Changes In Hair And Nails And/or A Red Scaly Rash
You could be deficient in biotin . If your hair, fingernails, and toenails become brittle, flaky, or begin to crackor if you notice a red, scaly rash on your faceyou could be dealing with a biotin deficiency. This essential vitamin is also known as the hair vitamin, but deficiencies of biotin can also cause fatigue, muscle pain, and cramps. Pregnant women, people with Crohns disease, heavy drinkers, and heavy smokers are more susceptible to biotin deficiencies. Also, bodybuilders who regularly consume egg whites may develop biotin deficiencies, as avidina protein in raw egg whitesprevents biotin absorption.
How can you address the deficiency? Add foods and supplements rich in biotin, since the body does not store many water-soluble B vitamins, including biotin. Food sources rich in biotin include egg yolks and cooked eggscooking deactivates problematic avidinorgan meats, salmon, other fish, dairy, nuts, avocados, bananas, blueberries, spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower. If your nails are cracking and splitting, pharmacists say a biotin-specific supplement or hair, skin & nails supplement could help.
You Shouldn’t Take The Same Supplements As Everyone Else
Personalized vitamins are better than taking whatever you find on the shelf, but you should still consult a doctor or dietitian about supplements for particular concerns.
If your diet, lifestyle, fitness routine, sleep habits and health status aren’t the same as anyone else’s, why would it make sense to take the same supplements as everyone else?
For some supplements, this is obvious: You probably wouldn’t feel inclined to take a calorie-dense, high-protein and high-carb post-workout shake if you weren’t trying to build muscle. You also probably wouldn’t reach for sleep aids if you don’t have trouble sleeping at night.
For other supplements, the disconnect isn’t so conspicuous. Everyone needs vitamins, right?
Yes, everyone does need vitamins and minerals and other certain nutrients , but not everyone needs the same amount of the same nutrient.
Take vitamin B12 as an example: People who eat a vegan or vegetarian diet may benefit from supplementing with B12 because this vitamin is found primarily in animal products or fortified products. If you eat eggs, dairy products, chicken, seafood or steak, you likely don’t need additional vitamin B12.
If you’re interested in learning more about which vitamins you actually need, I highly recommend reading The Vitamin Solution by Dr. Romy Block and Dr. Arielle Levitan, two doctors who founded Vous Vitamin, a personalized multivitamin company.
How Do I Know If I Need A Vitamin Or Mineral Supplement
Most people can get the nutrients they need from a healthy, well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. These common foods are all good sources of important essential vitamins and minerals:
- 1 cup of canned white beans = 8 milligrams of iron
- ½ cup of raw red bell pepper = 95 mg of vitamin C
- 1 baked sweet potato = 1,403 micrograms of vitamin A
- 3 ounces of cooked trout = 645 mcg of vitamin D
- ½ cup boiled spinach = 131 mcg of folate
- 1 cup of plain low-fat yogurt = 75 mcg of iodine
Supplements may be necessary for people who have certain health conditions, such as food allergies, that make it difficult to get all the nutrients their bodies need. Sometimes a supplement is needed only periodically, as when a woman is pregnant, breastfeeding, or experiences anemia during heavy menstruation. Vegetarians and vegans should choose plant-based alternatives for nutrients such as iron, which are more abundant in animal foods.
But its also possible to get too much of a good thing. According to theNational Institutes of Health, taking too much of a vitamin A supplement, for example, can cause side effects ranging from dizziness and nausea to coma and death. Vitamin D toxicity can lead to vomiting, disorientation, and even kidney damage.
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General Aches And Pains
Muscle pain, which is often mistaken for a natural aging or even exercise-related symptom, is a sign of vitamin D and magnesium deficiencies. Muscle stiffness, tightness, and cramping is often associated with low magnesium, while muscle weakness, muscle pain, and bone pain are associated with low levels of Vitamin D, says Dr. Mitmesser. Both vitamin D and the mineral magnesium come in supplemental form by way of vitamins and tinctures.
How Is Vitamin D Deficiency Treated
The goals of treatment and prevention are the sameto reach, and then maintain, an adequate level of vitamin D in the body. While you might consider eating more foods that contain vitamin D and getting a little bit of sunlight, you will likely be told to take vitamin D supplements.
Vitamin D comes in two forms: D2 and D3. D2, also called ergocalciferol, comes from plants. D3, also called cholecalciferol, comes from animals. You need a prescription to get D2. D3, however, is available over the counter. It is more easily absorbed than D2 and lasts longer in the body dose-for-dose. Work with your doctor to find out if you need to take a vitamin supplement and how much to take if it is needed.
Who Should Avoid Supplements And Vitamins
Supplements are not a good idea for people with some kinds of health conditions. They also can keep some medications from working as well as they should. Always talk with your doctor before you add any to your diet. People who should avoid certain types include:
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women, because some supplements can be dangerous to the baby. A daily prenatal vitamin has the right types and amounts of nutrients for these women.
- People who take heart medications, diuretics, blood thinners, aspirin, drugs that turn down the immune system, and steroids. With any type of drug, theres always a chance that it wont mix well with a supplement, but the problems can be especially severe with some of these drugs.
