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How To Know If You Need Vitamins

What Is Vitamin B12

Vitamins and Supplements, what you NEED to know!

Also known as cobalamin, Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is involved in metabolism. It is one of the essential vitamins found in animal foods. It is vital for animals as well as it plays an essential role in red blood cell formation, cell metabolism, and nerve function. Moreover, some common sources of vitamin B12 include poultry, meat, fish, and dairy products.

Vitamin B12 is essential for the function of many important body parts such as the brain, nerves, and blood cells. If you feel that you have low energy levels or are overweight, then improved levels of vitamin B12 will help you feel better, increase energy, and contribute to weight loss. Vitamin B12 is stored in the liver for several years, which means that a vitamin B12 deficiency takes years to develop.

What Are B12 Injections And Should I Try Them

Yes, B12 injections may have had a moment in the spotlight, but it’s not really advisable for the average person, Keatley says. If you’re not getting enough B12 in your diet, injections may be helpful if you are, they’re unlikely to do anything. What’s more, being deficient in B12 doesn’t mean you automatically have to have regular shots since some people do just fine with supplements in pill form, Keatley says. But if you have pernicious anemia or have any other trouble absorbing B12, injections might be a good idea for you, Warren says.

Healthy Body: Nutrition Basics

Sometimes feeling tired or low in spirits, with mild aches and pains, or just generally feeling unwell, is considered insignificant. While from time to time some of these symptoms are minor disturbances of your daily life other times, they could be a sign of an illness/malfunctioning that can range from a simple cold, to some vitamins deficiencies. Occasionally, these symptoms can be more serious and indicate a chronic disease in progression. For your body to be well, you have to make sure that you are eating the right food choices for you and delivering to your body all that it needs from macro and micronutrients. Everyone has heard of colds and viral infections or even chronic diseases but very few truly understand the meaning of vitamins deficiencies. Many believe that a low level of a given vitamin could only be the burden of poor countries that suffer from poverty and famine. But, the truth is far beyond such a hypothesis. Even the richest countries or people could have vitamin deficiencies. Although the Western world has plenty of food, many people are suffering from nutrient deficiencies due to changes in the quality of the food that we produce, pick or eat. Vitamin deficiency can have many causes:

1- You could be eating the wrong kinds of food that do not offer a proper nutrition to your body

2- Maybe you are following a certain diet that does restrict you from a certain group of food, which could lead to deficiencies in both macro and micronutrients.

Also Check: How Much Vitamin D Is Safe

Dr John Day Cardiologist

Dr. John DayDr. Day is a cardiologist specializing in heart rhythm abnormalities at St. Mark Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. He graduated from Johns Hopkins Medical School and completed his residency and fellowships in cardiology and cardiac electrophysiology at Stanford University. He is the former president of the Heart Rhythm Society and the Utah chapter of the American College of Cardiology.

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Vitamin D Testing And Supplements Can Be Controversial

Conversations: How to tell if you might need more of the ...

Routine testing for vitamin D can be controversial among medical professionals.

The National Endocrine Society and the Institute of Medicine , for example, recommend vitamin D testing be limited to specific patients . Rosen and Madan also say not everyone needs vitamin D supplements, only those who have a confirmed deficiency and experience symptoms, according to Madan.

One of the criticisms of routine vitamin D testing is that it can be time-consuming and costly for insurance companies. Out-of-pocket costs for vitamin D tests could range from $40 to $225,according to Kaiser Health News. And typically, most vitamin D tests are covered by health insurance.

Another issue is that widespread vitamin D testing can result in unnecessary treatment of patients with supplements. “It leads to lots of people taking very high doses of vitamin D,” Rosen says.

There are concerns around consuming too much vitamin D according to the NIH, excess vitamin D can cause nausea, poor appetite, constipation and weight loss. Severe vitamin D toxicity can cause confusion, disorientation and problems with heart rhythm.

