese deficient food item. It occurs in different geographies and can be resolved with manganese rich fertilisers and fortified seeds.
  • GI Disorders: Manganese is mostly stored in bone, liver, pancreas, and kidney cells. The gastrointestinal and small intestine disorders lead to malabsorption of manganese and results in its deficiency.  

Symptoms of Manganese Deficiency 

The common symptoms of Manganese deficiency include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Irritability
  • Delayed and impaired growth
  • Menstrual problems
  • Poor bone growth
  • Skeletal defects
  • Abnormal metabolism
  • Memory loss

Health Risks due to Low Manganese

  • Bone Health: Manganese is a cofactor for the enzymes responsible for bone formation. Low concentration of manganese impacts the development and growth of bones and reduced bone mineral density. Increased bone remodelling is another health risk presented by manganese deficiency.  
  • Metabolism Disorders: Manganese acts as cofactor to the enzymes responsible for the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and protein and its deficiency may lead to abnormal metabolism and other GI tract disorders.  
  • Diabetes: Manganese is responsible for the metabolism of carbohydrate, glucose and lipid. Manganese deficiency impairs the metabolism of carbohydrates and affects the glucose tolerance of the body, this increases the risk of diabetes. 
  • Impaired Immunity: Prolonged manganese deficiency is detrimental to immunity of the body. It leads to impaired wound healing and invitations to several viral and bacterial infections. 

Some other health risk associated with manganese deficiencies are osteoporosis, dermatitis, schizophrenia impaired production of collagen, skin rash and elevated level of blood calcium, phosphorous and alkaline phosphates.

Tests for Manganese Deficiency

Manganese is the trace mineral present in very small quantity in blood and abundant in bone, liver, pancreas and kidney cells. Blood test is required to ascertain the amount of Manganese in in our blood.

  • Manganese Blood Test: Blood test is carried out to measure the concentration of manganese in blood. Ideally, we don’t require any precautions before the test however, it’s advisable to stop the medications which might affects the concentration of manganese in blood.  The reference level of manganese in an adult is 4.7-18.3 nano-grams per millilitre.
  • X-Ray: Manganese deficiency syndromes causes impaired bone growth and development. Imaging techniques like x- like will help in impaired bone development at the extremes such as knee.  Bone densitometry can also be carried out in order to ascertain the bone mineral density which is severely affected by the deficiency of manganese.

Remedies of Manganese Deficiency 

  • Manganese Supplements: The clinical remedies of manganese deficiency are to take manganese supplements. If you are diagnosed with severe Manganese deficiency, you should consider medical supplements under supervision of doctors. As higher Manganese may lead to manganese toxicity.
  • Manganese Rich Diet: The easiest way to prevent manganese deficiency is intake manganese rich food items in daily diet. Some of the manganese rich food items are pineapple, peanuts, whole grains, clams, oysters, mussels, nuts, soybeans, legumes, rice, leafy vegetables, coffee, tea, black pepper.
  • Fortified Food Items: Several agricultural lands across the globe are poor in micronutrients which produces nutrient deficient food items. It can be overcome by manganese rich fertilisers and fortified seeds. 

Prevention of Manganese Deficiency

It is often said that “Prevention is better than Cure” and indeed this is very much true with reference to micronutrient deficiencies. Manganese deficiency can be prevented through consumption of Manganese rich diet.

Food items rich in manganese:

  • Pineapple
  • Peanuts
  • Whole grains
  • Clams
  • Oysters
  • Mussels
  • Nuts
  • Soybeans
  • Legumes
  • Rice
  • Leafy vegetables
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Black pepper

 Adequate Intake (>19 yrs.):

Simple way to prevent Manganese deficiencies is to maintain recommended daily intakes. The intakes of manganese vary with the different age groups however, the recommended daily intake of manganese for an adult is 1.8-2.8 mg.

Manganese is essential micronutrient require to performs several functions for the proper function of the body.  Its major role is in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and protein, maintains the proper growth and development of the bones. It is essential for the boosting of immunity and prevents from impaired wound healing.

Although Manganese deficiency has several ill effects, it can be treated with the right consultation and medical supplements as prescribed by medical experts however, high concentration of manganese may be deadly. The best possible way to avoid these complications by consuming adequate amount of Manganese as per RDA through various Manganese rich diet.

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Role of Chlorine in Human Lifecycle

Electrolytes acts as neurotransmitters in our body responsible of carrying signals between brain and different parts of the body and vice-versa. In addition to sodium, chlorine play a very important role in transferring neuro signals. We seldom heard that chlorine is poisonous and is harmful to our body however, appropriate quantity of this element is required for the proper functioning of human body.  