- People who are going to have surgery, because some products may lead to bleeding and other dangerous complications.
- People whove had cancer or are getting treated for it. Some supplements could help cancer cells grow or make treatments for the disease less effective.
How Much Vitamin D Do You Need
In healthy people, the amount of vitamin D needed per day varies by age. The chart below shows the often-cited recommendations of the Institute of Medicine, now the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. It is important to know that these are general recommendations. If your doctor is checking your blood levels, he or she might recommend higher or lower doses based on your individual needs.
If you have osteoporosis, your doctor might suggest a blood test of your vitamin D levels. The amount of vitamin D supplement can be customized for each person, based on the results. For many older patients, a vitamin D supplement containing anywhere between 800 to 2000 IUs daily, which can be obtained without a prescription, can be both safe and beneficial. It is important to speak with your doctor about your individual needs.
|People by age|
*refers to adequate intake vs recommended dietary allowance of the other age groups.
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What Protects From Fractures
For older patients at risk of vitamin D deficiency, supplements can have a major impact. They can prevent osteomalacia, a softening of the bone that makes fractures more likely.
A University of Auckland meta-study reported that vitamin D supplements had little effect on bone density.
We would not expect vitamin D supplements to have a large impact on bone density unless the deficiency was severe, he says. Then their impact could be significant.
Improving bone density is not the only way to prevent fractures especially in older patients. Vitamin D can also have huge benefits for muscle function, cognition and falling.
One study found no evidence that vitamin D supplements reduced mortality, or prevented falls or fractures. A different study found no evidence that vitamin D supplements reduced overall mortality. Drilling down into the type of supplement taken, however, vitamin D3 significantly reduced mortality while vitamin D2 slightly increased mortality.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Vitamin D Deficiency
Severe lack of vitamin D causes rickets, which shows up in children as incorrect growth patterns, weakness in muscles, pain in bones and deformities in joints. This is very rare. However, children who are deficient in vitamin D can also have muscle weakness or sore and painful muscles.
Lack of vitamin D is not quite as obvious in adults. Signs and symptoms might include:
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Vitamins And Supplements: Literally Everything You Need To Know
On June 02, 2022
Customers worldwide commonly shop for vitamins and supplements for many reasons, including boosting their energy and reducing stress signs. However, they may not recognize the fundamental importance of these multivitamins. Now you will learn more about these products and how to choose them.
Poor Night Vision And White Growths On The Eyes
A nutrient-poor diet can sometimes cause vision problems.
For instance, low intakes of vitamin A are often linked to a condition known as night blindness, which reduces peoples ability to see in low light or darkness.
Thats because vitamin A is necessary to produce rhodopsin, a pigment found in the retinas of the eyes that helps you see at night.
When left untreated, night blindness can progress to xerophthalmia, a condition that can damage the cornea and ultimately lead to blindness .
Another early symptom of xerophthalmia is Bitots spots, which are slightly elevated, foamy, white growths that occur on the conjunctiva or white part of the eyes.
The growths can be removed to a certain extent but only fully disappear once the vitamin A deficiency is treated .
Fortunately, vitamin A deficiency is rare in developed countries. Those who suspect their vitamin A intake is insufficient can try eating more vitamin-A-rich foods, such as organ meats, dairy, eggs, fish, dark leafy greens, and yellow-orange colored vegetables .
Unless diagnosed with a deficiency, most people should avoid taking vitamin A supplements. Thats because vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, which, when consumed in excess, can accumulate in the bodys fat stores and become toxic.
Symptoms of vitamin A toxicity can be serious and include nausea, headaches, skin irritation, joint and bone pain, and, in severe cases, even coma or death .
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Can You Ever Have Too Much Vitamin D
Yes. You can get too much vitamin D if you overdo the supplements. Interestingly, you cannot get too much vitamin D from the sun. Vitamin D toxicity is, thankfully, quite rare but can lead to hypercalcemia and together the symptoms can include:
- Ataxia .
Do not take higher-than-recommended doses of vitamin D without first discussing it with your doctor. However, your doctor might recommend higher doses of vitamin D if he or she is checking your blood levels and adjusting your dose accordingly. Also, be cautious about getting large doses of vitamin A along with the D in some fish oils. Vitamin A can also reach toxic levels and can cause serious problems.
Do I Need Supplements & Vitamins
It depends on your diet, nutrition, age, and overall health. Suppose you eat a well-balanced diet, including protein, vegetables, and other nutrients. In that case, you do not need additional vitamins and supplements. However, if you do not eat a nutritious diet, you have to fulfill this deficiency by having them.
Furthermore, women who are planning to be pregnant need to get a folic acid supplement before pregnancy to avoid neural tube defects in their babies. Also, people who suffer from nutritional deficiencies such as vitamin D, calcium, vitamin B12, or iron need multivitamins.
Doctors prescribe multivitamins for people who have had bariatric surgery or have gastrointestinal conditions. Their intestines won’t absorb nutrients from food properly. Moreover, seniors are prone to vitamin deficiency, for instance, vitamin D, so they need vitamin D supplementation. If you suffer from a food allergy, you probably miss some of the nutrients in this food, so you need to get them from a supplement.
