“The Power of Bioavailable B Vitamins – What Could Your Life Look Like If You Had More?”
Low levels of B vitamins are becoming more commonplace just as researchers discover exciting new benefits for this valuable family of nutrients. For the sake of your body and brain, I suggest you take advantage of their new findings and, above all, make sure you’re not making these eating and supplement mistakes.
Hardly anyone talks about B vitamins these days. I believe that’s about to change. With our deteriorating food quality, rising assaults on gut health, and a living environment that becomes more toxic by the day, it’s clear that we need this complex of brain and body nutrients more than ever. Most people are eager to remain mentally sharp, energetic and independent into their later years, as you’ll soon see, researchers are discovering potential benefits of the family of B vitamins that are much greater than we ever imagined. Because of this, the day we give B vitamins the attention they deserve has finally arrived... With our changing world and growing search for ways to live a long, healthy and independent life, I think you’ll agree, the timing couldn’t be better.I invite you to take a fresh look at a group of vitamins that could potentially change the quality of your life for years to come.
Keep in mind, you don’t need to have a flat-out deficiency in any of these vitamins. Surprisingly, many of the subjects in the studies you’re going to hear about didn’t. They just had lower levels. Increasing their intake of these vitamins made all the difference for these study subjects. Going from (once a day multiple vitamins) low or even routinely recommended minimal levels to optimal levels allowed them to benefit in significant ways!
13 Signs You May Be Low in B Vitamins
Low levels of B vitamins can affect your body in many different ways because of the vitamins’ far-reaching and interrelated effects. A B vitamin complex deficiency can show up in multiple ways and any one of these common symptoms could be a result of low levels of one or more B vitamins:
Because the vitamin B complex is a group of eight major B vitamins that work together, you can impact their synergy just by running low on one. For example, many of the B complex vitamins are needed for healthy skin. If you’re low in one or two, that can affect the actions of the others.
Why You Could Be at Risk for a Vitamin B Deficiency
Packaged processed foods can be low in B vitamins. Fresh, whole foods like meat, fish, dairy, and whole grains provide ample supplies of B vitamins. Yet once you process those foods, you jeopardize the integrity of the B vitamins as many are sensitive to heat, light, air, and long storage times. Also, certain groups of people are more likely to have a deficiency or suboptimal levels of one or more B vitamins:
B vitamins in general aren’t absorbed well. Add one or more of the above factors and you can easily put yourself at risk for low levels or a deficiency. One of the key B vitamins whose availability and absorption can be impacted by several of these conditions (especially avoiding animal products) is vitamin B12 or cobalamin.
It’s estimated that 1 in 4 American adults are deficient in this important “energy vitamin,” and nearly half the population may have blood levels considered too low.
A vitamin B12 deficiency can exist for years under the radar without causing symptoms. By the time you start noticing its classic signs of fatigue, mental “fog,” forgetfulness, mood swings, and muscle weakness, you can be significantly deficient.
Some of the Most At-Risk Vitamins – B Vitamins!
As I’ve just pointed out, many of the B vitamins are susceptible to damage from various sources: heat, light, oxygen, and acid and alkaline solutions, as well as storage. Considering the harsh and high-heat processing methods used to create convenience and packaged foods available today, it’s no surprise that processed foods may be deficient in B vitamins!
Here’s a guide to the B vitamins your body needs each day, the recommended amounts, how they can be damaged during processing and storage, and the important roles they play in your health: As you view this chart, I invite you to ask yourself an important question: “How might a shortage in this vitamin affect my health and well-being?”
Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
1.2 mg; 1.4 mg (pregnant and lactating women)
Sensitive to heat, oxygen, humidity, and light, and very sensitive to alkaline pH
Essential for metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, energy metabolism for nervous system and muscles*
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2
1.3 mg; 1.6 mg (pregnant and lactating women)
Sensitive to humidity and light
Essential for growth and muscle development, eye health, and healthy skin*
Niacin (Vitamin B3)
16 mg; 18 mg (pregnant and lactating women)
Essential for the proper function of enzymes and a healthy nervous system, skin, nails and GI function*
Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)
5 mg; 7 mg (pregnant and lactating women)
Sensitive to heat and humidity
A structural element of many coenzymes, plays a central role in energy metabolism and the synthesis of sex hormones*
Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)
1.7 mg; 2 mg (pregnant and lactating women)
Very sensitive to heat, and sensitive to humidity, light and acid pH
Essential for the body’s utilization of protein and the synthesis of neurotransmitters*
Folate (Vitamin B9)
0 mcg; 600 mcg (pregnant and lactating women)
Very sensitive to heat, acid pH and light, and sensitive to humidity
Required for the production of red blood cells in bone marrow*
30 mcg; 35 (pregnant and lactating women)
Sensitive to humidity and light
Supports healthy normal growth, digestion, muscle function, healthy skin and hair, and cellular health*
Cobalamin (Vitamin B12)
2.4 mcg; 2.8 mcg (pregnant and lactating women)
Sensitive to heat, oxygen, humidity, and contact with iron or copper
Supports protein, carbohydrate and fat metabolism, GI and nervous system health, immune function and the healthy production of red blood cells*
The B vitamins most at risk of losing their vitamin activity are in this order (from worst to best): Pyridoxine (B6), Thiamine (B1), Vitamin B12, Folic Acid, Niacin, Biotin, and Riboflavin (B2).
