year old male is admitted with diarrhoea, loss of weight and weakness. The
patient is known to have ulcerative colitis – pancolitis – and has been on
medication for the last 3 years. For 5 months prior to admission the patient
has been having bad diarrhoea and has been self medicating with varying doses
of steroids and asacol.
also become a vegan as a friend had told him that this would cure his colitis.
examination the patient looked unwell and was underweight. There was alopecia
and dermatitis. Pulse 100 beats per minute BP110/70 abdomen soft no lumps no
this patient deficiency of which one of the following elements would account
for the dermatitis and alopecia?