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Getting Enough Of The Sunshine Vitamin
Your body works in miraculous ways like manufacturing its own supply of vitamin D. Unfortunately, many factors both within and beyond your control can interfere with your bodys ability to do this. If youre concerned you may have a serious vitamin D deficiency, consult with your doctor. In the meantime, vitamin D supplements are a great way to ensure your body is truly getting the sunshine it needs.
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What Causes Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency can be caused by specific medical conditions, such as:
- Cystic fibrosis, Crohn’s disease, and celiac disease: These diseases do not allow the intestines to absorb enough vitamin D through supplements.
- Weight loss surgeries. Weight loss surgeries that reduce the size of the stomach and/or bypasses part of the small intestines make it very difficult to consume sufficient quantities of certain nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. These individuals need to be carefully monitored by their doctors and need to continue to take vitamin D and other supplements throughout their lives.
- Obesity: A body mass index greater than 30 is associated with lower vitamin D levels. Fat cells keep vitamin D isolated so that it is not released. Vitamin D deficiency is more likely in obese people. Obesity often makes it necessary to take larger doses of vitamin D supplements in order to reach and maintain normal D levels.
- Kidney and liver diseases: These diseases reduce the amount of an enzyme needed to change vitamin D to a form that is used in the body. Lack of this enzyme leads to an inadequate level of active vitamin D in the body.
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How Do I Know If I Have Inadequate Or Deficient Vitamin A Levels
A vitamin A inadequacy or deficiency can be treated with a vitamin A supplement and a proper Paleo diet rich in vitamin-A food sources.
Individuals with Diabetes, hyperthyroidism, cystic fibrosis, cancer or infection could all use higher intakes of vitamin A. Infants, young children and pregnant women in developing countries also have an increased risk for a vitamin A deficiency.
We recommend our Super A supplement for support of inadequate or deficient vitamin A levels. Take 1 drop daily, or as directed by your physician.
How Can I Help Prevent Vitamin D Deficiency
The goals of treating and preventing the lack of vitamin D of treatment and prevention are the sameto reach and keep an adequate level of vitamin D in the body. Your healthcare provider will let you know if you need to take or keep taking vitamin D supplements. If so, they will also let you know how much you should take. You might also want to consider:
Eating more foods that contain vitamin D: See the vitamin D food sources table included in this article. Keep in mind that foods alone usually don’t meet the daily recommended levels of vitamin D.
Getting some exposure to sunshinebut not too much: Exactly how much sun exposure is needed isnt clear. 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure two to three times a week to the face, arms, legs or back may be all that is needed to absorb a suitable amount of vitamin D. You might need more sun exposure if:
- You are older.
- You have a darker skin color.
- You live in northern climates.
The use of sunscreen, and standing behind a window, prevents vitamin D from being produced in the skin. However, you should remember that too much sunshine increases the risk of skin cancer and ages the skin. That is why taking an appropriately dosed D supplement is far safer than intentionally getting routine sun exposure.
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How To Get More Calcium
Adults should receive 1,000 mg of calcium each day from food sources and supplements.
Calcium-rich foods include as salmon and sardines , broccoli and bok choi.
And, of course, dairy products including skim milk, and nonfat or lowfat yogurt. Try swapping one daily sugary beverage for an 8 oz. glass of milk. And keep a few yogurts in the fridge at home or work for midday snacks. You can also use the milk and yogurt to make homemade smoothies, with fresh or frozen berries.
Vitamin And Mineral Deficiencies And Supplements
The fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K can be locked away in the liver and body fat, and stored for a long time. The water-soluble vitamins, including B-complex and vitamin C, are mostly only stored for a shorter period.A vitamin deficiency takes weeks or months before it will affect your health. For instance, it would take months of no vitamin C before you developed scurvy.
Vitamin and mineral supplements may be recommended in certain circumstances to correct vitamin and mineral deficiencies such as folate for women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy. Others who may be at risk of a vitamin or mineral deficiency include:
- pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding
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Vitamin B1: Numbness Fatigue Swollen Tongue And More
Vitamin B12 aids the production of red blood cells and DNA, and also improves neurotransmitter function, according to the NIH. Vegetarians and vegans may be at particular risk for vitamin B12 deficiency because plants don’t make the nutrient, and people who’ve had weight loss surgery may also lack B12 because the procedure makes it difficult for the body to extract the nutrient from food, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
Symptoms of severe B12 deficiency include numbness in the legs, hands, or feet problems with walking and balance anemia fatigue weakness a swollen, inflamed tongue memory loss and difficulty thinking, per Harvard Health Publishing. These symptoms can come on quickly or gradually, and since theres such a wide range in symptoms, you may not notice them for a while.
Adults need 2.4 mcg of B12 per day, according to the NIH. Its most commonly found in animal products, and Patton recommends fish, chicken, milk, and yogurt to boost your B12 levels. If youre vegan or vegetarian, Zive suggests opting for foods fortified with B12, such as plant-based milk and breakfast cereals. You can also find B12 in most multivitamins, according to the NIH, but if youre at risk of being deficient, you can take a supplement specifically containing B12.