A group of water-soluble nutrients, the B vitamins help enzymes to react chemically with other substances. They are required daily as they are water soluble and easily depleted by stress, poor diet, certain medications, alcohol and smoking. Each member of this group plays an important role in our health, although they work incredibly well as a team. Here are some of the many key benefits of each B vitamin:
MOOD CONTROL -> Vitamin B1 (Thiamin):
Plays an important role in neurotransmitter synthesis. It is related to a healthy nervous system and has a beneficial effect on mood, mental attitude and sleep. Vitamin B1 is also known to help improve learning capacity, concentration and learning. Diets high in processed foods call for a higher need of vitamin B1.
VISION BOOST -> Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Acts as an antioxidant to support healthy vision and proper eye function, reducing eye light sensitivity and helping to prevent headaches and migraines. Unfortunately, Vitamin B2 is not available in a wide variety of foods nor is it present in large quantities in foods, so a deficiency is common in those who have unbalanced diets.
HEART HEALTH -> Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
In certain forms, Vitamin B3 has been shown to effectively reduce levels of LDL "bad" cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, while helping to increase levels of HDL "good" cholesterol. It also acts as a potent vasodilator, expanding blood vessels to increase the flow of blood, improving circulation. As a result, niacin can sometimes cause an uncomfortable, temporary “flush”.
STRESS SUPPORT -> Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
Supports the adrenal glands, playing a vital role in the production of adrenal hormones. Helps to increases energy and the ability to cope with and handle stressful situations.
HORMONE CONTROL -> Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Has been called the “woman’s vitamin” because of the range of PMS symptoms that it may help alleviate. Ideal for women of child-bearing age, this vitamin helps manage symptoms such as nausea in pregnancy and may inhibit the formation of kidney stones. Vitamin B6 is involved in more bodily functions than most other single nutrients.
BEAUTY AID -> Vitamin B7 (Biotin):
Promotes strong and healthy hair, skin, nails and bones. Supplemental biotin has been found to increase nail thickness, reducing splitting and brittleness. It also encourages the growth of strong, thick, healthy-looking hair and can help reverse the loss of hair and hair colour that may result from a biotin deficiency. Some dry skin conditions can benefit from biotin supplementation as this nutrient increases the production of fatty acids essential for skin health. A therapeutic amount of biotin exceeds that found in the typical diet.
PREGNANCY ESSENTIAL -> Vitamin B9 (Folate):
Very important in pregnancy! Helps regulate embryonic and fetal nerve cell formation, ensuring the healthy development of the spinal cord and brain in fetuses. Folate before conception and in early pregnancy (first trimester) may prevent the vast majority of neural tube birth defects (such as spina bifida) in unborn children. Low levels are common and can be caused by alcoholism, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease and certain medications.
BRAIN PRESERVATION -> Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin):
Plays a role in the production of myelin, the protective sheath around nerves, as well as the production of a neurotransmitter that helps with memory and learning. It helps slow cognitive decline that comes with aging. Low B12 levels are associated with an increased risk of neurodegenerative diseases and cognitive impairment. Those who tend to have deficient B12 levels may include vegetarians and vegans, seniors, or those with low stomach acid, malabsorption issues and individuals who take antacids or aspirin regularly. Although B12 is the only B vitamin that can be stored in the body it is very safe to take, although it is still a good idea to have B12 levels tested fairly regularly.
Energy– Together the B-vitamins are involved in energy production. They help the body metabolize carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Optimally balanced levels of B vitamins are a natural way to energize the body. In addition, both vitamin B12 and B9 are required for the formation of red blood cells! Note that high doses of B9 can mask symptoms of B12 deficiency.
Mental Health - B Complex supplements have been used to improve symptoms and quality of life in those with depression, anxiety or low mood.
Homocysteine – Supplementation with Vitamins B6, B12 and B9 has demonstrated positive results in the reduction of dangerous buildup homocysteine levels in the bloodstream. Without adequate levels of these vitamins, homocysteine builds up in the blood rather than being further metabolized and eliminated by the body. Homocysteine, is an amino acid by-product that can harm the cardiovascular and nervous system.
Neuropathy- Vitamins B1, B6 & B12 have been used to help guard against damage caused by diabetes complications.
Supplement Tip: Certain forms of B-vitamins require activation by the liver, which can be problemative for certain people with genetic differences in B vitamin metabolism. Look for a formula that contains the B- vitamins in their biologically active forms, which don’t require conversion by the liver before they can be absorbed and utilized by the body.
-This article is sponsored by Good N Natural in Steinbach -