EP 39 – Eat This: Symptoms of deficiency (Part 3)

You asked for it, yes you did. You want to know more about symptoms of deficiencies. Well, possibly not YOU whose ears I’m speaking into right now, but others out there who have listened to the past two episodes, multiple times. Those who sat and took notes and even shared the episodes with others because they knew a certain someone who suffers with a symptom or situation that I talked about. 

Isn’t it great to have answers to some whys and ‘what is this all about?’ that you’ve been wondering about all this time? Now I’m not saying that everything that’s going on in your body comes down to deficiencies, but if you’re missing a vitamin or mineral, you’re low in good bacteria in your gut and body, even if you’re low in essential fats, then something is likely to show up and your job (our job) is to get to the bottom of it. 

Over the past two episodes, I’ve talked about unsightly and embarrassing warts on the bottom of your feet. I broke down the why of those cracked heels that sock fluff gets stuck in. I covered canker sores also known as mouth ulcers, and those painful cracks in the corners of your mouth and what deficiencies they correlate to. All that was in episode 37 – part 1 of this 3 part series, that I didn’t know at the time was going to be three episodes. Then in episode 38, I talked about painful burning from heartburn and acid reflux, that gas and bloating and the concerns of what’s going on and that clearing the room with your gassiness is actually something that needs your attention, and not that of your family and friends running for fresh air. Oh I also talked about mouth farts – aka belching and burping, and finished off with the bumps on the back of your arms, your legs and even that shows up on your lower back. They’re all symptoms of deficiency that aren’t necessarily life threatening, but really alter the quality of life. This is when your body is talking to you, asking you to listen up, pay attention and make a change. When deficiencies are addressed some symptoms can be easily helped and start to ease. No, it’s not magic, it’s like putting gas, oil, and all the right stuff in your car and having it run without chugging, stalling or conking out. 

What’s next? In this episode, I heard from my community that they want to know about brittle nails and hair. And while on the topic of hair, why is it falling out? And what about dandruff and flaky skin that embarrassingly falls onto your shoulders and is seen when you wear a dark top. When you look in the mirror are your gums on the redder side of pink? What about when you brush-a-brush-a-brusha… are your gums bleeding? Yep, that’s a common deficiency right there. I’ll add in some others like why you’re bruising so easily and about those nose bleeds. 

Today on EAT THIS with Lianne, part 3 of deficiencies. From your flaky scalp, to hair falling out, brittle hair and nails, red and bleeding gums, and the vitamins you need to look at to address them.

I mentioned my discerning eye in episode 37. That when I look at people, I see things like white flakes of dry skin on their dark jacket or shirt. I see those gums when someone speaks or smiles, those that have a deeper colour with more redness to them and imagine how their toothbrush looks after brushing. And yes, all I want to do is serve up a vitamin cocktail, packed with what their body, actually more their cells, desperately need. I have yet to do that, but I might mention a correlation, but I’m never sure if saying something at a party for instance would be a buzzkill. Quite possibly. 

Bleeding Gums and Bad Breath

Let’s start with the mouth. The place where all the nutritious food goes, to be broken down, chewed up and nourish your body. It’s also the place where over 500 bacteria species–some good, lots of bad, live. This soft tissue tells a lot about your oral health, and even impacts your cardiovascular health and risk of diabetes. Did you know that there is a link there? Well, now you do. While red gums can lead to gum disease, gingivitis and periodontal disease and can have a lot to do with brushing and flossing–usually a serious lack of one, or both, plaque can build up around the gum line without proper care, from eating a poor diet, like a sugary and processed food diet, smoking and consuming too much alcohol. They all have a global effect that shows up in your mouth. The worse your gum health, the more likely your teeth are to fall out, and that right there is a serious issue to healthy eating.  

Vitamin C is the number one vitamin for gum health. Swiftly followed by vitamins E and A that are also known as a trio of antioxidants. Vitamin C is essential in keeping the connective tissues in your mouth strong and healthy. It’s needed for wound healing, your immunity, and keeping your cell structure circular and able to repair themselves no matter what the damage is. Without enough Vitamin C, your teeth can become loose, weak, and well, fall out. There have been links to Vitamin E and the prevention of gum disease that is mostly due to Vitamin E’s anti-inflammatory properties. Vitamin E can help in reducing inflammation in the mouth as well as helping to prevent swelling and oxidation. Oxidation looks like burnt cells to give you a visual of what that means. Swelling in your mouth means that there could be inflammation in other areas of your body and some say inflammation is the root of all disease, so don’t necessarily think that it’s only happening in your mouth. 

