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When figures on social media promote a dare that involves your body, it's wise to consider if there's any chance it could affect your health… even if the challenge seems harmless. Unfortunately, a young woman learned this the hard way after she tried what some TikTok users are calling "dry scooping" before her workout. Now that she's survived a heart attack that was caused by the experiment, she's speaking out about her mistake, with nutrition experts joining in to share their warnings. © Provided by Eat This, Not That!
The New York Post recently reported that in April, 20-year-old Briatney Portillo was getting ready to exercise when a male friend offered her a scoop of Redcon1's Total War "pre-workout" energy powder. Portillo says she'd recently observed a TikTok trend where users were "dry scooping" this type of powder—that is, instead of mixing the powder with water or another liquid, as makers of these powders intend, consumers will gulp down a scoop of the powder undiluted, by itself.
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Portillo said that after she tried dry scooping for herself, the effects were immediate—and not in a good way. "Right away I felt like I was suffocating," Portillo said. "I couldn't breathe." She added that she experienced a whole host of negative sensations: Coughing, burning gums, dry throat, sweating, and itching throughout her body. "My chest felt very tight and heavy," she said. "The whole left side of my body hurt so bad."
A team of emergency medical technicians transported Portillo to a nearby hospital, where a medical team performed an electrocardiogram and blood tests. They also admitted her overnight, determining that Portillo had experienced a non-ST myocardial elevation—a type of heart attack that typically does less damage to the heart than full cardiac arrest does.
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Dr. Kelly Johnson-Arbor is a co-medical director at the National Capital Poison Center. In reference to this type of pre-workout powder, she told SELF: "These workout supplements are not considered foods or drugs. They're considered dietary supplements, and that industry is highly unregulated in the United States … [Pre-workout powders] are not entirely benign."
Gallery: Surprising Effects of Taking Vitamin B Supplements, Says Science (Eat This, Not That!)
Surprising Effects of Taking Vitamin B Supplements, Says Science
Although B vitamins are found in many foods, there are a few groups of people who could benefit from taking additional vitamin B supplements. This includes older adults, those who have celiac disease, and even those who follow a vegan diet.
There are eight different kinds of B vitamins:
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- B5—Pantothenic Acid
- B9—Folate (also known as folic acid)
If you suspect that you're deficient in one of the B vitamins, it's likely that you've experienced a few unfavorable symptoms. This is why taking vitamin B supplements can help with any deficiencies you may experience. Below, we outline four positive effects you could experience from taking a B-complex supplement or one a stand-alone B vitamin (such as a B12 supplement). After, be sure to read our list of the 100 Unhealthiest Foods on the Planet.
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1. It may reduce tingling in hands or feet.
There are a few reasons why you may be experiencing tingling in either your hands, feet, or both. For example, when you experience tingling or numbness, it could be a sign that you have prediabetes, which occurs when the body has higher than normal blood sugar (glucose) levels but not high enough to diagnosed with diabetes. More specifically, this sensation is a big indicator of pre-diabetic neuropathy and if left untreated, it could result in a type of nerve damage called peripheral neuropathy.
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However, a less severe cause for tingling or numbness in the hands or feet may be a vitamin B12 deficiency. Inadequate consumption of B-12 (found primarily in meat and animal byproduct) is known to cause a "pins and needles" sensation in both the hands and feet. This is because vitamin B-12 helps to produce a substance called myelin, which acts as a protective coating for nerves and enables them to transmit sensations. Without this shield, nerves can become damaged.
But before you start taking vitamin B12 supplements, be sure to talk with your physician.
2. It may treat mouth ulcers.
Another symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency? Mouth sores or ulcers. These can pop up on your tongue, gums, or on the inside of your mouth. This can also be indicative of a deficiency in folate (vitamin B9). While mouth ulcers usually don't need treatment, they can be quite painful—especially if you eat acidic fruits such as oranges, lemon, and grapefruit or something spicy. One way to decrease the pain and accelerate the healing process is to take vitamin B6 and B12 supplements.
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3. Reduces the risk of birth defects.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), folic acid (vitamin B9) can help reduce birth defects, including spina bifida and anencephaly. A baby is diagnosed with spina bifida when its spine doesn't develop correctly, which can ultimately lead to severe physical disabilities. Anencephaly is equally as serious, as it's a condition in which the baby's brain and skull do not form correctly. To prevent these serious birth defects, the CDC recommends that pregnant women take a vitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid daily.
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For her part, Portillo says she learned an important lesson about her health: "Do not do what you see other people doing on TikTok thinking it will make you cool," Portillo advised. "It's not worth risking your health or your life."
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Clues It's a Heart Attack and Not Something Else, Say Doctors .
Read on for this essential guide to learn what your chest pains could mean. It takes a heartbeat to read, and is worth every second.You're fine. False alarm.