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Vitamin Deficiency Tips

Vitamin C Deficiency!

Dr. Guru Kumar Nunna 90% (22 ratings)
MBBS, Diploma in Child Health
Pediatrician, Nellore

The benefits of vitamin c: why your child needs it?

Vitamin c benefits in kids

Vitamin c has long been touted for its potential health benefits when battling a cold — i’m sure we’ve all been told to load up on it when we are sick. But did you know this vitamin is crucial for children’s good health and development? with winter and cold and flu season getting started, it’s important to know what vitamin c does and doesn’t help.

How vitamin c helps your body?

Vitamin c, also known as ascorbic acid, is a vitamin found in specific food sources, such as citrus fruits, berries, potatoes and peppers. You can also find vitamin c as a dietary supplement.

Vitamin c is important in the formation of:

Collagen, blood vessels, cartilage and muscle, and so it helps to maintains the integrity of many body tissues, including the skin.
Neurotransmitters, the chemicals that are important for signaling in the nervous system.
Carnitine, a chemical that supports the transport and breakdown of fatty acid to generate energy.
In addition, vitamin c is vital to the body’s maintenance of overall health, and is seen in high concentration in immune cells. This raises the possibility that vitamin c is an immune-boosting agent, although the mechanism isn’t clear.

The human body cannot form or produce vitamin c and so depends on outside sources. Plant sources, including tomatoes, peppers, broccoli and kiwi, are the best sources of vitamin c.

Vitamin c is also available as an oral supplement, but over-the-counter sources of vitamins have to be well-researched before taking them on a routine basis. If needed, enlist the help of your physician or pharmacist to choose the right supplement for you.

How to know if you have a vitamin c deficiency?

Diagnosis of vitamin c deficiency requires special blood tests, but the main condition caused by deficiency of vitamin c is known as scurvy, and it’s currently very rare. Scurvy was described by the ancient egyptians, and it was a leading cause of death during long ship voyages in the industrial revolution era.Since vitamin c is important for formation of collagen, symptoms of scurvy is related to improper deposition of collagen, the main structural protein found in skin and other connective tissues.


People with scurvy may have small brown spots on the skin, roughening of the skin, thickening of the gums and bleeding from the mucous membranes. They also may have a feeling of weakness or discomfort, emotional changes, poor wound healing, bone pain, and in late stages, jaundice, nerve involvement and convulsions.Vitamin c deficiency is rare in children in developed countries, unless they have severe intestinal malabsorption or poor dietary practices that avoid sources of vitamin c. Scurvy is still seen in developing countries, and is linked to malnutrition.

Can taking vitamin c prevent a cold?

The clear benefit for optimizing intake of vitamin c is to prevent scurvy, especially in children at risk, like those who are malnourished, have limited dietary choices or are at risk for malabsorption.Much has been discussed on the benefit of vitamin c in preventing the common cold. This topic has been extensively researched, and all the evidence suggests vitamin c does not prevent or helps in treating the common cold.Though the research evidence is not overwhelming, there is some suggestion that vitamin c may reduce the duration of illness. However, vitamin c supplementation on a routine basis does not decrease the incidence or reduce the severity of a common cold.It’s on this basis that some physicians recommend vitamin c for the common cold, and given the safety profile and the low cost, it may be ok to take a short course of vitamin c during a cold – but this should be discussed with your physician.

The role of vitamin c in the treatment of rheumatological illness is still unclear. Similarly, using vitamin c in cancer management or prevention is not recommended. The role of vitamin c in prevention of cardiovascular illnesses also is not supported by good evidence.Overall, vitamin c is an essential nutrient, but overt deficiency is very rare in the united states. Vitamin c may have an immune-boosting effect, and appears to be safe to take as a supplement. And although the medical evidence is not overwhelming, this vitamin may help reduce duration of common cold.

If a parent chooses to give vitamin c to his or her child to reduce the duration of common cold, it’s recommended that they discuss this first with the child’s pediatrician.It’s ultimately not necessary, and not recommended, to take vitamin c on a daily basis during the winter months as a common cold preventative measure.
 

1 person found this helpful

Vitamin B6 Deficiency - Are You Suffering From Any Of These Symptoms?

