Dr Oscar Duke issues warning over ‘fizzy’ vitamins
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The NHS says you may experience irritability, depression, changes in the way you think, feel and behave and a decline in your mental abilities, such as memory, understanding and judgement. There are a number of people who are susceptible to having a B12 deficiency, though people can gain the vitamin from some foods.
The NHS says if you have anaemia caused by a vitamin B12 deficiency, you may have other symptoms, such as:
- A pale yellow tinge to your skin
- A sore and red tongue (glossitis)
- Mouth ulcers
- Pins and needles (paraesthesia)
- Changes in the way that you walk and move around
- Disturbed vision.
There are also some additional symptoms in people with anaemia caused by a folate deficiency.
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The NHS says these can include:
- Symptoms related to anaemia
- Reduced sense of taste
- Numbness and tingling in the feet and hands
- Muscle weakness
The health body warns: “It’s important for vitamin B12 or folate deficiency anaemia to be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.”
It warns: “The longer the condition goes untreated, the higher the chance of permanent damage.”
The NHS says those aged 19 to 64 need about 1.5 micrograms a day of vitamin B12.
The health body explains if you eat meat, fish or dairy foods, you should be able to get enough vitamin B12 from your diet.
It says taking 2.0 micrograms or less a day of vitamin B12 in supplements is unlikely to cause any harm.
The Mayo Clinic says vitamin B12 plays an essential role in red blood cell formation, cell metabolism, nerve function and the production of DNA.
Although a vitamin B12 deficiency is something which can be dangerous, people should be careful not to take too many supplements.
The Mayo Clinic states: “Most people get enough vitamin B12 from a balanced diet. “However, older adults, vegetarians, vegans and people who have conditions that affect their ability to absorb vitamin B12 from foods might benefit from the use of oral supplements.”
It adds vitamin B12 supplements are also sometimes recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding exclusively and follow vegetarian or vegan diets.
The Mayo Clinic notes: “People who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet might be prone to deficiency because plant foods don’t contain vitamin B12.
“Older adults and people with digestive tract conditions that affect absorption of nutrients also are susceptible to vitamin B12 deficiency.”
Both vitamin B12 deficiency and folate deficiency are more common in older people, affecting around one in 10 people aged 75 or over and one in 20 people aged 65 to 74, says the NHS.
The NHS warns: “Taking doses of folic acid higher than 1mg can mask the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, which can eventually damage the nervous system if it’s not spotted and treated.”
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