Additionally, there is not a lot of scientific evidence that taking vitamin D, if you do not have a deficiency, does anything helpful. It’s safe to take in small doses, Rosen says , but “whether it’s effective is really the question.”

The NIH Office of Dietary Supplements does not recommend whether or not to take supplements, but says the daily upper limit for adults is 4,000 IUs.

Recommended Reading: How Much Does A Vitamin D Test Cost

So How Do You Tell If Your Diet Is Complete

First, you can find comfort in this: The days of gross life-threatening vitamin deficiencies in America are behind us,Dr. Robert Huizenga, or Dr. H, a health expert for The Biggest Loser, author and professor at University of California, Los Angeles, tells us. I have never seen a case of scurvy, beriberi, pellagra or rickets but flagrant cases continue to occur in those with intestinal diseases and those who eat extremely limited, repetitious tea and toast-like diets.

More:10 Easiest diets to follow and what they do for you

He notes that, if anything, mineral deficiencies are more common than vitamin deficiencies, and the best way to know is by taking a holistic look at your diet. Living in this country, Dr. H explains, if you eat the rainbow of colors of fruits and vegetables , whole wheat grains, healthy fats , lean protein and if you have normal digestive function, the chance you have any nutrient deficiency is essentially zero.

Folic Acid Supplement In Pregnancy

If you’re pregnant, trying for a baby or could get pregnant, it’s recommended that you take a 400 microgram folic acid supplement every day until you’re 12 weeks pregnant. Folic acid supplements need to be taken before you get pregnant, so start taking them before you stop using contraception or if there’s a chance you might get pregnant.

Folic acid can help to prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida.

Find out more about vitamins, supplements and nutrition in pregnancy.

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Magnesium: Loss Of Appetite Nausea Fatigue And More

Magnesium helps support bone health and assists in energy production, and adults need between 310 and 420 mg, depending on sex and age, according to the NIH. Although deficiency is fairly uncommon in otherwise healthy people, certain medications and health conditions can limit the absorption of magnesium or increase the loss of this nutrient from the body.

Magnesium deficiency can cause loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, and weakness, according to the Cleveland Clinic. In more severe cases, it may also lead to numbness and tingling, muscle cramps or contractions, seizures, irregular heart rhythms, personality changes, or coronary spasms.

To help your levels return to normal, eat more magnesium-rich foods, such as almonds, cashews, peanuts, spinach, black beans, and edamame, Patton says.

RELATED: What Are the Health Benefits of Magnesium?

Types Of Nutritional Tests


There are hundreds of nutritional tests that can be used to diagnose various conditions, diseases, and nutrient deficiencies. Some of the most common nutritional tests include:

  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin B12
  • Folate
  • Each of these vitamins plays a vital role in various body functions, such as growing healthy teeth and nails, regulating metabolism, and maintaining brain function. A vitamin panel blood test checks the levels of these thirteen essential vitamins to identify any deficiencies and determine if supplements are needed.

    Recommended Reading: What Vitamins You Need Daily

    How Much Vitamin K1 Do You Need

    Many experts feel that the current recommended dose of vitamin K1 is too low to prevent disease. Thecurrent government recommendations are for just 90 mcg of vitamin K per day. To put this in perspective, you can easily get 10 times the amount of vitamin K the government recommends from just one cup of cooked kale or spinach.

    The Symptoms Of Vitamin D Deficiency

    Vitamin D has many roles in the body. It helps maintain a healthy immune system, promotes healthy and strong bones, and contributes to general health and wellbeing. Some of the symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency are the inverse of these desirable traits. This include:

    • Frequent illness.
    • A feeling of never being well-rested.
    • Pain in your back or bones.
    • Depression.
    • Wounds that wont heal.
    • Hair loss .

    Of course, many of these disorders can be associated with other issues, so you should consult with your primary care physician.

