Self-medicating for Vitamin B 12 deficiency? Then, read this!

With the high marketing claims of pharmaceutical companies, many people in the country have started self-medication for vitamin B12 and D3 deficiencies. But doctors say that it should be taken only when needed and it cannot be a substitute for a balanced and nutrition rich diet

Self-medicating for Vitamin B 12 deficiency? Then, read this!
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A product like a dose of vitamin B12 and D3 supplements are hitting the shelves in India. Be it a family get together or office party, the deficiency of B12 and self-medication is a hot topic to be discussed.

Doctors conveyed that it should be taken only when needed and it cannot be a supplement for balanced and nutrition rich diet. As vitamin B12 is water soluble vitamin, the excess will get washed out of your body.

These days, when a person starts feeling dizzy or low on energy, they buy and consume vitamin B 12 and D 3 supplements without consulting doctor. Dr Abhijeet Lodha, a physician at Ruby Hall Clinic in Pune, said, “It should always be proven that you need Vitamin B 12. Taken in excess, it will not be harmful, as the excess will get out through urine. But, taken if not needed it will not be of any use. The person might be feeling weakness for some other reasons and just by self-medicating these supplements he or she might lose the chance to have proper diagnosis for weakness.”

Dr Sanjay Agarwal, a diabetologist at Jehangir Hospital, Pune said “In the Indian population, deficiencies related to Vitamin B12 and D3 are common. We don’t have an exact estimate of these deficiencies. Partly our diet patterns and lack of exposure to the sun are responsible for these deficiencies.”

He added, “Commonly, all these patients are treated with supplements in absence of clinical symptoms. We do not have robust long term data of outcomes of treatment of asymptomatic patients. Treatment of symptomatic patients should be instituted. Although hypervitaminosis of B12 does not happen the same is not true for vitamin D 3. Hence caution should be exercised.”

Dr Minish Jain, Senior Oncologist at Ruby Hall Clinic said, “People these days are opting for junk food and not following a balanced diet. They should remember that supplements are not a substitute for a balanced diet.”