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Check out this list of deficiency symptoms to see if you are lacking in some nutrients.

By Walter Last

Eye, hair, nail, mouth and skin symptoms are among the early outward warning signs of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. The following compilations may help in diagnosing and treating these deficiencies. However, increased metabolic requirements for indicated deficiencies may persist for a long time after the outward symptoms have disappeared. Many listed symptoms may also be caused or aggravated by allergies and problems with the blood sugar and fat metabolism.
The right-hand column gives the primary deficiencies first, additional treatment or cause is given in parentheses. For each condition only the more prominent nutrients are mentioned. However, all the typical nutrients should be supplied in increased amounts in the treatment of all conditions.
Eye-deficiency Symptoms

Deficiency / treatment / cause
Bitot’s spots – foamy patches on conjunctiva
vitamin A
Bloodshot eyes
boric acid for fungus infection, blue light
Blurred vision
vitamins B2, B6, pantothenic acid
Bulging eyes
vitamin E, nicotinamide, iodine
Cataracts (lens becomes opaque)
vitamins B2, C, E, antioxidants (avoid lactose)
vitamin A
vitamins A, B2, C (B6, zinc)
vitamins E, C, B1, (allergy testing)
Dark spots in front of the eyes
vitamins B6, C, zinc (liver problems)
Dim vision (amblyopia)
vitamins B1, B2, C, B12 (allergy testing)
Dry, hard eyeballs (xerophthalmia)
vitamin A
Farsightedness (hyperopia)
magnesium, potassium, MSM
magnesium, vitamin C (B2, B1,salt)
Hemorrhaging in the back of the eye (retinitis)
vitamin B6, zinc, bioflavonoids (also magnesium, vitamins C, B2, B12, E, pantothenate)
Infected, ulcerating eyes (keratomalacia)
vitamin A (vitamins C, B2, B6, zinc, blue light, boric acid)
Itching, burning, watery, sandy eyes
vitamin B2
Macular degeneration
vitamins A, B2, B6, magnesium, zinc, antioxidants, bioflavonoids, esp. lutein & zeaxanthin, ginkgo biloba, bilberry, eyebright, MSM, EFA
Near-sightedness (myopia)
chromium, vitamins C, E, D, calcium (proteins, avoid sugars)
Night blindness (nyctalopia)
vitamins A, (B2, B6, zinc)
Red blood vessels in the sclera
vitamin B2
Retinal detachment
zinc, vitamins B6, B2, C, E, A
Sensitive eyes, fear of strong light (photophobia)
vitamins B2, A
Tics of eyelids
magnesium, vitamins B2, B6, zinc

Skin-deficiency Symptoms

Deficiency / Treatment / Cause
vitamins A, E, B2, B6, C, niacin, biotin, zinc, EFA*, lecithin, MSM, retinoic acid topically (minimize sweet food & fats)
Addison’s disease – adrenal exhaustion: increased tanning, especially on skin-folds, scars, elbows, knees; black freckles
all B vitamins, especially pantothenic acid; vitamin C; all minerals, digestive enzymes, allergy testing, avoid sweet food
Arterial spiders (fine branching arteries on face, neck, chest)
antioxidants, bioflavonoids, glucosamine, cartilage, calcium
vitamins C, E
vitamin E
Brown discoloration around small joints
vitamin B12
Brown skin spots
antioxidants (weak liver)
Dry skin
vitamins A, C, EFA
Eczema, skin ulcers
vitamin C, B2, B6, zinc, magnesium, EFA, allergy test, cleanse
Eczema, infantile
EPA, zinc, vitamin B6
vitamin B6, zinc (also vitamin C, magnesium, avoid salt)
Fingers white, numb, stiff, swellings (Raynaud’s disease)
vitamins B6, B1, antioxidants, niacin, magnesium/calcium, EFA
Fungus infections (e.g. athlete’s foot, ringworm)
B vitamins, (external tea tree oil, intestinal sanitation)
vitamins C, E, B1 , magnesium chloride, (urine packs)
Greasy dermatitis around eyes, nose
vitamin B6, zinc
Greasy skin eruptions (seborrhea)
vitamin B2
Horny red skin on pressure areas (e.g. knees, elbows)
zinc (vitamin B6)
Hot flushes
vitamin E, boron, magnesium, calcium (Wild Yam cream)
Ichthyosis (fish-like scales)
vitamin A, retinoic acid topically, MSM
Infant dermatitis with inflamed pustules around body openings
vitamin B6, zinc
Infections of the skin (boils, cold sores, impetigo, and so on)
vitamins C, A, B6, zinc, magnesium chloride (hot Epsom-salt packs, tea tree oil or propolis rubs)
vitamins B, C, EFA, alkalizer, bicarbonate rubs, (allergy tests)
vitamins C, E, A, B12, B6, lecithin, magnesium, zinc (blue light therapy, treat gall bladder & liver)
Keratosis, horny, goose-pimple-like skin
vitamin A internally & externally
Lemon-yellow skin
vitamin B12
Oily skin, white-heads
vitamin B2
Over-sensitivity to sunlight
vitamin B6, zinc, PABA, beta-carotene, antioxidants, bioflavonoids, alkalizers
Pale skin
biotin, folic acid, vitamin B6, , iron (anemia)
Prickly-heat rash
vitamin C
as for acne; blue light, sunlight; avoid gluten
Purplish or blue-black skin areas
vitamin C, B2, bioflavonoids
allergy test, alkalizers, vitamin C, calcium
Red-brown, often symmetrical discoloration of skin exposed to the sun, later ulceration
niacin or nicotinamide (folic acid)
Red-brown or dark-red spots
Rosacea (redness of part of face)
vitamin B2
Scaly dermatitis
Scaly eczema around nose, ears, scrotum, vulva
vitamin B2
Scar tissue
vitamin E, MSM externally & internally, camphorated oil rub
Scleroderma (hardening and swelling of skin)
vitamin E, C, A, PABA, MSM, magnesium chloride (zapper, pulser and parasite therapy, tea tree oil packs)
Sensitivity to insect bites
vitamin C, B1, calcium, alkalizers, bicarbonate rub/bath
vitamins B12, C, A, B, E, zinc, lysine, zinc oxide lotion, zapper
Skin cancer
vitamins A, B6, PABA, antioxidants, bioflavonoids, carotenes, chlorophyll, propolis, zinc (blue light, escharotics)
Skin-folds red, infected
vitamins E, B6, zinc
Subcutaneous bleeding (red or purplish spots under the skin, bruises easily)
vitamin C, bioflavonoids and rutin, grape seed extract, glucosamine, alkalizer
Swellings (for example, face)
zinc, magnesium, vitamins B6, B12
Vaginal itching
vitamins B2, E, C (avoid synthetic underwear, treat Candida)
Warts, moles
vitamins C, A, E
Weals on the skin (urticaria)
vitamin B6, zinc, vitamin C, (alkalizer, allergy test)
White skin patches (vitiligo)
PABA, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, zinc
Wrinkles or aging skin
vitamins C, E, A, EFA, bioflavonoids (too much sun)

