Nancy Dell: Problems with high B-12 doses; What helps hip replacement

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1. I take a B-12 supplement with 10 thousand times the recommended daily value.  Are there problems with taking too much?
Don, Agawam

Many people take megadoses of the B vitamins.  B-12 is harder to absorb in some people over age 50; some medications may interfere with the absorption of B-12; strict vegetarians and people who abuse alcohol or drugs may need to supplement with B-12. Though too much can has side effects. The recommended Daily Value is 6 micrograms. There are some reports that over 20 micrograms can cause acne and rosacea. B-complexes with over 1000 micrograms of B-12 can hurt rather than help people with diabetes and kidney disease. Pregnant women with high levels of B-12 in the blood have an increased risk of having a child with autism. Always try to get your nutrients from food but if you need a supplement, aim for getting 100% of the daily value or discuss higher doses with your doctor or dietitian.

2. My mom is having hip replacement. Is there anything we can do with her diet to improve recovery?
Carolyn, Internet

The number of hip replacements has doubled since 2010 and is becoming more common in people in their 40s. All foods will play a role in healing – you need your fruits, vegetables, milk and protein. Though a recent study showed whey protein may help patients recover more quickly. Patients were divided into 2 groups. One group received 32 grams of whey protein before and after rehab for the first 2 weeks after surgery. The other group did not. The whey protein group showed significantly greater improvement in strength and their ability to walk, use a toilet, and use the stairs. So talk to the dietitian in the rehab facility about getting your mom whey protein to help her heal faster.

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