Today’s post is written by guest contributor Monica Montag.
Do you feel tired all the time? No energy? You might have a Vitamin B deficiency. When it comes to energy production, the B vitamins are major players because they are present for every step of converting food into energy.
Let’s start with B6, my favorite of all the B Complex vitamins.
B6 is critical for most people dealing with fatigue. A large percentage of the population has genetic changes that prevent them from converting B6 into its active form. Interestingly enough, people whose ancestors are from the northern European tier, such as the British Isles, Germany, Russia, and Scandinavia, are particularly liable to have this genetic alteration and are therefore unable to make this important conversion. Actually, the correct form of B6 for this group is called P5P. Using this form makes all the difference in its effectiveness.
Besides its vital role in producing energy, B6 also acts as a co-factor to release serotonin from tryptophan. Consequently, low serotonin can cause depression, which in turn many people can experience as fatigue.
Serotonin is the brain chemical that makes us feel happy and content. We have often found that providing clients the building blocks and co-factors so they can make their own serotonin has enabled them to stop using anti-depressants. Not only are people spared the often unpleasant side effects of using SSRI medications, but they have the satisfaction of knowing that they are replacing something that their body lacks, thereby creating a permanent resolution to their depression and anxiety.
This remarkable vitamin, B6, is also a diuretic and affects blood sugar regulation. Because it improves the tight junction through which the carpal nerve passes, reducing water retention and swelling, B6 can often “cure” carpal tunnel by. Additionally, low levels of B6 can cause balance problems, fatigue, depression, and ADD/ADHD.
The addition of B6 to an autistic child’s regimen can greatly improve their function. In fact, I have had some of my most remarkable turnarounds with Autism Spectrum Disorder children in their ability to interact, their cognitive abilities and their overall sense of well-being, after adding sufficient B6 to their regimen.
Folic acid is another B vitamin that needs to be taken in a special form, especially by those with northern European ancestry.
Folic acid is best known for its extremely important role in pregnant women, single handedly preventing spina bifida, a birth defect in which there is a hole in the spinal cord. Spina bifida is terrible condition that could be completely eliminated if women were getting adequate levels and the correct form of folic acid prior to and during pregnancy. In addition, in the non-pregnant population, folic acid eliminates depression, and boost immune function.
Certain medications significantly deplete both B6 and folic acid. These include birth control pills, blood pressure medications and asthma inhalers. Exposure to tobacco smoke and environmental toxins can be especially hard on B6.
Vitamin B1 is needed for energy production, heart function, and the health of the brain and nervous system.
B1 also helps remove lead from the body. In a study of 60 women, just fifty milligrams per day made these women feel more clearheaded, composed and energetic
B2 is and antioxidant, prevents migraines, and turns fats and carbohydrates into energy.
Also, patients with low thyroid function may have an increased need for vitamin B2.
People who use Vitamin B3, are often able to reverse high cholesterol. Additionally, B3 calms the brain and relaxes our bodies.
Signs of B3 deficiency include:
- lack of appetite
- muscular fatigue
- red, sore tongue
- unexplained skin lesions
B5 is an essential B vitamin needed to process proteins and carbohydrates. In addition, B5 is also required to synthesize fats, cholesterol, melatonin and steroid hormones. What does B5 do for us?
- Supports alcohol detoxification.
- Reduces stress.
- Synthesizes steroid hormones and supports proper functioning of the adrenal glands.
- Lowers cholesterol and tryglicerides
- Enhances the release of energy from carbohydrates.
- Supports fat synthesis.
- Fights infections, specifically demonstrates the ability to fight viral hepatitis.
Biotin or B7: Good for the hair, skin and nails
- Strengthens nails by 25%
- Balances blood sugar in those with Type II diabetes
- Lowers insulin
- Decreases diabetic retinopathy
Vitamin B12 has a huge effect on energy. Consequently it is a MUST for those on a strict vegetarian or vegan diet since we can only get B12 from meat products.
Unfortunately, babies of mothers with low B12 are at risk for neurological problems. Boosting B12 levels if they are low can have a dramatic effect on not only energy but also digestion.
Interestingly, we can have normal blood levels of vitamins B12 and folic acid, and still not have enough for our body’s enzymes to function properly.
Therefore, one of the first ways to boost energy would be to add B Vitamins. Because B Supreme, a high potency B complex vitamin with the bioavailable forms of these important nutrients, it’s our favorite! You’ll get more out of each capsule than any other B Complex…try it and see it lift your energy!
Lastly, a few related posts you might be interested in:
- Adrenal Fatigue: How To Have More Energy & Wake Up Refreshed
- Find Out What Your Chocolate Cravings Might Mean
Monica Montag, MA, HHP, CN, founded Be Well Associates, a holistic nutrition practice in State College, PA, over 25 years ago. Monica has degrees from Wesleyan University, the University of Virginia and the American Health Sciences University, is Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition, a Certified Nutritionist (CN), and a certified Holistic Lifestyle Teacher (HHP). She specializes in creating evidence-based nutritional therapies, based on functional testing, to optimize her clients’ health. Her programs include practical lifestyle tips because we are more than just what we eat! She feels her mission is to inform and inspire her clients to wholeness of body, mind and spirit.
This post does contain affiliate links. See my disclaimer here. Thanks for supporting me and my family!