Those 500 bacteria species that I mentioned, well a probiotic can help impact the health of your microbiome, the good bacteria that’s everywhere in your body as well as your gut. Want to help that bad breath or awful taste in your mouth? Don’t hold back with all that I’m mentioning here because it’s needed. 

Are you eating 5 – 10 servings of fruits and vegetables every day? Mmmm likely not. It’s time to amp up citrus fruits like lemons and limes, orange and grapefruit (and no not just juice) colourful peppers, kale, ALL the berries, seasonal squash and sweet potatoes. That’s the kind of consumption that I want to see, that’s going to have an impact and get you healthier than you are right now. For vitamin E wheat germ, oils, seeds and nuts, fish, and avocados are your go-to.

The supplements to help your gums are without a doubt my Take This by Lianne Alka C, Adult Boost for vitamin A and E, Bio Boost probiotic and even KID BOOST for all the colourful superfoods that help the oxidative stress that happens even after exercise and buffer your last night’s glass of wine or three. 

Side note here: Other symptoms of vitamin C deficiency include easy bruising, slow wound healing of your cuts and bruises, dry scaly skin, and frequent nosebleeds. Got any of those? Go ahead and increase your vitamin C intake dramatically from food and take at least 2000mg a day.   

From your mouth, let’s stay in your head and move to your eyes. 

Declining Vision

Have you noticed that you’re having to turn lights at home or use the flashlight on your phone to see clearly? When you’re in dim lighting, your eyes must adapt. Maybe you’ve noticed that you can’t see road signs as well as you drive at night, or it takes a while to focus and zoom in as you go from a light to darker area. That means it’s taking longer than usual for the eye to adapt. To remind you, I’m talking about the impact on nutrients here, and please don’t skip seeing your doctor or optician with any concerns about your eye health. On my dad’s side of our family, he and his siblings, his parents, as in my grandparents, all suffer with eye issues from macular degeneration to cataracts and blindness. I’m sharing this as much for you as for me and my family. 

Any kind of night blindness or difficulty in low lighting come back the retina of the eye and vitamin A is necessary to produce rhodopsin, a pigment found in the retinas of the eyes that helps you see at night. Have you ever noticed white spots on your or someone else’s eye? These spots are slightly elevated and you wonder how something could be growing on the eye, right, but that can also be a sign of vitamin A deficiency.  

Vitamin A deficiency isn’t that common because organ meats, dairy, egg yolks, fish, all contain fat soluble vitamin A called retinol. Dark leafy greens, and yellow-orange colored vegetables contain the plant version of vitamin A called beta-carotene, so you might think that most people are getting enough from food. Well if you’re vegetarian or vegan, you will rely on beta-carotene for your vitamin A as you’re not eating meat, fish or organ meats which have the highest levels of vitamin A, you could be low. Our body must convert beta carotene that comes from plants to the fat soluble vitamin A that is stored in our body, along with D, E and K. Unfortunately about half the population lack that ability because of disease like diabetes, or genetics, meaning their body just can’t convert it. 

Side note here: Egg yolks are a good vegetarian source of fat soluble vitamin A.

And another aside quickly: As I’ve been talking about taking a lot lately about vitamin D, please know that D must be in balance with A. This is where I use the orchestra analogy of all nutrients in our body. Vitamin A is also needed for respiratory health and for fighting viruses, so in our current pandemic, ensuring your vitamin D intake from my Sunshine D3+K2 because I’ve recommended it so many times, please add in the Take This by Lianne Adult Boost which contains vitamin A. 

Vitamin A is one of those vitamins that show how important it is to have a balance of vitamins in the body and while your eyes need it, so does every cell in your body. To supplement for your eyes, take Adult Boost, KID BOOST and a liquid vitamin A on its own or get it from Cod Liver Oil. 

Brittle Hair and Nails

Let’s spend a quick minute on brittle hair and nails. Have you noticed that your nails and hair are brittle, thinning, or the ends of both are splitting? The B vitamin called biotin is needed here. It’s also called B7 but not often at all. Other symptoms of biotin deficiency include chronic fatigue, muscle pain, cramps, and tingling in the hands and feet. While it’s not a common deficiency, pregnant women, heavy smokers or drinkers, and people with digestive disorders like Crohn’s disease are at the greatest risk of low biotin. Are you an egg white only kinda person? Please add in the yolk because eating too many whites can reduce biotin absorption and the yolk gives it. As well as egg yolks, organ meats, fish, meat, dairy, nuts, seeds, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, yeast, whole grains, and bananas can all help.

