The Most Important Nutrient Deficiencies Most Americans Don’t Know They Have

The consumption of vitamins, minerals, herbs, and supplements has increased dramatically over the past 50 years. As more medical research shows us how lacking critical nutrients affects the entire human body, the need for supplementation increases. With millions of supplements on the market, many are left wondering which ones are right for them. Although a surprising amount of supplements are put together using cheap ingredients with all sorts of additives, others offer excellent benefits. 

Many professionals in the health industry believe that standard medical checkups should include nutrient panels to help people identify deficiencies. Doing so may help prevent many disorders that can go unnoticed for years. It is a great idea to get a full panel of testing done to see where you’re at with many critical nutrients that your body may be craving. Here are some of the most important deficiencies commonly lacking in many Americans according to testing:

Vitamin K2 

Vitamin K-2, also known as menaquinone, is an extremely critical and underrated nutrient for good health. It’s important not to confuse K-2 with vitamin K-1, which is commonly found in leafy greens, brussel sprouts, broccoli, and other foods. While some of the foods have healthy nutrients, the vitamin K in these foods do not give the same benefits as K-2. A long-term study collected from over 30,000 people noticed a correlation between high intake of K-2 and lower rates of arterial disease.  Scientific research tells us that K-1 plays a crucial role in the health of: 

  • Teeth
  • Bones
  • Arteries & other soft tissues
  • Blood Vessels
  • Cartilage maintenance and repair
  • Calcium Metabolism

Studies have found lower rates of osteoporosis, tooth decay, glucose levels, and even lower rates of cancer correlated with proper vitamin K-2 levels. Some experts believe that millions of cases of arterial disease around the world could be potentially improved with dietary changes and supplementation.  (1,2) 

Vitamin D3 

Studies have shown that nearly half of the US population is deficient in vitamin D3. Other studies point to a much higher percentage than that. Only around 20% of over 13,000 people tested had sufficient levels of vitamin D according to recent research! The importance of having sufficient vitamin D in the body cannot be overstated. It’s actually a hormone that’s been labeled as a vitamin. In supplement form, vitamin D is usually derived from lanolin or lichen extracts. 

Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to: 

  • Osteoporosis
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Weakened immune system
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Poor dental health

It’s important to also get plenty of sunlight and consume vitamin D rich foods such as salmon, crimini mushrooms, egg yolks, beef liver, and swordfish (that’s been tested for mercury). A probiotic strain called lactobacillus reuteri has also been shown to significantly raise vitamin D levels in the body.  (3,4)


Iodine continues to be one of the most common deficiencies in the United states and around the world. According to the American Thyroid Association, urinary iodine levels have decreased by around 50 percent from the 1970’s to 1990’s! As this decrease has occurred, the incidence of hypothyroidism has skyrocketed. Not only does iodine power up the thyroid, but it helps fight infections, is critical for proper brain function, motor skills, and so much more. One of the leading causes of improper brain development in infants and children around the world is iodine deficiency. (5-7) 


Somehow, choline usually gets lost when it comes to deficiencies. It’s a little shocking to see such an important deficiency rarely addressed. We know from years of research that choline is important for: 

  • Brain development
  • Memory & overall cognitive functioning
  • Cell maintenance
  • DNA repair
  • Nerve function
  • Liver health
  • Supplying methyl groups
  • Cell membrane development

It is estimated that 80-90% of the population doesn’t consume enough choline on a daily basis. Good sources of choline are eggs (with the yoke unheated), chicken breast, and salmon. Many other foods have lower amounts, but it may be beneficial to supplement with a moderate dose of non-gmo lecithin or CDP-choline to replenish the body’s supply every few months.  (8,9)


Multiple studies have shown that the vast majority of the population are low or deficient in magnesium. More people are beginning to realize this critical deficiency and supplement, but millions of people still aren’t being tested for it. Magnesium is needed for over 300 processes  in the body, so its importance cannot be overstated. 

Magnesium plays a critical role in maintaining healthy:

  • Blood pressure
  • Insulin sensitivity
  • Bone health
  • Heart & vascular health
  • Sleep
  • Mood
  • Keeping sugar cravings at bay
  • Digestion
  • Utilization of vitamin D

Many people that have had heart attacks showed high levels of heavy metals and low levels of magnesium in testing. Alcohol, coffee, foods high in anti-nutrients, stress, sugar, and many more regular daily habits can cause magnesium stores in the body to plummet. Using magnesium flakes in a bath several times per week along with 600 mg of magnesium glycinate daily supplement can help replenish magnesium levels over time.   

Vitamin E 

Vitamin E deficiencies aren’t talked about nearly as often as they should be. Some medical professionals have falsely stated that deficiencies are rare. This is not the case according to more recent studies. It has now been estimated that a whopping 90% of the population doesn’t consume enough vitamin E on a daily basis. Many severe health problems including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, poor brain function, weak muscles, anemia, impaired reflexes, poor skin health, and more have been linked to low levels. (10,11)  Within the vitamin E family, you have tocopherols and tocotrienols. Although more rare in foods, tocotrienols have been shown to have stronger benefits for the: 

  • Heart
  • Vascular system 
  • Brain & cognitive functioning
  • Insulin sensitivity
  • Immune system
  • Hormonal output
  • Healing fractures

Several other deficiencies that are sometimes seen in testing include zinc, iron, B-6, B-12, folate, and potassium. It’s important to be aware of what your body may be lacking through testing once every couple of years. We now have access to incredibly advanced technology that helps us understand what we may be missing in our diets. Trillions of cells in the body rely on these critical nutrients to carry out the tasks of daily living. Without them, our health suffers. Staying aware of your nutrient levels is one of the best ways to improve and maintain a good level of health throughout life.