Vitamins and minerals are types of substances that must be added to the body in our diets so that we do not suffer from deficiency disorders. Both belong to the building blocks of the body, but there is no need to supply them in the quantities required for other nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates and fat.
Most vitamins needed by our bodies are added naturally thanks to the food we eat every day. The same is true for minerals, which – like vitamins – are added in very small quantities. Hence these are known by the collective term "trace elements". If our food is insufficiently varied for various reasons, we may suffer from deficiency disorders of various kinds. Just as we lose muscle strength if we fail to consume sufficient proteins, we lose the ability to withstand certain diseases if we are suffering from a shortage of vitamins or minerals.
Vitamin D deficiency may cause fatigue and lack of energy, and brittle bones in the long term. B12 can lead to disorders such as anaemia. Iron deficiency is analysed as an obvious element in the mineral status of women, including the iron storage level (ferritin). It is also important to analyse levels of magnesium and zinc if you work out. Homocysteine reflects the level of the majority of vitamins, such as B6, B9 and folate. Homocysteine acts as a risk marker for many diseases, such as dementia, cardiovascular disease, etc.