Posted by: Anonymous | 2009/05/13


My 18 year old niece seems to have been diagnosed with a Vitamin B deficiency. What diet should she be following? She is currently suffering with a bad ear infection and has been prescribed ear drops, pain killers and vit b pills. She is currently having a course of Vit B injs and is due for a 2nd one today or tomorrow. Otherwise she seems fine.

Thanks for the advice.

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Our expert says:
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Dear Anonymous
B vitamins are quite a large group of different compounds (e.g. vit B1 or thiamine, vit B2 or riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, vit B6 or pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, biotin, etc). Eating a well balanced, mixed diet made up of a variety of foods such as whole grains and cereals (esp wheat bread and maize meal which are nowadays fortified with niacin, vits B1, B2, B6 and folic acid in SA), milk and yoghurt (rich in vit B2), lean meat, fish and eggs (rich in all the B vitamins) and fresh vegetables (rich in folic acid) should supply adequate amounts of B complex vitamins. However, many your people, esp girls, tend to eat unbalanced and inadequate diets for various reasons (weightloss, peer pressure, lack of time for meals, etc), so it would be a good idea if your niece would start eating a more balanced diet. Her infection is being controlled and I trust that it will clear up rapidly.
Once she has finished her course of antibiotics, she can use a probiotic ("good" microorganisms, which can be purchased at health shops) like Bifidoforte to restore the microorganisms in her digestive system because they also contribute to healthy vit B levels.
Best regards

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