Nutritional Deficiencies

If you eat a balanced, whole-food plant-based diet then you’re probably getting adequate amounts of the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function.  If not, there’s a good chance you may be lacking important nutrients.   Even if you do eat well, how and where your food was grown can also influence your nutritional intake. Soil quality, storage time, and processing can significantly influence the levels of certain nutrients in your food.

Your age and certain health conditions (digestive issues and others) can also impact your body’s ability to absorb the nutrients in your food.  Unfortunately, in many cases nutrient deficiencies can be difficult to assess, and you may not develop symptoms until the deficiency has become quite pronounced.

Most important of all, is if you have been on certain pharmaceuticals for any length of time, the chances are you have some profound deficiencies.  Read the articles below to find out more.

How Nutritional Deficiencies Develop

Nutritional deficiencies do not occur spontaneously but usually develop due to one or more reasons and evolve over time passing through a series of stages of increasing severity.  The sequence of their evolution was best described in the 1960s by the late Professor Myron Brin when he induced experimental vitamin B1–thiamin deficiency in a group of volunteers.  Deficiency developed within a few weeks and he was able to observe it evolving through several distinct stages.  Though no one became seriously ill during the experiment his observations lead to an understanding of how an individual can progress from a state of nutritional adequacy to serious ill-health and even death. 

Brin M.  Erythrocyte as a biopsy tissue for functional evaluation of thiamine adequacy. J. Am. Med Ass. 1964: 187: 762-766

Stages in the Development of a Nutrient Deficiency

  • Adequacy
  • Negative Balance
  • Decline in Tissue Stores
  • Loss of Function:
    • Symptoms of Deficiency
    • Signs of Deficiency
    • Organ Failure
  • Death

A clear and thorough understanding of this simple sequence is essential to clinical assessment of nutritional state and in particular the interpretation of laboratory tests of nutritional state. The process of assessing the nutritional status of an individual is simply a matter of determining in which of these five categories they fall for each essential nutrient.

Important Clinical Messages in Nutrition Assessment

  • A state of negative balance can develop for reasons other than just poor intake
  • This explains why the correlation coefficients between the intake of a nutrient and the blood level of the same nutrient are often very low especially in older people
  • Mild deficiencies are much more prevalent than severe ones
  • Many doctors are only familiar with the clinical picture of severe deficiency and will easily overlook a mild deficiency
  • The symptoms of nutritional deficiency precede the signs
  • Physical signs of deficiency are less prevalent than the symptoms of the deficiency
  • A biochemically-diagnosed deficiency (which reflects a decline in tissue stores) will precede the development of a loss in tissue function
  • Not all “deficiencies” diagnosed by laboratory methods alone result in a loss of function
  • Death is the terminal consequence of some deficiencies

Different Causes of Nutrient Deficiencies

  • Inflammation
  • Conventional food
  • Infection
  • Medication

Articles Sources: StewartNurition   Justinhealth


The purpose of these pages is not to suggest that you select ONLY these foods to supplement your deficiency, but to show you that if you are eating a healthy balanced diet, eating from the rainbow, and excluding toxic foods, restore your gut-health, then your body will automatically receive the nutrients it needs.  Whilst the list of foods that we recommend you exclude from your diet is currently on our Daily Nutrition page – it is vital that in order to gain good health, you begin this exclusion process as soon as possible.

The Whole Food Plant based plate gives a good indication of the The Four Food Groups.  For a balanced diet follow the recommended daily servings as indicated.  Use this as a guide to get you started whilst eating the foods you enjoy, until you are familiar and comfortable with the quantities and volumes you need to sustain a healthy lifestyle.

The DBM Food Pyramid gives a good indication of types and volumes foods that we recommend to all DBM Patients / Clients.  Please remember, you may only eat the goat cheese and other goat products as indicated on that pyramid, on the advice of your DBM Physician / Practitioner.

Ensure that when selecting fruits and vegetables you Eat from The Rainbow.  Whole grains and legumes form an important part of this natural, balanced lifestyle. 

By eating whole foods, a wide variety of fruit and veggies (eating from the rainbow) you will get all the nutrients your body needs.  To show you how wonderful fruits and veggies are – look at the graphics on the Eat From The Rainbow page and you will clearly see that a wide range of fruit and veggies will more than provide for your needs.


Please be aware that external lists or websites we link to might include fish, meat, soya, or other foods that are restricted on all DBM programs.  The links are retained as a requirement of copyright.  The publishing of this list is intended as educational and certain foods that this article might be listed or linked to do not support DBMs philosophies or practices.

At all times, ensure that the foods you select are permitted by your DBM Physician for your health imbalance. Select only NON-GMO sources that are organic and/or sundried.


We are obliged to notify you that the information on this website is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Doctors Across Borders NPO t/as Doctors Beyond Medicine, the author(s) nor publisher(s) take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.