A disease due to a lack of a vitamin in the body. It may be caused by a dietary deficiency or as a secondary disease associated with anorexia, vomiting, or diarrhoea. Vitamin deficiency disease may also result from the increased metabolic demands for vitamins imposed by fever or stress, including the stress of vigorous, prolonged physical exertion. A substance that interferes with the activity of a vitamin may also cause a deficiency disease. It is now generally recognized that certain groups within the population have a greater risk of deficiency diseases because of their increased vitamin requirements. They include pregnant women, nursing mothers, those following a weight-reducing diet, convalescents, the elderly, athletes in hard training, and those in physically demanding jobs. These groups may benefit from carefully managed vitamin supplementation.
Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.