Dr. Yatin Kukreja 86% (10 ratings)
MD - Physician, CCEBDM
General Physician, Delhi
Vitamin B6 Deficiency - Are You Suffering From Any Of These Symptoms?

How many of us know that a deficiency of Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine can make you susceptible for heart disease, brain degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s as well as muscle pain, depression and dragging fatigue?



Vitamin B6 is one of the most crucial vitamins for health and it’s a part of the vitamin B complex family. Now, all B vitamins, including vitamin B6, play an important role in a number of life-altering physical and psychological functions. All of them have a vital role to play in helping to maintain a healthy metabolism, nerve and liver function as well as skin and eye health, as well as good amount of energy levels.

Role of Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine has a number of derivatives, including pyridoxal, pyridoxal 5-phosphate and pyridoxamine. And all of these are involved in major body functions like movement, memory, energy use and blood flow. This is the primary reason why a vitamin B6 deficiency can show up in a range of symptoms from physical to psychological, temporary to chronic and serious.
Vitamin B6 also helps your body to

Maintain a healthy nervous system

  1. To make more hemoglobin, blood cells that carry oxygen in blood
  2. To provide energy from our food
  3. To balance blood sugar levels
  4. To act as a natural pain relief
  5. To boost mood
  6. To create antibodies for self-protection

Preventing a Vitamin B6 Deficiency
The recommended amount of vitamin B6 for an adult under the age of 50 is 1.3 milligrams. Normally, this amount is easy to get from your diet, assuming you are eating a balanced diet with enough calories. However, the amount the body’s requirement for vitamin B6 jumps up as you age. Experts recommend that adults over 50 get up to 1.7 milligram daily of this vitamin.

As this requirement is not met, older people get more prone to a vitamin B6 deficiency and so do malnourished children and adults. Foods like poultry, pork, nuts and beans contain high levels of vitamin B6 and you can include more of these to get the recommended dose of vitamin B6. However, since vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin, so you need to replenish your body with it daily as it doesn’t get stored in the body.


Symptoms of Vitamin B6 deficiency:
Lack of energy and chronic fatigue
Vitamin B6 helps supply your body with energy by improving your metabolism. It has a vital role to play in protein metabolism – it helps your body break down the protein that you eat and produce energy quickly. So one very important pointer that you have a vitamin B6 deficiency is when you get fatigued quickly during exercise.
Brain function decline: Vitamin B6 vitamin helps your brain communicate with other parts of the body more efficiently. So, if you have a decline in muscle efficiency it could be a sign of vitamin B6 deficiency.
High Levels of amino acid HomocysteineHigh levels of amino acid Homocysteine do not cause any symptoms that you can detect by yourself but tests can tell you if you have high levels of this amino acid in your body. And these high levels are directly linked to vitamin B6 deficiency. What high levels of homocysteine can do is cause heart attacks. But vitamin B6 helps keep a check on these levels to reduce your risk for a cardiovascular event.

Other symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency are:

  1. Changes in mood, such as depression, irritability, and anxiety
  2. Confusion
  3. Muscle pains
  4. Fatigue
  5. A worsening of PMS symptoms
  6. And worsening of symptoms of anemia
  7. As vitamin B6 is so important for nerve function, a deficiency is linked with neuro-psychiatric disorders like seizures, migraines, and chronic pain.
  8. An increased risk of heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis
  9. Higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia
1 person found this helpful

6 Signs You Are Suffering From Vitamin D Deficiency

Dr. Nash Kamdin 95% (4716 ratings)
MBBS
General Physician, Mumbai
6 Signs You Are Suffering From Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D is a crucial vitamin that is soluble in fat. Vitamin D is essential for the growth of your bone and it ensures increased flow of calcium into your bloodstream by promoting the process of its absorption from the consumed food. Poor concentration of vitamin D may result in the development of rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults. Vitamin D is important in maintaining the immunity of your system; deficiency of vitamin D gives rise to a number of health problems including cardiac disorders, arthritis, hypertension, diabetes and even cancer.

Daily exposure to mild sunlight helps to synthesize Vitamin D in body. Dietary sources include milk, cod liver oils, fish, meat, fortified dairy and food products.

The most reliable way to diagnose the deficiency of vitamin D is through blood test; it is the most effective method of measuring the level of vitamin D in your blood. The following are some dominant symptoms of vitamin D deficiency:

  1. Influenza: According to studies, vitamin D acts a guard against the attack of a number of respiratory infections which are widespread in children. Hence, lack of vitamin D in children is responsible for the development of various respiratory tract infections and diseases.
  2. Depression and Schizophrenia: The root cause of depression and various other psychiatric disorders have been linked to deficiency in vitamin D. It is extremely important for expecting mothers to maintain a sufficient level of vitamin D in their body, during the gestation period to reduce the risk of delayed brain development and other mental ailments in the new born babies.
  3. Cardiovascular disease: Cardiovascular ailments are more prevalent among people, who tend to suffer from vitamin D deficiency. Patients who suffer from cardiac discomfort have responded well to vitamin D treatment.
  4. Asthma: Intake of vitamin D supplements reduces the severity and discomforts that are associated with asthma and have also shown considerable reduction in the occurrence of asthma attacks.
  5. Periodontal disorders: Lack of vitamin D may result in the formation of numerous harmful bacteria in your mouth and may give rise to several oral discomforts in form of painful gum inflammation, bleeding and loss of tooth. Vitamin D aids in the formation of cathelicidins and defensins, which are effective in maintaining the overall oral health.
  6. Cancer: Types of cancer including prostate cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer are linked with Vitamin D deficiency. Supplements of vitamin D are helpful in controlling the growth and development of breast cancer, especially the estrogen sensitive breast cancer.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3941 people found this helpful

Why Vitamin B12 Is Important For Your Health?

Dt. Tripti Khanna 87% (22 ratings)
Master In Food Science & Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Pune
Why Vitamin B12 Is Important For Your Health?

The human body requires the basic nutrients for its normal functioning which are carbohydrates, fats and proteins. However, there are certain vital vitamins and minerals too, that are equally important because these help in maintaining the proper health of a human body in various ways. One such vitamin is Vitamin B complex of which, there is a crucial vitamin known as Vitamin B12 or scientifically called as Cobalamin.

Functions of Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 plays a major role by controlling several factors of the human body. These are necessary for the body to run well and stay healthy. Some of the key functions of Vitamin B12 are listed below:

  1. It is responsible for the conversion of raw carbohydrate matter that enters into the body in the form of food into glucose that is the driving energy for the body. Therefore, in a way it helps to keep the continuity of energy production in the human body and its deficiency, therefore, can lead to fatigue or weakness.
  2. Every single nature of human cells is related to the DNA and RNA that define the genetics and hereditary factors of a human body. Vitamin B12 assists in the creation of this DNA and RNA.
  3. Vitamin B12 also helps in the production of nerve cells in the human body by maintaining the covering of the nerve cells or neurones known as the myelin sheaths. This helps to free the body from the reach of toxins and free radicals that can be very harmful to the human body. Hence, any shortage of Vitamin B12 can damage the nerve cells in a considerable manner.
  4. The bones of the human body need Vitamin B12 as well and any deficiency of Vitamin B12 can cause osteoporosis and other bone issues.
  5. Vitamin B12 in association with another vitamin known as Vitamin B9 (folate or folic acid) helps in the manufacture of red blood cells that help in impressive iron functioning, which is the main oxygen carrier of the human blood. Quite evidently, its deficiency can lead to shortness of breath and other breathing disorders.
  6. Even heart requires an adequate amount of Vitamin B12 along with Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B9 so that appropriate levels of amino acid named homocysteine are produced that is a deciding factor in heart diseases.
  7. Vitamin B12 is an essential component affecting the brain health too, and any deficiency of Vitamin B12 can often lead to various brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and the like.

In fact, Vitamin B12 has also been found to regulate mood and emotions of humans. Above all, Vitamin B12 is vital for keeping an individual happy and healthy by revitalising the body cells and making him or her feel youthful and vibrant all the time. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2340 people found this helpful

Vitamin D3 Deficiency - Causes And Management!

Dr. Arup Dasgupta 91% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MD - General Medicine
General Physician, Varanasi
Vitamin D3 Deficiency -  Causes And Management!

Vitamins are extremely important for proper functioning of various body systems. Vitamin D3 plays a very crucial role in the proper functioning of bones and joints.  Deficiency of this vitamin is quite common, but can be identified and managed easily.  Read on to know more about its functions, causes of deficiency, symptoms, and management.

Function: Vitamin D3 is essential for the absorption of calcium from the food that is consumed. A decrease in the amount of vitamin D3 leads to poor calcium absorption, resulting in thin, soft, brittle bones.

Causes: Some of the possible causes of vitamin D3 deficiency (and ways to manage them) are listed below:

  1. Reduced intake: People with a strict vegan diet may be consuming reduced amounts of this important chemical.  Most natural food sources are animal based including fish, fish oils, fortified milk, egg yolks and beef liver.

  2. Limited sun exposure: People who spend a lot of time indoors are likely to have this deficiency.  People who wear sunscreen constantly, wear long robes for religious reasons, live in the polar areas, upper/lower hemispheres are all prone to vitamin D3 deficiency.

  3. Darker complexion: The body’s ability to make vitamin D3 when exposed to the sun is reduced if there is more melanin in the skin.

  4. Obesity:  Vitamin D is extracted from the blood by fat cells and people with BMI of more than 30 have a vitamin deficiency.

Symptoms:  While some people may go completely asymptomatic with this condition, others could develop significant symptoms.

  1. Bone pain and aches: When there is less calcium getting incorporated into the bones, pains and aches leading to fatigue are common.

  2. Depression: The areas of the brain that regulate mood contain vitamin D receptors, and low levels of this vitamin can lead to depression.  They are also at higher risk of developing cognitive conditions like schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, and dementia.

  3. Gut problems: Vitamin D is fat soluble and in people with stomach conditions like Crohn’s or IBD, the gut functioning is altered and so vitamin D absorption is reduced.

  4. Increased risk of heart disease:  Both the risk of developing heart disease and the severity of the disease went up considerably when there is vitamin D deficiency. This is given their role in controlling inflammation and improving immune function.

  5. Lesser chances of surviving cancer:  In patients with colorectal cancer, lymphoma, and breast cancer, increasing vitamin D levels improved cancer prognosis by 4%.  The chances of developing prostate cancer are also increased in patients with vitamin D3 deficiency.

Management: Providing the required amounts of vitamin D3 through diet and supplements is the best way to manage this.  Check with your doctor to know the optimal levels and plan for replacement accordingly. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3101 people found this helpful

FACTS ABOUT VITAMIN D

Dr. Kulwinder Singh Shah 87% (28 ratings)
DNB, MBBS, Fellowship in Joint Replacement
Orthopedist, Zirakpur
FACTS ABOUT VITAMIN D

Vitamin D is perhaps the single most common deficient nutrient in the world of nutrition. Vitamin D is produced by your skin in response to exposure to ultraviolet radiation from natural sunlight. The healing rays of natural sunlight (that generate vitamin D in your skin) *cannot penetrate glass*. So you don't generate vitamin D when sitting in your car or home. It is nearly impossible to get adequate amounts of vitamin D from your diet.Sunlight exposure is the only reliable way to generate vitamin D in your own body. Sufficient levels of vitamin D are crucial for calcium absorption in your intestines. Even sunscreens block your body's ability to generate vitamin D by 95%. 

Diseases and conditions cause by vitamin D deficiency:

Osteoporosis is commonly caused by a lack of vitamin D, which greatly impairs calcium absorption. Deficiency of vitamin D can cause bone pain and muscle weakness.
● Vitamin D deficiency may *exacerbate* type 2 diabetes and impair insulin production in the pancreas.
● Your risk of developing serious diseases like diabetes, depression and cancer is reduced 50% - 80% through simple, sensible exposure to natural sunlight 2-3 times each week. 
 

2 people found this helpful

Hair Fall - How Consuming Vitamins Can Control It?

Dr. Priya Mohod (Shirsat) 90% (467 ratings)
CIDESCO, DGA, DBT, DBC, MBBS
Trichologist, Mumbai
Hair Fall - How Consuming Vitamins Can Control It?

Hair fall is a very common phenomenon that plagues millions of people around the globe. Most of you take supplements of vitamin on a regular basis as it aids the buildup of new hair and skin cells. Read on to find out how exactly do the various vitamins help your hair:

  1. Vitamin A: This vitamin controls the production of retinoic acid in your hair follicle. It is not only helpful for skin care but stimulates hair growth. It is immensely fruitful in moisturizing your hair and keeping it healthy. Vitamin A is usually found in sweet potatoes, carrots, tuna, lettuce, mango, sweet red peppers, green leafy vegetables and spinach.
  2. Vitamin B: Variants of this, such as B12, aid in hair growth by managing stress. Vitamin B is found in fruits such as oranges and papayas, and beans.
  3. Vitamin C: This vitamin helps you absorb iron from the food you eat which is an absolute essential for hair growth. It also boosts the synthesis of collagen that is required to repair the damage and sustain the structure of your hair. Fruits such as papayas, guavas, lemons, sweet lime, orange, kiwi, vegetables such as broccoli, yellow bell peppers and leafy vegetables are replete with Vitamin C.
  4. Vitamin D: This vitamin rejuvenates the hair cells in order to form new shafts of hair. Vitamin D is found in dairy products, mushrooms, soy milk, tofu, and cheese. Vitamin D is also naturally made by your body when you expose your skin to the sun, and is called the sun-shine vitamin.
  5. Vitamin E: This aids in stimulating capillaries and enhancing blood circulation on the scalp. This additionally contributes to hair growth due to its high anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant content. Certain foods loaded with Vitamin E are pumpkin, broccoli, olive oil, sunflower seeds, almonds, avocado, tofu and spinach.
  6. Vitamin B5: It is also known as Panthenol, is a vital ingredient that is used in medicines to regulate hair hall. Foods enriched with Vitamin B5 are sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, avocados, cheese and mushrooms.

Other Ways to Help Hair
We have gone over the vitamins that may be important for the health of your hair. But lifestyle changes can help just as much. Try:

  1. cutting back on gels, blow-drying, and brushing hair when wet
  2. lowering your stress by exercising at least 30 minutes a day
  3. drinking enough water, 6-8 glasses a day

Being mindful of the foods and drinks you consume, the products you use, and the way you manage stress, can all help improve the well-being of your hair. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2657 people found this helpful

Vitamin D Deficiency - Are You Ignoring These 7 Signs?

MBBS, MD, PG Diploma In Infectious Diseases
General Physician, Vellore
Vitamin D Deficiency - Are You Ignoring These 7 Signs?

If you are constantly getting sick, feeling tired without reason, or are prone to bone fractures, then it is the proper time to check the amount of vitamin D in your body. If you have vitamin D less than 30 nanograms per deciliter, then it shows that your body lacks vitamin D. Here are the eight symptoms of vitamin D deficiency that you should not ignore

  1. You always feel tired: You may eat healthy diet, follow a healthy lifestyle, or have a good night sleep, but you still feel tired at all times. Well it may be an indication that your body is not having sufficient amount of vitamin D. Taking vitamin D supplements or including foods that are rich in vitamin D will allow you to overcome your chronic tiredness.
  2. You feel depressed: You are feeling depressed lately, still you ignore it and not take proper action can further decrease the levels of vitamin D in your body. Involve yourself in doing simple workouts, meditation, yoga, etc., will allow you to feel relax.
  3. You have a constant sweaty forehead: Almost everyone faces a littel sweat on their forehead and wipe it away without giving it a thought. However, you should know that it is one of the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. 
  4. You feel bone and muscle pain constantly: Constant muscle and bone pain is a sign that your bones are losing their strength and is an indication of deficiency of vitamin D. 
  5. You experience sexual problems: You may be quite healthy and have the required energy and mood to involve in your sexual activity. However, you are not getting a firmer erection to perform better in your bed. This can be due to lack of vitamin D in your body. Thus, you should be careful and not ignore it, discuss it with, both your partner and doctor for the right treatment. 
  6. You are susceptible to bone fractures: Vitamin D plays a vital part in strengthening your bones. Therefore, take vitamin D supplements to make your bones stronger.
  7. You are deprived of sleep: Vitamin D deficiency can be the reason behind your sleep deprivation and as it is closely associated with sleep apnea. It is a serious disorder as it affects the flow of oxygen to your brain and to your other body parts. 

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4433 people found this helpful

Emotional Intensity Disorder

Dr. Juhi Parashar 96% (4188 ratings)
Masters In Clinical Psychology
Psychologist, Lucknow
Emotional Intensity Disorder

Recognizing borderline personality disorder

Do you indentify with the following statements?

  • I often feel "empty."
  • My emotions shift very quickly, and I often experience extreme sadness, anger, and anxiety.
  • I'm constantly afraid that the people I care about will abandon me or leave me.
  • I would describe most of my romantic relationships as intense, but unstable.
  • The way I feel about the people in my life can dramatically changefrom one moment to the next—and I don't always understand why.
  • I often do things I know are dangerous or bad for me, such as driing recklessly, having unsafe sex, binge drinking, doing drugs, or going on spending sprees.
  • I've attempted to hurt myself, engaged in self-harm behaviors such as cutting, or threatened suicide.
  • When I'm feeling insecure in a relationship, I tend to lash out of make frantic gestures to keep the other person close.

BPD is treatable

In the past, many mental health professionals had trouble treating borderline personality disorder (BPD), so they came to the mistaken conclusion that there was little to be done. But we now know that BPD is treatable. In fact, the long-term prognosis for BPD is better than those for depression and bipolar disorder. However, it requires a specialized approach. Bottom line: most people with BPD can and do get better—and they can do so fairly rapidly with the right treatments and support.

Healing is a matter of breaking the dysfunctional patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving that are causing you difficulty and distress. It’s not easy to change lifelong habits. Choosing to pause, reflect, and then act in new ways will feel unnatural and uncomfortable at first. But with time you’ll form new habits that help you maintain your emotional balance and stay in control.

1 person found this helpful

Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) - Deficiency Risk And Symptoms

Dr. Prashant K Vaidya 93% (3127 ratings)
Diploma In Gastroenterology, Diploma In Dermatology, BHMS
Homeopath, Hyderabad
Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) - Deficiency Risk And Symptoms

Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) - Deficiency Risk and Symptoms

An adequate intake of Vitamin B9 is important as it helps the body as a to utilise amino acids which are the building blocks of proteins. It helps the body form blood cells in bone marrow and ensures rapid cell growth in infancy, adolescence, and pregnancy. Vitamin B9 plays a crucial role in producing nucleic acids (e.g., DNA), the body's genetic material.

Together with Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12 it also helps control blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine which is associated with certain chronic conditions such as heart disease.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) confirms that clear health benefits have been established for the dietary intake of folic acid (vitamin B9) in contributing to:

  • normal blood formation
  • normal homocysteine levels (high levels of homocysteine are related to the early development of heart and blood vessel disease)
  • a normal metabolism of the immune system
  • normal cell division
  • normal maternal tissue growth during pregnancy
  • normal amino acid synthesis
  • normal psychological functions
  • the reduction of tiredness and fatigue

In addition, the EFSA has confirmed that supplemental folate intake increases maternal folate status, which contributes to the reduction of the risk of neural tube defects (NTD).

Food Sources

Folate is found in a wide variety of foods but the richest sources are liver, dark green leafy vegetables (broccoli, brussels sprouts and spinach), beans and yeast. Other sources include eggs (specifically the yolk), milk and dairy products, beets, orange juice and whole wheat bread.

Folic acid (Vitamin B9) is a water-soluble vitamin and as such, it is unlikely to reach toxic levels. There is little danger of toxicity when it is taken orally. No adverse effects have been associated with the consumption of excess dietary folic acid.

Folic acid cannot be stored in the body, so you need it in your diet every day. Adults need 200 mcg of folic acid a day. However, if you are pregnant, thinking of trying to have a baby or likely to become pregnant, the NHS recommend that you take a 400 mcg folic acid supplement daily from the time you stop using contraception until the 12th week of pregnancy. This is to help prevent birth defects of the central nervous system, such as spina bifida, in your baby.

Symptoms of deficiency

Severe folate deficiency leads to a condition in which the bone marrow produces oversized immature red blood cells - this is called megaloblastic anemia in pregnant women folic acid deficiency can result in severe or even fatal birth defects such as neural tube defects

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