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 Symptom

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,