Functions of Chlorine

Chlorine is negatively charged ion and helps in neutrality of outer cell fluid. It functions in association with sodium as important electrolyte for neuro transmission. It also regulates the water content in our cell and tissues. Its deficiency lead to water retention and disturb the balance between other electrolytes.

Small quantity of choline is stored in our skin which gets depleted in case of heavy sweating however, chlorine is also produced in the hydrochloric acid which acts as digestive juice. During digestive process small quantity of chlorine is also observed in our body.

What is Chlorine Deficiency?

Hypochloremia id developed due to prolonged deprivation of chlorine rich diet. The secondary cause of deficiency is malabsorption of chlorine in our body due to several health conditions like GI disorders, alcoholism and renal disorders. It can also be cause by the increased concentration of other electrolytes like sodium and potassium. 

Causes of Chlorine Deficiency

The condition of hypochloremia can be developed due to various factors. Some of the major factors have been illustrated below:

  • Chlorine Deficient Diet: People often forget to have balanced diet. Long term deprivation of chlorine rich diet leads to deficiency. The rich source of chlorine is sea derived food products which are unavailable in certain land locked geographical areas. 
  • Alcoholism: The condition of chronic alcoholism leads to over excretion of ions from our body. It also affects the absorption capacity of the digestive organs and this vicious cycle keeps on moving. 
  • Chronic Disorders: Prolonged disorders like, gastrointestinal, diarrhoea, vomiting, and congestive heart failure and metabolism disorders may lead to deficiency of chlorine in our body. These disorders affect the absorption capability of gastrointestinal tracts.  
  • Renal Failure: Kidney disorders may lead to unwanted expulsion of essential electrolytes from the blood results in the condition of hypochloremia. It is often observed in the case of chronic kidney disorders. 
  • Chemotherapy: Several studies suggests that chemo treatment results in imbalance of important electrolytes like chlorine.

Symptoms of Chlorine Deficiency 

The common symptoms of chlorine deficiency include:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Muscle twitching
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • High blood pressure
  • Thirst

Health Risks due to Hypochloremia

  • Brain Dysfunction: Chlorine play very important role in neurotransmission. It acts as carrier wave for transmitting the signal between brain and cell, tissues & organs along with sodium, potassium and magnesium. Its deficiency may cause the void and disrupts the transmission and causes neural dysfunction. 
  • Digestive Disorders: Hydrochloric acid (HCl) is key ingredient in digestive process. Electrolyte imbalance may result in insufficient production of HCl which may affect the complete digestive process. Its prolonged deprivation may result in several gastrointestinal tracts diseases.  
  • Seizures: Prolonged low concentration of chlorine may result in seizure. People may even have coma condition and can have deadly effects if not addressed within time. 

Some other health risk associated with chlorine deficiencies are water retention in the cell and swelling of the body.   

Tests for Chlorine Deficiency

Chlorine is present in the blood, cells and tissues in variable concentrations. The common tests recommended for chlorine deficiency are blood or and urine tests. Its often tested in electrolyte or metabolic panel.

  • Blood Test: Chlorine is tested as part of electrolyte or metabolic panel. Ideally, we don’t require any precautions for this test however we need to stop medication which may interfere with the concentration of electrolytes. 
  • Urine Test: The second most used method to identify the concentration of chlorine in our body is urine test. Its also been tested along with other electrolytes.   

If you have health conditions which may cause deficiency, doctors me advise for these tests for the confirmation of chlorine deficiency.

Remedies for Chlorine Deficiency 

  • Chlorine Supplements: In case of severe deficiency doctor may prescribe medical supplements however it should be consumed in the control manner as high doses of chlorine may have impact on GI tracts and imbalance of other electrolytes in our body.    
  • Chlorine Rich Diet: The easiest way to prevent chlorine deficiency is chlorine rich diet. Some of the chlorine rich food items are seaweed, salt, celery, rye, tomatoes, lettuce, olives. The common source of chlorine is sea derive food items like salt.
  • Fortified Food Items: Several food items have very low concentration of chlorine in this circumstance we need to adopt fortification process of food items to enrich our daily requirements of chlorine through diet.
  • Avoid Drinking: Quitting alcoholism and smoking proved to be good measure for maintaining adequate reserve of body chlorine. It will reduce the added excretion caused by drinking. 

