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Traveling Made Me Realize My Vitamin Levels Were Off

Written by Joe Cohen, BS | Last updated:

Recently, I’ve been struggling with vitamin deficiencies and I have traveling to thank for that!

You may have seen on social media that I’m in Tel Aviv, Israel. And ever since I’ve been abroad, I’ve started noticing some symptoms that I wasn’t experiencing before.

First, I realized that my acne scars were taking a really long time to heal. Second, when I got new pimples during my menstrual cycle, it took a very long time for them to go away. If any of them started bleeding, they would bleed for an abnormally long time.

However, after my experience with fixing my hormone issues, I knew I could get to the bottom of these new issues too.

First, was I doing anything differently?

I couldn’t pinpoint any major changes in my diet, so I started to wonder if I could be deficient in a particular vitamin or mineral.

So, I started off with a simple search….

“What vitamins can heal acne scarring?”

Vitamin E and Vitamin K were the first to come up.

As I did some research on SelfHacked, I realized that Vitamin E deficiency was actually very common.

Over 90% of the US population doesn’t get enough vitamin E, which is essential for immunity, fertility, brain health, and more.

Vitamin E is also essential for skin health since it reduces inflammation, inhibits peroxidation, and combats photoaging and UV damage.

On the other hand, Vitamin K is not a common deficiency. Vitamin K helps to prevent bleeding, promotes clotting and speeds up skin healing.

If you have a varied diet you should be getting enough of this vitamin. But, I had been traveling, so maybe my diet wasn’t what it used to be after all.

Uncovering the Cause of My Vitamin Deficiencies

After some thinking, I realized that I was no longer having a kale smoothie every morning like I used to and kale is a great source of Vitamin K!

But, not everyone drinks kale smoothies, so why did eliminating that from my diet have such a major effect on me?

I decided to take a look at my genes to see how my genetics might affect my vitamin levels.

After downloading my Vitamins report on SelfDecode, I found out that I am actually at an increased risk for Vitamin E & K deficiencies, which both play a major role in skin health.

Going through this process made me think hard about any changes I had made since going abroad and I remembered that I had also stopped taking my multivitamins.

I guess I thought I didn’t need them anymore…Boy was I wrong…

Stopping those multivitamins in addition to changing my diet while traveling had caused all these symptoms that I’d never experienced before!

It is really important to stay in tune with your body, track changes and check your genes to get to the root cause of your issues.

Now, I’m back on a multivitamin and trying to add more nutrients in my diet. Thankfully, my symptoms have reduced significantly since doing so!

Are you at higher risk for vitamin or mineral deficiencies?

If you have genes like mine, you might just be one kale smoothie short of poor skin health! (Ok, I missed more than just one kale smoothie, but you get the idea!)

If you’ve been thinking about learning more about your genetics and working to optimize your vitamin levels, now is the time. SelfDecode’s Diet & Nutrition Reports will provide you with a personalized analysis of your genes and how they might affect your vitamin levels.

About the Author

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen flipped the script on conventional and alternative medicine…and it worked. Growing up, he suffered from inflammation, brain fog, fatigue, digestive problems, insomnia, anxiety, and other issues that were poorly understood in traditional healthcare. Frustrated by the lack of good information and tools, Joe decided to embark on a learning journey to decode his DNA and track his biomarkers in search of better health. Through this personalized approach, he discovered his genetic weaknesses and was able to optimize his health 10X better than he ever thought was possible. Based on his own health success, he went on to found SelfDecode, the world’s first direct-to-consumer DNA analyzer & precision health tool that utilizes AI-driven polygenic risk scoring to produce accurate insights and health recommendations. Today, SelfDecode has helped over 100,000 people understand how to get healthier using their DNA and labs.
Joe is a thriving entrepreneur, with a mission of empowering people to take advantage of the precision health revolution and uncover insights from their DNA and biomarkers so that we can all feel great all of the time.


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