* Most skin conditions benefit from external as well as internal application of the indicated nutrients. Retinioc acid is the acid form of vitamin A. EFA means essential fatty acids, mainly linoleic and linolenic acid; recommended are ground-linseed, linseed oil, fish oils and Evening-primrose oil.

Hair and Nail Deficiency Symptoms
Deficiency treatment cause
Coarse, brittle hair
vitamins B2, B6, zinc, magnesium, biotin
Dry hair
vitamin A, zinc
Graying hair
folic acid, pantothenic acid, PABA, biotin, minerals (weak adrenals, avoid sweet food)
vitamin C, folic acid, proteins
Hair loss
copper/lead contamination: use zinc, vitamin B6, sulfur (MSM), selenium, biotin
Nails opaque, white spots/bands
zinc, vitamin B6
Oily hair
vitamin B2
Peeling nails
vitamins A, C, calcium
Ridges on nails, longitudinal
vitamin A, protein, calcium (anemia, poor circulation, thyroid/parathyroid glands)
Ridges on nails, transverse
fever, infection, inflammation, menstrual problems, period of protein deficiency
Scaling of cuticle or lips

With graying hair or hair loss improve the circulation to the scalp, e.g. daily inversion such as headstand, shoulder-stand, hanging upside down or using a slant-board. Also vigorously rubbing nourishing or slightly irritating solutions into the scalp, e.g. fresh grass or vegetable juice, MSM with copper salicylate, ginger juice.

Tongue and Mouth Deficiency Symptoms

Mouth problems are often due to amalgam fillings, allergies or Candida infestation (thrush).

Symptom Deficiency treatment cause
Beefy, enlarged tongue
pantothenic acid
Burning, sore tongue
vitamins B2, B6, B12, niacin
Cracked lips & corners of the mouth (cheilosis)
vitamins B2, B6, folic acid
Distended, purplish-blue veins under the tongue
vitamin B2 (circulation poor, congested)
Edema or tooth-marks on tongue
Furrowed tongue
vitamin B1, pantothenic acid
Gums receding, bleeding (gingivitis)
vitamin C, bioflavonoids, calcium, alkalizers
Halitosis (bad breath)
vitamin B6, zinc, magnesium, propolis, chlorophyll (cleansing, intestinal sanitation)
Mouth ulcers, canker
folic acid, vitamin B6, zinc (alkalize, allergy test)
Papillae prominent or erased
Purplish or magenta tongue or lips, also veins under the tongue
vitamin B2
Tongue red at tip or edges; severe deficiency: whole tongue scarlet red, sore
niacin (vitamin B6)
Tongue shiny, smooth, beefy; early sign: strawberry-red tip/sides
vitamin B12, folic acid
Tongue too small or too large
niacin, pantothenic acid
White-coated tongue
intestinal putrefaction, cleansing
White patches on tongue
vitamin B2 and other B vitamins (allergy)
Yellowish-brown-coated tongue
liver or gall bladder problems