Prevention of Chlorine Deficiency

It is often said that “Prevention is better than Cure” and indeed this is very much true with reference to mineral deficiencies. Hypochloremia can be prevented through consumption of chlorine rich diet.

Food items rich in chlorine:

  • Seaweed
  • Sea fish
  • Salt
  • Celery
  • Rye
  • Tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Olives
  • Fortified food items

Adequate Intake (>19 yrs.):

The ideal way to prevent chlorine deficiencies is to main balanced and healthy diet. The daily intakes of chlorine vary with age however, the recommended daily intake of chlorine for an adult is 1800-2300 mg.

The above texts elaborate the importance of chlorine and associated health risks. It is vital for the proper functioning of brain and digestive systems. In severe cases it may lead to encephalopathy which may be irreversible in few cases.   It also helps in maintain the acid-base balance in our body. 

Although chlorine deficiency has several ill effects, it can be treated with the appropriate consultation and supplements as prescribed by medical experts. The best possible way to avoid these life-threatening circumstances by consuming adequate amount of chlorine as per RDA through various chlorine rich diet.

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Fluoride: Bliss or Curse for Human Health

Fluoride is essential trace mineral for human body.  It has both positive and negative impact on human health. Dental caries can be prevented by having adequate concentration of fluorite however it can cause tooth enamel and skeletal fluorosis in excess of fluoride.  Dental caries is the most widely observed phenomena across the globe caused by fluoride deficiency. Balanced intake of fluoride may prevent several tooth and bone related diseases. 

Functions of Fluoride

Most of the fluoride in human body is stored in tooth and bone. It is present in human body in the form of calcium fluoride. It helps in preventing dental caries in children. Children should either be provided oral fluoride supplements to avoid dental cavities or fluorinated drinking water which is able to reduce dental cavities by 50%.

What is Fluoride Deficiency?

The main source of fluorine is drinking water and its concentration varies from area to area. High doges of fluoride in drinking water will lead to tooth enamel and skeletal fluorosis however, low concentration of fluorine causes tooth decay and reduced bone density. 

Fluoride deficiency is mainly caused by the inadequate intake of fluoride for very long time.  It can also be caused by the malabsorption due to gastrointestinal disorders. Since fluoride is found in the form of calcium fluoride, calcium deficiency could be another cause of fluoride deficiency. 

Causes of Fluoride Deficiency

The condition of low fluoride concentration can be developed due to various factors. Some of the major cause have been illustrated below:

  • Drinking Water: The major source of fluoride is drinking water. In absence of water with recommended intake of fluoride may result in its deficiency. In this case fluorinated drinking water needs to be provided for reduced affects of fluorine deficiency.  
  • Calcium Deficiency: The inherent association of fluoride with calcium can be affected by the presence of lower concentration of calcium in body. 
  • Vitamin D Deficiency: The absorption of calcium in the body is affected by the presence of vitamin D which in turn affects the concentration of calcium fluoride in our body. 
  • GI Disorders: Malabsorption of calcium, vitamin D and fluoride due to several underlying health condition affects the overall concentration of fluoride in human body. The digestive and small intestinal disorders affect the ability of internal organs to absorb vitamin and minerals like calcium Vitamin D and fluoride. 

Symptoms of Fluoride Deficiency 

The common symptoms of fluoride deficiency are:

  • Weak fragile bones
  • Fracture
  • Tooth decay

Health Risks due to Fluoride Deficiency

  • Tooth Decay: Tooth caries are very common in children in the area where drinking water is deficient in fluoride. It is very essential for the healthy growth of teeth which can be eliminate by fluorinated water and toothpastes containing fluorides. 
  • Osteoporosis: This bone decay is mainly caused by the deficiency of calcium however the association of fluoride with calcium in human get affected by the deficiency of fluoride and results in osteoporosis. It is the condition in which the internal structure of the bone is like honeycomb with big pores.  It reduces the overall bone density. 

Some other health risk associated with excessive fluoride in human body is tooth enamel and skeletal fluorosis. 

Tests for Fluoride Deficiency

Fluoride is very abundant in our body. However, 99% of the fluoride is found in bone and teeth and very small quantity of fluoride is present in the blood. Blood test is required to ascertain the amount of fluoride in in our blood.

  • Fluoride Blood Test: Blood test is carried out to measure the concentration of fluoride in human body. It uses ion selective electrode potentiometry methodology for identification of fluoride.  In general, this test is done for the people who are exposed to chemical containing fluoride. 
  • Microscopic Diagnosis: The bone related disorders caused by the deficiency of calcium fluoride can be diagnosed with microscopic imaging techniques like CT scan, MRI and bone densitometry.  Low bone density is the preliminary indicative of bone related disorders. 

