Closely linked to Vitamin B12 and the workings of the nervous system. Anaemia and mental problems may result from its deficiency. Inadequate intake is especially common in Pregnancy and may contribute to the risk of spina bifida.
Liver, spinach, broccoli tops, asparagus, beets, kidney, cabbage lettuce, avocados, nuts and wheatgerm
Tablets from health food shops or chemists
Children 50-150 mcg
Women 200 mcg
Pregnant women 300 mcg
Lactating mothers 60 mcg
Men 200 mcg
Avoid if on certain drugs used to treat epilepsy, or if you have an oestrogen-dependent breast tumour. It should not be taken on its own for too long without Vitamin B12 in case a Vitamin B12 deficiency is masked and damage results to the central nervous system. Toxicity can result if more than 15 mg per day is taken, causing distension and flatulence, Nausea, Loss of Appetite, sleep disturbances, vivid dreams, malaise and irritability. High intake may reduce zinc absorption.
Dosages advised are deliberately on the safe side and may not be high enough to give benefit, but it is recommended that higher dosages should only be taken under the care of a practitioner experienced in nutritional medicine.
Side Effects refer to effects of much larger doses on the whole than those recommended here.
* for explanation, please see Introduction to Nutritional Supplements