Vitamin Deficiency Timescale

Just out of curiosity… If an average, healthy, non-pregnant American were to stop consuming vitamins and minerals, approximately how long would it be before they began experiencing negative side-effects?

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It would depend on the vitamin or mineral in question.

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But what deficiencies would cause serious problems first, and roughly how long would that take?
Assuming the person is getting the electrolytes they need…

Scurvy comes to mind.

Are you showing symptoms of something or just trying to get an idea of what to look for just in case?

I don’t have any symptoms. I’m just wondering.
It takes months before scurvy symptoms become dangerous though, doesn’t it?

Scurvy apparently can start after 3 months.

B12 also seems to take a couple months to show up

Hopefully others will have more and better information. I have wondered the same thing myself.


Thats so freaky, especially before so many foods were fortified. You could go on for months, maybe years without realizing you were really really sick. And then one day bam, it just hits you all at once

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I don’t think it hits you like a ton of bricks. It probably starts very small and builds.

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That might be true for most vitamins, but I know at least Vitamin D deficiency is associated with sudden cardiac arrest. I mean, like deficiency over a lifetime.

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Thus explaining the old proverb: take all the D you can get.