Remedies of Fluoride Deficiency 

  • Fluoride Supplements: If you are diagnosed with severe fluoride deficiency, you should consider medical supplements under supervision of doctors. As higher fluoride may lead to deadly health condition, like tooth enamel and skeletal fluorosis.
  • Fluorinated Drinking Water: Area where ground water is poor in fluoride, water needs to be fluorinated before drinking in order to avoid dental caries and weak and porous bones. The recommended concentration of fluoride in drinking water is < 1 parts per million. 
  • Calcium Supplements: Calcium deficiency is one of the causes of fluoride deficiency in human body. It can either be avoided with calcium supplements or inclusion of calcium rich food items in our daily diet. Some of the food items rich in calcium are milk, cheese, leafy veggies, soybeans, tofu, sardines, pilchards.   
  • Fluoride Rich Diet: Fluoride deficiency can be prevented by consuming fluoride rich food items in our daily diet. Some of the food items rich in fluoride are fruit juice, crab, water, shellfish, grapes.

Prevention of Fluoride Deficiency

It is often said that “Prevention is better than Cure” and indeed this is very much true with reference to micronutrient deficiencies. Fluoride deficiency can be prevented through consumption of fluoride rich diet.

Food items rich in fluoride:

  • Crab
  • Drinking Water
  • Shellfish
  • Grapes
  • Fluorinated water

Food items rich in Calcium:

  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Leafy veggies
  • Soybeans
  • Tofu
  • Sardines
  • Pilchards 
  • Sardines
  • Fortified food items

Adequate Intake (>19 yrs.):

Ideal way to prevent fluoride deficiencies is to maintain recommended daily intakes. The recommended daily intake of fluoride and calcium for an adult is 3-4 mg and 2000-2500 mg respectively.

Fluoride is something which should be treated with cautions as it can be a blessing if taken in recommended amount however it may cause severe bone and teeth disorders. In association with calcium, fluoride maintains the strong teeth and bone structure.  

Although fluoride deficiency has several ill effects, it can be treated with the right consultation and medical supplements as prescribed by medical experts. The best possible way to avoid these complications by consuming adequate amount of fluoride as per RDA through various fluoride rich diet and drinking water with concentration of less than 1 part per million.

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Potassium and Human Health

Sodium, magnesium, chloride and potassium are the major constituents of electrolytes in our body which are responsible for transmitting nerve signals, regulating water and muscle contractions.  Potassium imbalance may have deadly consequences, it may lead to brain dysfunction, muscle cramps and twitching. However, it can be prevented with various measure such as including potassium rich food items in diet and medical supplements.  

Functions of Potassium

Potassium is positively charged ion and maintains the acid-base balance in the body. The major functions of potassium are transmitting never signals. Potassium ions acts as neurotransmitters and responsible for carrying information from one part of the body to another.  

In addition to the neuro transmission it also maintains the balance between water and electrolytes. Potassium deficiency affects the water retention capacity of the body. It also maintains healthy muscle tissues and prevent from muscle cramps and spasm.  

What is Potassium Deficiency?

Hypokalemia is primarily caused by the prolonged deprivation of potassium rich diet. However, it can also be caused by excessing vomiting and diarrhoea, sweating, urination for very long time.  In addition to this potassium deficiency can also be caused by malabsorption in body due to pre-existing health conditions like GI disorders, bariatric surgery, renal dysfunction and medications which may affect the concentration of potassium in body such as diuretics.  

Causes of Potassium Deficiency

The condition of hypokalemia is developed due to various reasons. Some of the major factors have been illustrated below:

  • Potassium Deficient Diet: The widely accepted cause of potassium deficiency in humans are potassium deficient food items in our daily diet and our food habits in which we mainly rely on fast foods.  
  • Chronic Disorders: Chronic disorders like prolonged vomiting, diarrhoea and urination expels the good amount of potassium ion from our body and result in the condition of hypokalemia. Chronic gastrointestinal disorders affect the ability of potassium absorption which may lead to its deficiency.
  • Alcoholism: Excessive alcohol consumption is also considered as the major contributing factors of potassium deficiency. Prolonged alcohol consumption affects the urination cycle as well as absorption through gastrointestinal tracts. 
  • Renal Failure: Kidney functions as filter for the blood. It expels the unwanted materials from the blood and maintain the healthy balance between its constituents. Renal disorders paralyses the capabilities of kidneys and results in expulsion of important minerals like potassium otherwise which have been preserved in the blood. 