Hair Loss

Staying with your hair, let’s talk about long flowing locks, or the lack of because maybe your hair is falling out more than what you think is normal. With up to 50% of adults reporting a time of hair loss by the time they reach 50 years of age, so it’s worth talking about. The most common time of hair loss is in women after birth. I’m not cornering the market on hair loss here, but I have never experienced hair loss like it in my life. I’m talking about my pillow, the bathroom floor covered with a carpet of red hair and don’t get me started about the shower drain having what looked like more hair than what was on my head. I was so distressed as my ponytail halved in size and all my doctor could say was that happens because of hormones. This is a unique situation and not quite what I’m focusing on here. Yes, stress is a huge factor here and if there’s a time in your life that’s stressful, it’s the months after you’ve had a baby, but it happens outside of this time in a woman’s life, because it happens to men too!  

Hair loss can be genetic and hereditary with baldness patterns, it can be due to hormonal changes, physical or emotional shock, medical treatments like chemotherapy, skin issues like patches of dryness or even ringworm and over treating the hair with colour, chemicals and styling. People typically lose 50 to 100 hairs a day. This usually isn’t noticeable because new hair is growing in at the same time. Hair loss occurs when new hair doesn’t replace the hair that has fallen out.

The minerals iron and zinc are needed. These two can be good friends and also antagonistic to each other, so getting the right amount at the right time is important with these two. For instance, there is iron in my Adult Boost, so that needs to be taken away from Alka C which has zinc. Iron is involved in DNA synthesis, including that of the DNA present in your hair follicles. Too little iron can cause hair to stop growing or or even fall out. The best way to know your iron status is to have a blood test. We need enough zinc for protein synthesis and cell division, both needed for hair growth. Essential fats are crucial for all cells including hair cells and B vitamins – particularly B3 is needed in cases of alopecia when hair falls out in patches. Biotin or B7 is key here too, and that came up with brittle hair and nails too. 

Foods to eat for the vitamins and minerals needed here come from meat, fish, eggs, legumes, dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. That’s your normal diet, right? You’ll also cover most of your B vitamin and B3 needs with those foods and add in walnuts, flax and chia seeds to your morning smoothie bowl because they are good for essential fats. Your supplement protocol here is Adult Boost, Alka C, Cell Mins, KID BOOST and Liposome B Complex, and Omega Boost. All that for a healthy head of hair. 

Dandruff and Flaky Skin

If you’re still with me and you’re not overflowing with new info from what has turned into quite the health lesson, let’s finish off with seborrheic dermatitis commonly known as dandruff when it’s on your head. Itchy, flaky skin on your scalp happens, but it can also happen on the face, upper chest, armpits, and groin. Interestingly this most commonly happens within the first 3 months of life, during puberty, and in mid-adulthood.

When your skin is dry, you might want to slap a moisturizer on it. Not that you can do that to your scalp anyway, but think about essential fats. It’s like they are the lubricant of the body. Every single cell needs EFAs and not only gives moisture, but also is anti-inflammatory. Dandruff, though, needs most of the B vitamins and can you guess which mineral??? Yep, zinc. It’s so overlooked but needed for everything. I’ve seen dandruff ease dramatically after taking probiotics, so your fermented foods and taking a probiotic clearly need to increase. So include whole grains like brown rice, poultry, meat, fish, eggs, dairy, organ meats, legumes, all those green and starchy vegetables, nuts, and seeds. 


Have you noticed how I keep saying similar vitamins and minerals here. It’s like I’m on repeat as I say B vitamins, zinc, iron, essential fats and probiotics. Yep, they are needed for everything that your body does. Sometimes we need more and sometimes we need to stay at a maintenance level. When I recommend supplements, I’m looking at symptoms because while you might be low in zinc, eating enough oysters to correct that deficiency just isn’t possible. Even for me! Taking a supplement gets you to a resolve faster, and can positively impact all the other symptoms that show up from say that B vitamin deficiency. 

Check out a recent video that I did on Instagram showing what my morning vitamin routine looks like. I’ll get to the rest of the day in coming videos, but I thought I’d start there. 

In these three episodes, I’ve covered a bunch of symptoms and situations, knowing that there are about another 10 episodes worth out there, but for now, let’s call this trio a wrap. Until you let us know otherwise. So no surprise part 4 next week! 

I’ll leave you thinking about all the vitamins you need to focus on, but don’t get overwhelmed with it. Reach out if you need help, you know you can find me on social media @sproutright and @liannephillipson, send me an email through either site sproutright.com or liannephillipson.com and I will answer! With that said, as always, remember to eat this one mouthful at a time. 

Listen on @iTunes @iHeartRadio @spotify and NewsTalk1010.com

Rate, subscribe and share with anyone who you know needs it.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *