Long Covid: Dr Chris gives advice on supplements to fight fatigue
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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.”
READ MORE: Vitamin B12 deficiency: Symptoms in the face that signal a lack of B12
The health body adds: “Vitamin B12 supplements also are recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding exclusively and follow vegetarian or vegan diets.”
It notes that when taken at appropriate doses, vitamin B12 supplements are generally considered safe.
“While the recommended daily amount of vitamin B12 for adults is 2.4 micrograms, higher doses have been found to be safe. “Your body absorbs only as much as it needs, and any excess passes through your urine.”
The Mayo Clinic says high doses of vitamin B12 such as those used to treat a deficiency, might cause:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fatigue or weakness.
Vitamin B12 deficiency may cause pins and needles in the hands or feet, but taking too much can also cause tingling sensation in hands and feet.
According to the NHS, if you have a vitamin B12 deficiency, perhaps caused by a lack of the vitamin in your diet, you may be prescribed vitamin B12 tablets to take every day between meals.
Vitamin B12 deficiency anaemia is usually treated with injections of vitamin B12.General symptoms of anaemia may include extreme tiredness, feeling faint, pale skin and tinnitus, according to the NHS.
Loss of appetite and weight loss may also indicate the issue.
If you have anaemia caused by a vitamin B12 deficiency, you may have other symptoms, such as irritability and depression, according to the NHS.
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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