    Fortunately, its relatively easy to figure out if you are vitamin D deficient with a blood test. Its sometimes recommended to check more than once, as vitamin D levels in the blood will be different at different times of day, depending on your recent dietary intake. A couple of samples should quickly reveal your vitamin D situation.

    Its a good thing that testing for vitamin D deficiency is easy, because 42% of American adults are deficient in vitamin D! Therefore, if you have any of the symptoms weve listed above, or if you have others that seem related to the bodily processes described, definitely consider talking with your doctor. Thankfully, vitamin D deficiency is just as easy to treat as it is to diagnose, and you can get the help you need in products available over the counter or online.

    About Angela Halderson, RD

    Recommended Reading: How To Supplement With Vitamin D

    How To Get Vitamin D Without Supplements

    According to Thomas, natural vitamin D builds up in your blood when your intake is sufficient from sunlight and/or food. “If your vitamin D blood level is sufficiently good at the end of the summer, it can remain at adequate levels throughout the winter … if you get some vitamin D from food.” And while excessive sun exposure is unhealthy for other reasons, it won’t cause vitamin D toxicity because the body naturally limits the amount of vitamin D it produces, according to the NIH.

    As for food, “the only foods naturally containing vitamin D are oily fish such as wild caught salmon, which contains about 600-1000 IUs vitamin D, mushrooms exposed to sunlight and cod liver oil. Eight ounces of milk or orange fortified with vitamin D contains 100 IUs,” Holick says.

    Holick also recommends getting “sensible sun exposure” for “some” vitamin D, but caveats that “you cannot make any significant vitamin D before 10 a.m. and after 3 p.m. no matter where you live in the United States.” And if you wear sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30, it will reduce your ability to make vitamin D in your skin by 97.5%, he says.

    Holick helped to develop an app called dminder to help people figure out how much vitamin D they may be getting from the sun.

    Thomas says that people should consult their own healthcare provider before taking any vitamin D supplements.

    Vitamin Deficiencies And Nutrition Levels From Blood Testing

    How to Find the Best Multivitamin: What You Need to Know ...

    Last Reviewed Date: Nov 18, 2021 Nov 18, 2021 Aug 22, 2017

    Chapter 1: Healthy Body: Nutrition Basics Chapter 2: Dieting and Your Health Chapter 3: Hormones and Your Weight Chapter 4: Trending Diets: What You Should Know About Them Chapter 5: How to Avoid Hitting the Wall: Nutrition Guide for Athletes Chapter 6: Vitamins and Your Health Chapter 7: Gluten Testing: What You Need To Know Chapter 8: Vitamins and Your Weight: Are They Linked? Chapter 9: Dietary Supplements: Friend or Foe? Chapter 10: Overdosing on Vitamins: Too Much Of A Good Thing Is Possible Chapter 11: Commonly Asked Questions about Nutrition and Vitamin Supplements

    Also Check: What Foods Give You Vitamin B

    Stress Depression And Anxiety

    Some vitamin and omega-3 fatty acid deficiencies can lead to emotional disturbances. However, if you are feeling run down, it is more likely to be due to stress, depression or unhealthy lifestyle habits , rather than a vitamin deficiency.

    Feeling under pressure doesnt automatically lead to a vitamin deficiency, so taking a vitamin supplement wont necessarily make the stressful feelings go away. More serious mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, arent caused or prevented by vitamins, although a healthy diet can help support a person to better cope with their condition.

    Dont Overdose On These Vitamins

    There is increasing evidence that taking too many of these vitamin supplements can actually do more harm than good. There are quite a few studies on this. For example, the Iowa Womens Health Study examined over 38,000 women and found that taking multivitamins was linked to a 2.4% increased risk of death! Not an enormous percentage but still alarming.

    Basically, you have to decide what the deficiencies in your diet are, what your special needs are and not overdose. Pregnant women may need a multivitamin. Some patients recovering from a chronic illness may feel better after taking them for a period. Women who are trying to get pregnant may benefit from a Vitamin B containing folic acid. Sports fans may need supplementation when they have to do intense training and glucosamine sulphate helps protect joints.

