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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
  • tiredness
  • fast heart rate
  • brittle hair and nails
  • hair loss
  • mouth ulcers and cracks around the mouth

Vitamin supplements

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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