Symptoms of Potassium Deficiency 

The common symptoms of potassium deficiency include:

  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle cramp and spasm
  • Muscle twitching
  • Numbness
  • Tingling,
  • Irregular heart rhythms
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Excessive urination 
  • Heavy sweating

Health Risks due to Hypokalemia

  • Neural Dysfunction: Potassium acts as neurotransmitters in transferring signals from one part of the body to other. Lack of potassium in the blood stream leads to inefficient transmission of signal which affects the coordination between brain and different organs. It impairs the psychomotor abilities of different limbs.
  • Cardiovascular Disease: The prolonged condition of low potassium in human body leads to irregular heart rhythm (palpitations). Doctors generally do echocardiography to understand the abnormal behaviour of heart. 
  • Water Retention: Lack of potassium in body results in acid base imbalance which affects the water retention capacity of the individual cells and body. People with severe potassium deficiency might develop symptoms of body swelling. 

Some other health risk associated with potassium deficiencies are Cushing’s, Fanconi, Liddle, barter and Gitelman syndromes.

Tests for Potassium Deficiency

Potassium is present in the blood, cells and tissues in variable concentrations. The common tests recommended for potassium deficiency are blood or and urine tests. Its often tested in electrolyte or metabolic panel.

  • Blood Test: Potassium is tested as part of electrolyte or metabolic panel. Ideally, we don’t require any precautions for this test however we need to stop medication which may interfere with the concentration of electrolytes. 
  • Urine Test: The second most used method to identify the concentration of potassium in our body is urine test. Its also been tested along with other electrolytes.   

If you have health conditions which may cause potassium deficiency, doctors me advise for these tests for the confirmation of potassium deficiency.

Remedies for Potassium Deficiency 

  • Potassium Supplements: Severe deficiency needs immediate medical attention. Doctors may prescribe medical supplements however it should be consumed in the control manner as high doses of potassium may have impact on GI tracts and acid-base balance.    
  • Potassium Rich Diet: The easiest way to prevent potassium deficiency is potassium rich diet. Some of the potassium rich food items lentils, banana, oranges, grapefruit, apricots, prunes, raisins, dates, mushroom, spinach, broccoli.
  • Fortified Food Items: Several food items have very low concentration of potassium in this circumstance we need to adopt fortification process of food items to enrich our daily requirements of potassium through diet. Fortification at initial stage of agriculture may be the most plausible solution to this.
  • Avoid Drinking: For the proper functioning of human body we must minimise the alcohol intake or if possible, should quit drinking. It will help in adequate absorption and prevent from excessive expulsion of electrolyte from our body.  

Prevention of Potassium Deficiency

It is often said that “Prevention is better than Cure” and indeed this is very much true with reference to mineral deficiencies. Hypochloremia can be prevented through consumption of potassium rich diet.

Food items rich in potassium:

  • Lentils
  • Banana
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Apricots
  • Prunes
  • Raisins
  • Dates
  • Mushroom
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Fortified food items

Adequate Intake (>19 yrs.):

The ideal way to prevent potassium deficiencies is to main balanced and healthy diet. The daily intakes of potassium vary with age however, the recommended daily intake of potassium for an adult is 4700 mg.

Potassium is very important electrolyte essential for the proper function of vital organs like brain and heart.  In severe cases it may lead to encephalopathy which may be irreversible in few cases.   It also helps in maintain the acid-base balance in our body. 

Although potassium deficiency has several ill effects, it can be treated with the appropriate consultation and supplements as prescribed by medical experts. The best possible way to avoid these life-threatening circumstances by consuming adequate amount of potassium as per RDA through various potassium rich diet.

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How Zinc Affects Human Health…?

We often clouded by several questions regarding our health. How to be healthy? What are the nutrients and how often these nutrients are required? What are the benefits and side effects of these nutrients? All these questioned must be answered to understand the building blocks of healthy life. Like other nutrients Zinc is an essential trace mineral which is responsible for the growth and development of the children and boosting of immunity.

What is Zinc Deficiency?

Deficiency of zinc in human body may be caused by several factors. Some of the factors include prolonged deprivation of zinc rich diet, malabsorption due to existing digestive disorders and health conditions like acrodermatitis enteropathica. Long term zinc deficiency may be deadly.

