B Vitamins: the best way to continue being a Superhuman!
In today’s world, there are still a few things we all have in common. One of them is that we are busy and stressed out!
In practice, I see this every day. People burning the candle at both ends. Working all day then coming home to kids, laundry, dishes or whatever work waits for you at home. No time for meditation, self-care, or a simple relaxing bath. Nope, In America, we pride ourselves on the go go go attitude. Productivity at all costs. And usually, the cost is our health.
Stress is a killer. Higher stress leads to increased inflammation, anxiety, and wreaks havoc on the digestive tract. We all know someone with stomach ulcers or IBS from stress. At its worst, stress is known to trigger the onset of autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto's thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, ulcerative colitis, and more. More commonly It leads to conditions that are more familiar like chronic fatigue and adrenal burnout. If you are a superhuman and starting to notice afternoon fatigue, the need for coffee in the morning or around 3 pm, and maybe even a second wind at night that stops you from sleeping...you may be burning out.
So how can we avoid succumbing to the negative side effects of being a busy, productive superhuman? B-Vitamins!
In practice, B-Vitamins are a keystone therapy as they support so many other processes in the body.
Benefits of B-complex:
Keeps the immune system functioning properly.
Healthy skin, hair and nails
Supports optimum energy levels by feeding the adrenals and combating the effects of stress.
B vitamins like B5 and B6 are key cofactors in the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which help to improve mood and outlook as well as enhance memory. B12 boosts cellular metabolism and detoxification. It is a necessary vitamin to nourish the nerves and prevent neuropathy, or numbness and tingling. It has also been shown to increase cognition. Deficiency of B12 impairs the production of red blood cells.
B3 or Niacin is wonderful for decreasing LDLs or “bad” cholesterol and increasing HDLs or “good cholesterol”.
B6 or pyridoxine in combination with magnesium is great for women with PMS. This combo can decrease acne, improve mood, and decrease anxiety associated with PMS. It’s also a great supplement for women with morning sickness!
Folate or B9 is famous for preventing neural tube defects in developing babies. Deficiencies can wreak havoc on the body.
As you can see B-Vitamins play an important role in biological processes throughout the body. A good B-complex will feed your adrenal glands and prevent you from burning out. When we are stressed we go through our stores of B-vitamins quickly and because these vitamins are water-soluble, we don’t store them very well in our bodies. If you drink alcohol on a regular basis, take certain medication (PPIs, metformin, antidepressants, for example, all decrease B12), or have poor gut health you are at higher risk of developing deficiencies. You do get B vitamins from your various foods including animal products, legumes, and green leafy veggies but you have to have enough stomach acid and digestive power to absorb them effectively.
So what’s in a “B-complex” anyway?
Basically there are 8 kinds of vitamins in a general B complex: thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folate (B9, also known as folic acid), and cobalamin (B12).
Pro-tip #1: When shopping for a good B-complex supplement make sure to get the bio-active forms of the vitamins. For B9 (folic acid) you want 5MTHF, B6 you want P-5-P or pyridoxamine 5’ phosphate and for B12 you want methylcobalamin.
Pro-tip #2: Make sure to take your bright yellow pill with a little food to prevent nausea. Oh, and don’t worry if your pee is fluorescent, that is a portion of B2 or Riboflavin that the kidneys remove, it shows that the vitamins have been absorbed into your body.
Pro-tip #3: B-complex injections. These types of injections are a perfect way to supercharge your energy. With injections, we skip the digestive tract and get 100% absorption of your vitamins. If you are going through a particularly stressful season in life or for some reason you suspect your digestion is impaired injections are a wonderful option.