Nerve damage and Nutritional Deficiency

Nerve damage might even develop owing to deficiency of certain nutrients. Poor diet is not the sole cause of nutritional deficiency. Certain cancers impair absorption of nutrients, leading to severe nutritional deficiency, which might eventually damage the nerve. Gastric surgeries might slow down absorption of nutrients. Nerve damage owing to nutritional deficiency could occur in heavy drinkers.

Vitamin B1


Vitamin B1 is needed for the development of myelin sheaths that encase the nerves. Deficiency of this essential vitamin triggers degeneration of the nerve covering, stimulating nerve damage. This B vitamin is also needed for synthesizing the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which transmits signals between the nerves and the muscles.Nerve damage might be healed by elevating the thiamine or vitamin B1 level in the body. Thiamine is a water-soluble vitamin. Your body could not store this essential vitamin. To prevent deficiency of this B vitamin, you should include sufficient vitamin B1 rich food in your diet. Moreover, to maintain the normal vitamin B1 level in the body, you should include vitamin B1 rich foods in each meal and snacks.Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, mustard greens, turnip greens, lettuce and celery, asparagus, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, peas, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprout, eggplant, tomato, bell peppers, beans, carrots, winter squash, watermelon, oranges, pineapple, grapes, lentils and garlic are the common sources of vitamin B1.


Vitamin B6 foods


The nervous system of the body needs vitamin B6 to function properly. It aids synthesis of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. Insufficient vitamin B6 in the diet might cause neuropathy.Nerve damage owing to vitamin B6 is more common in alcoholics. Carpal tunnel syndrome, a common cause of nerve damage, might be triggered by deficiency of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 when combined with glutamine might provide relief from thesymptoms of nerve damage induced by chemotherapy.Nerve damage might be reversed by consuming vitamin B6 rich foods and supplements. Banana, baked potato with skin, oatmeal, spinach, tomato, avocado, sunflower seeds, beans, wheat bran, peanut, chicken, lean meat and fish are rich sources of dietary vitamin B6. Nerve damage might be healed by taking vitamin B6 supplements. However, you should not take more than 100mg of vitamin B6 daily in the form of supplements.

Vitamin C rich foods


Ascorbic acid is concentrated in certain regions of the brain, in the extracellular fluid, present between the nerve cells. According to researchers, adequate intake of ascorbic acid or vitamin C could improve the functioning of the nervous system.Deficiency of vitamin C in the diet might reduce motor functions. In a Stanford University study, researchers found that the motor function in mice with nerve damage could be improved by injecting ascorbicacid.Scientists speculate that humans with nerve damage might also benefit by taking large amounts of vitamin C.Vitamin C is also noted for its powerful antioxidant property. It could neutralize free radicals.Elevated free radical levels in the body might accelerate nerve damage.Bell peppers, parsley, cauliflower, broccoli, lemon, strawberries, lettuce, mustard greens, turnip green, kale, Brussels sprout, papaya, grapefruit, cantaloupe, kiwifruit, orange, cabbage, tomato, celery, cucumber, watermelon, spinach, green beans, raspberries, pineapple, cranberries, carrot, apricot, plum, garlic, potato with skin, banana, apple, grapes, avocado and beets are the best sources of vitamin C.

Vitamin B12


Deficiency of vitamin B12 is linked to nerve damage. This B vitamin is needed for the production of myelin sheath, a fatty material that insulates the nerves. Deficiency of this essential vitamin might alter nerve function. Vitamin B12 also maintains the normal balance of hormone-like molecules in the nerves.Imbalance of these substances in the nerves might trigger nerve damage. Calf’s liver, fish and seafood, lean meat, cow’s milk, yogurt and egg are good sources of vitamin B12 in the diet. Absence of animal products in the diet increases the risk of vitamin B12 deficiency in vegans. In the plant world, this B vitamin is present in blue-green algae, kelp, brewer’s yeast and fermented soy products such as tofu, miso and tempeh.



Alpha-lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant present in organ meat, red meat and Brewer’s yeast. It might prevent degeneration of nerve cells. It is especially beneficial in treating nerve damage in diabetics. Diabetic neuropathy might be healed by taking 800mg of alpha-lipoic acid in the form of supplements. This antioxidant can also bring down the blood sugar level naturally.

Omega-3 fatty acid rich food


Chronic low-grade inflammation might trigger nerve damage. Nerve damage might be prevented and arrested by consuming foods that obstruct the activities of pro inflammatory proteins and enzymes. Omega-3 fatty acids are powerful anti-inflammatory substances in our diet.

They can prevent nerve damage caused by chronic inflammation. Cold-water fish are the richest sources ofomega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil or cod liver oil supplements can elevate the omega-3 fatty acid level in your body. This essential fat is also found in flaxseed oil, walnuts and whole grains.



In traditional Chinese medicine, Ginger is frequently recommended for treating nerve pain and inflammation. Drinking several cups of ginger tea might reduce the symptoms of nerve damage. One to two grams of fresh ginger could be taken daily to reduce nerve pain and prevent nerve damage owing to inflammation.

Potassium and magnesium rich foods

To enable your nerves to function normally, include sufficient potassium and magnesium rich foods in your diet. Spinach, chard, Brussels sprout, broccoli, mustard green, eggplant and tomatoes are rich in potassium. You can meet your daily magnesium requirement by consuming leafy green vegetables, broccoli, cucumber, beans and seeds.

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