Vitamins (Vital amines) are essential substances required in small amounts for normal body function from the normal diet.
What is a vitamin deficiency?
A varied diet usually includes all vitamins you need. However, in developed countries vitamin deficiency can occur in:
- people with alcohol and drug dependency
- the elderly
- those with a poor diet
- vegans - vitamin D and B12 may be lacking in vegans, who eat no animal products
- people with gut disorders
- people who don't get enough sunlight.
How do you know if you have a vitamin deficiency?
Common symptoms of vitamin deficiency include:
- shortness of breath
- fast heart rate
- brittle hair and nails
- hair loss
- mouth ulcers and cracks around the mouth
Vitamin supplements should not be needed in a healthy person who has a varied diet and they can be harmful if taken in excess.
The therapeutic value of vitamins as a treatment, for example vitamin C in cold prevention, vitamin B6 for pre-menstrual tension (PMT) and vitamin E to improve well-being, is unproven .
However, vitamins are used to treat some conditions that are not due to a deficiency such as vitamin D for the treatment of osteoporosis (combined with other treatment) and vitamin A for acne.
Vitamin deficiency test
Our vitamin screen monitors vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, C, E and Beta Carotene. Your consultant will discuss your screen results with you and may recommend treatment based on the findings.
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