Functions of Zinc

Although zinc is a trace mineral but its contribution to human body is incredible. It is responsible for the growth and development of the child, sexual development and maturation in adolescents. In case of severe deficiency, it may lead to mental retardation, impotency and hypogonadism. 

Causes of Zinc Deficiency

The condition of zinc deficiency can be developed due to various factors. Some of the major factors have been illustrated below:

  • Zinc Deficient Diet: The most common cause of zinc deficiency is consumption of zinc deficit diet. It can either the unavailability or inaccessibility of zinc rich food items. Sometimes these food items are not available to lower income group due to their tight pocket. 
  • Nutrient Deficient Soil: The concentration of nutrients in the food items depends upon the nutrient concentration of the corresponding soil on which it has been cultivated. In some part of the globe soils are found to be poor in zinc which results in low concentration of zinc in food produces.
  • GI Disorders: Malabsorption is the second most prevalent cause of zinc deficiency. Improper digestion disrupts the zinc cycle and lead to low zinc content in body. It may be caused by prolonged gastrointestinal disorders.  
  • Enhanced Requirement: When there is imbalance between supply and demand of zinc in the body it may either increase or decrease the zinc content. Pregnant women and children in adolescent age needs higher amount of zinc for the optimum development of unborn child and children.   

Symptoms of Zinc Deficiency 

The common symptoms of Zinc deficiency include:

  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hair loss
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Diarrhoea
  • Delayed sexual maturity
  • Mental retardation
  • Impaired growth and development
  • Impaired immunity

Health Risks due to Low Zinc Level

  • Delayed Growth & Development: Low zinc level affects have very detrimental effects on human health especially in children. It causes impaired physical, mental growth and development. It may also cause delayed sexual development and maturation and in severe case impotency
  • Impaired Immunity: Zinc deficiency is known to compromise the human defence system. IT results in frequent viral and bacterial infections as well as it increases the normal recovery period for several diseases for example cough and cold. 
  • Age Related Muscular Degeneration: Prolonged low concentration of zinc may lead to muscular degeneration. It may cause age related eye disorders due to cellular damage in retina.   

Some other health risk associated with Zinc deficiencies are impaired wound healing, imbalance between iron and zinc and copper.  

Tests for Zinc Deficiency

Zinc is present in traces in our cells and tissues. It very difficult to detect zinc through normal blood test. Several test like blood, urine and hair tests are used to identify concentration of zinc in human body.

  • Zinc Blood Test: Owing to availability of zinc in our body normal blood test may be insufficient. Doctor may advise to plasma-based analysis of zinc in our body. This test is the most accurate test for zinc.  
  • Urine Test: In addition to blood test urine tests are also used to decipher zinc deficiency however it is not as accurate than plasma-based blood test.  

If you have health conditions which may cause deficiency, doctors me advise for these tests for the confirmation of zinc inadequacy.

Remedies of Zinc Deficiency 

  • Zinc Supplements: In case of severe deficiency doctor may prescribe medical supplements however it should be consumed in the control manner as high doses of zinc may lead to other health risks.   
  • Zinc Rich Diet: The best solution to this deficiency is zinc rich food items. Some of the Zinc rich food items are whole grain, oyster, crab, red meat, poultry, nuts and chickpeas.
  • Fortified Food Items: Several food items have very low concentration of zinc in this circumstance we need to adopt fortification process of food items to rich our daily requirements of zinc through the diet.
  • Quit Alcoholism: Prolonged alcoholism is the major cause of GI disorders, which translates into inefficacy of zinc absorption in the body.

Prevention of Zinc Deficiency

It is often said that “Prevention is better than Cure” and indeed this is very much true with reference to mineral deficiencies. Zinc deficiency can be prevented through consumption of Zinc rich diet.

Food items rich in Zinc:

  • whole grain
  • Oyster
  • Crab
  • Red meat
  • Poultry
  • Nuts
  • Chickpeas
  • Fortified food items

Adequate Intake (>19 yrs.):

The ideal way to prevent zinc deficiencies is to main balanced and healthy diet. The daily intakes of zinc varies with age however, the recommended daily intake of Zinc for an adult is 8-11 mg.

The above texts elaborate the importance of zinc and associated health risks. It is vital for the growth and development either its mental or physical. Zinc boots our immunity and protects from several infections and diseases. 

Although Zinc deficiency has several ill effects, it can be treated with the appropriate consultation and supplements as prescribed by medical experts. The best possible way to avoid these circumstances by consuming adequate amount of zinc as per RDA through various Zinc rich diet.