Vitamin deficiency

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Vitamin Deficiency
Classification and external resources
Specialty endocrinology
ICD-10 E50-E56
ICD-9-CM 264-269
MeSH D001361

A vitamin deficiency can cause a disease or syndrome known as an avitaminosis or hypovitaminosis. This usually refers to a long-term deficiency of a vitamin. When caused by inadequate nutrition it can be classed as a primary deficiency, and when due to an underlying disorder such as malabsorption it can be classed as a secondary deficiency. An underlying disorder may be metabolic as in a defect converting tryptophan to niacin. It can also be the result of lifestyle choices including smoking and alcohol consumption.[1][2]

Examples are vitamin A deficiency, folate deficiency, (scurvy), vitamin D deficiency, vitamin E deficiency, and vitamin K deficiency. In the medical literature, any of these may also be called by names on the pattern of hypovitaminosis or avitaminosis + [letter of vitamin], for example, hypovitaminosis A, hypovitaminosis C, hypovitaminosis D.

Conversely hypervitaminosis is the syndrome of symptoms caused by over-retention of fat-soluble vitamins in the body.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lee Russell McDowell (2000). Vitamins in Animal and Human Nutrition (2 ed.). Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 0-8138-2630-6. 
  2. ^ Lidya Fehily (1944). "Human-milk intoxication due to B1 avitaminosis" (PDF). British Medical Journal. 2 (4374): 509–. doi:10.1136/bmj.2.4374.590. PMC 2286425Freely accessible. PMID 20785731. Retrieved 19 January 2017. 
  3. ^ Burns, David; Pazirandeh, Sassan (26 October 2016). "Overview of vitamin A". UpToDate. Retrieved 18 April 2017. (subscription required (help)). 
  4. ^ "Vitamin C".