Just One Vitamin Deficiency Can Affect Prison Health

We all know that prisoner don’t eat the best meals or have the best nutrition. This can result in a vitamin deficiency. They are often given small portions and are sometimes forced to steal food. The food is sometimes marked “unfit for human consumption” and inmates get sick from it. I actually wrote about it in my book called Subprime Felon. On top of getting sick, inmates are living in close quarters and are contracting illnesses that other inmates have acquired. It seems that something should be done to combat these issues. Although a lot would need to happen, like a lawsuit, for serving food unfit for humans, there are still other things that can be done. The easiest thing I can think of is to offer inmates vitamin supplements for free as part of the healthcare program. Improving prison healthcare by providing free vitamin supplements will be a step in the right direction.

vitamin deficiency

Based on the top ten health issues that men face (heart issues, respiratory issues, and depression/suicide), here are the most common vitamin deficiencies in men.

Impaired Brain or Cognitive Function

  • Iron – According to amazingwellness.com, Iron deficiency is also associated with impaired brain function, including decreased attentiveness, a narrower attention span, decreased persistence, and decreased voluntary activity.”
  • Vitamin D – A deficiency results in poor cognition, neurological function, increased risk of Dementia and of Alzheimer’s. A decline in brain health was three times more likely due to vitamin D deficiency than that of healthy adults.
  • Vitamin B-12 – A deficiency can result in memory loss, Dementia, difficult balancing, difficulty walking, and depression.


  • Magnesium – A low level can result in impaired lung function, overactive bronchial activity, and an increase in wheezing.
  • Zinc – A zinc vitamin deficiency has been found in patients that are experiencing wheezing, attacks, and airway inflammation. It has been known to alter airway reactivity by reducing the inflammatory response.
  • Vitamin E – Assists in reducing airway constriction due to its anti-inflammatory properties. According to verywellhealth.com, “low levels are associated with increased asthma symptoms, increased airway hyperreactivity, and poorer asthma control.

Cardiovascular Issues

  • Magnesium – A deficiency can increase the risk of a heart attack and is associated with high blood pressure.
  • Potassium – Be careful with this nutrient because too much and too little can cause the same effects. This nutrient can cause heart rhythm irregularities because it controls the electrical pulse within the heart.
  • Calcium – A calcium vitamin deficiency is also related to heartbeat irregularities, lack of blood pressure control, and improper blood vessel activity.

Impotence & the Heart

  • Zinc – A zinc vitamin deficiency can result in lower testosterone levels, unhealthy prostate, decreased sperm count/motility, and erectile dysfunction.
  • Vitamin D – A low level of vitamin D can result in restricted blood flow.  
  • Folic Acid – A significantly lower level can result in heart dysfunction and decreased erectile strength.  

Vitamins supply added or missing nutrients to people that want an extra boost or are deficient. Inmates are most certainly deficient in vitamins considering the food they’re served and the environment they are in. Even if you’re not in prison, having a poor diet can result in deficiencies too. Even a slight deficiency can result in symptoms because your body cannot make certain minerals or vitamins. Furthermore, if the vegetables you buy are grown in nutrient poor soil, you will miss out on a lot of essential nutrients too.