    As regards overdosing, make sure you look out for the RDA and DV on the label and try not to go over that limit. It must be said that when treating osteoporosis, the RDA for Vitamin D is only 600 units but the National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends people over 50 should take up to 1,000 units.

    Recommended Reading: What Kind Of Vitamins Do I Need

    Signs You May Have Vitamin K2 Deficiency

    1. You bruise or bleed easily.

    Vitamin K was named K after the German word Koagulation or clotting. If you are deficient in vitamin K1, you will bruise or bleed easily.

    As much of the vitamin K2 in your body comes from the bodys conversion of vitamin K1 to K2, if you have a vitamin K1 deficiency you will also have a vitamin K2 deficiency. To ensure enough vitamin K2 for your body, make sure you eat a large serving of green leafy vegetables every day. Kale, spinach, or broccoli are all excellent choices.

    2. Youhave osteoporosis or broken bones.

    Manystudies have linked low K vitamins to a higher risk oflow bone mass, osteoporosis, or fractures. Vitamin K2 is especially important for normal osteocalcin function. Osteocalcin is a protein critical for healthybones.

    As vitamin K2 is critical for good bone health, this could explain why the Japanese and Chinese have much lower rates of osteoporosis or fractures even though few eat calcium-rich dairy. Indeed, the Japanese and Chinese both eat diets very highin green leafy vegetables and fermented soy, such as natto, which has the highest known levels of vitamin K2 of any food.

    3. Your mouth is full of cavities.
    4. You haveheart disease.

    Vitamin K2 may be one of the most overlooked strategies to decrease your risk of heart disease. Based on the Rotterdam Study of 4,807 people, those with the highest dietary intake of vitamin K2 had a 57% lower risk of heart disease.

    5. You have diabetes or pre-diabetes.

    How Do You Know If You Are Vitamin D Deficient

    All You Need to Know About Prenatal Vitamins

    According to a study published in 2014 by the NIH, researchers estimated that 35% of adults and nearly 50% of infants in the U.S. had a vitamin D deficiency.

    Without a blood test , it can be hard to tell. Early signs of vitamin D deficiency are subtle if they even exist. You may not show any symptoms at all, according to experts.

    But vitamin D deficiency can cause accelerated skin aging and dry skin, according to Dr. Raman Madan, a dermatologist at Northwell Health’s Huntington Hospital. And over time, severe deficiency can result in muscle weakness and bone fractures, says Paul Thomas, a registered dietitian nutritionist and scientific consultant at the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements.

    Studies have also found that prolonged vitamin D deficiency can cause bone-related diseases in adults and children.

    All that said, the only way to truly know if you are vitamin D deficient is to get a blood test through your doctor, says Thomas.

    Not all medical professionals, however, think routine testing for vitamin D is a good idea.

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    Which Form Is Best For You

    Having decided to take a multivitamin or another vitamin supplement, you have to decide which form is best for you. Effervescent tablets can contain up to 1 gram of salt per tablet so you should keep that in mind if you have to limit your salt intake because of high blood pressure, for example.

    Another thing to bear in mind is the difference between water-soluble vitamins and the fat-soluble ones. The latter should be taken less often because they are not excreted. They are usually stored in the liver so too many of these can damage this vital organ. The most common fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E and K. Water soluble ones such as B and C are usually washed out of the body so they need to be taken on a more regular basis.

    Now that you know a little bit more about vitamins, you should be able to make better choices when you buy and take these supplements.

    Are you worn-out and jaded from the same old routine? Why not try and plan some fun weekend activities?

    It is common for people to start being a little stereotypical or monotonous over a period. However, one must identify when such time comes and take steps to bring back the same gusto in their life.

    If you have fallen victim to such dull life, then contemplate fun things to do this weekend.

    After all, no one will pick you up from your couch in front of the TV. That part is only to be done by none other than YOU!


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