B Complex Vitamins: You Can’t Thrive Without Them Your brain and nervous system can be the first areas to be affected if you are low in certain B vitamins*
The entire family of B vitamins is essential for your health. As we’ve just seen, these water-soluble nutrients are required for your healthy normal:
The B vitamins act as coenzymes and play a key role in the metabolism of carbohydrate, protein, and fat.* Like a well-oiled machine, B vitamins work together to support energy production and the health of your brain, liver, muscle, nervous and immune systems, skin, and eyes.* Unlike fat-soluble vitamins and the one exception, vitamin B12, excess amounts aren’t stored in your body. Rather, if not immediately needed, they pass through your body in your urine.
This means you must get the entire B complex of vitamins through diet every day.
Because you need them in the right proportions to each other, I recommend a vitamin B complex rather than individual B vitamins.
Why B Vitamins Are So Crucial for Your Memory B vitamins are important for mood, motor function, memory, and nerve and brain health*
When you have a limited supply of B vitamins, your central nervous system can be the first to be affected.* Omega-3 fatty acids are vitally important for your brain health, and now researchers are finding B vitamins to be valuable as well. All of the B vitamins are important for brain and nerve cells, but some stand out for their role in supporting memory, cognitive health, and brain performance: vitamin B1 (thiamine), B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), B12 (cobalamin), and folate.* As I previously mentioned, mental fogginess and forgetfulness are two of the top warning signs that you may not be getting enough vitamin B12.
Vitamin B1 is well-known for supporting positive moods and promoting brain function, especially concentration, memory, and reaction time.*
Vitamins B6, B9, and B12 help convert homocysteine into methionine, an important building block for proteins.* If you are low in any of these three B vitamins, that process can be interrupted and your homocysteine levels can rise – an undesirable condition that’s linked to brain shrinkage.*A recent study demonstrated the powerful effects of these B vitamins on brain tissue.* Either placebo or high doses of folic acid, vitamins B6, and B12 were given daily to a group of 186 men and women over the age of 70.
Those subjects who received the B vitamins and who had healthy levels of omega-3 fatty acids saw significantly slowed brain shrinkage rates after two years – 40 percent less than the placebo group!* Another study three years later showed similar, but even more striking results.* And this time, omega-3 fatty acid status wasn’t included.
After two years on high doses of folic acid, vitamins B6, and B12, brain shrinkage slowed as much as sevenfold, specifically in the gray matter region related to memory – that’s a decrease of up to 90 percent!*
Are We Seeing the Return of Malnutrition, Courtesy of the “Poor Man’s Diet?” A limited diet can lead to vitamin B deficiencies.
In the early 1900s, the American South experienced a devastating epidemic that was associated with the “poor man’s diet” – a diet consisting mainly of corn products and resulting in malnutrition. Behind this epidemic was a condition known as pellagra. It resulted from a deficiency in niacin or vitamin B3.
Characteristics of pellagra include mental disturbance, personality changes, and memory loss. Not surprisingly, the condition originates in the gut.
Today we know that vitamin B3 has a powerful influence over mood and mental health.* And so do vitamins B1, B2, B6, B8, and B12.
All of these vitamins’ deficiency signs have an uncanny resemblance to mental health symptoms. Could there possibly be a connection between these signs and today’s declining food values and processed as well as limited food diets?
Researchers have been looking closing at the effects of B vitamins on mood and other mental health issues. They’ve discovered that B vitamins play an important role in supporting:
In regard to niacin, some researchers now believe that certain individuals need more niacin on a regular basis. They may need ultra-high doses just to remain well! I believe this is the tip of the iceberg. We’re just starting to learn and appreciate the value that B complex vitamins hold for mental and emotional health.* And here’s something else researchers have recently learned about B vitamins…
Research Team Discovers New Potential Benefit of Vitamin B Complex Supplementation Air pollution affects 92 percent of the world's population. Shockingly, a recent report from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that 92 percent of the world’s population breathes polluted air. And at least 1 in every 4 worldwide deaths are attributable to these toxic environments. Poor air quality can cause serious damage to not just your lungs, but also your heart, brain, and other organs. Exposure to high levels of very fine particulate matter or particles with a diameter of 2.5 microns or less, known as PM2.5, can trigger mutations in genes and interfere with how they work in your body.
Other studies have found PM2.5 can also damage brain cells and T helper cells that play a key role in your immune function. An international research team, for the first time ever, studied the effects of B vitamin supplementation on healthy, non-smoking subjects exposed to a “hazardous level” of PM2.5 in downtown Toronto.
The researchers found that taking high levels of supplemental B vitamins – specifically vitamins B6, B9, and B12 – for four weeks:
While this is just the first study suggesting these potential benefits, the fact remains that 90 percent of people around the world live in areas where the annual average PM2.5 level is worse than the WHO’s “safe standard” of 10 mcg.
If B vitamins at high dosages could help offset damage to organs and help protect fragile mitochondrial DNA, then I believe they deserve closer scrutiny!
Your body is able to produce its own vitamin D3 when your skin is exposed to the sun's ultraviolet rays, specifically ultraviolet (UVB) radiation. When UVB rays hit your skin, a chemical reaction happens: Your body begins the process of converting a prohormonein the skin into vitamin D. In this process, a form of cholesterol called 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC), naturally found in your skin, absorbs the UVB radiation and gets converted into cholecalciferol. Cholecalciferol is the previtamin form of D3. Next, the previtamin travels through your bloodstream to your liver, where the body begins to metabolize it, turning it into hydroxyvitamin D, which is also known as 25-hydroxyvitamin D or 25(OH)D. The kidneys then convert the 25(OH)D into dihydroxyvitamin D, also called 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D or 25(OH)2D -- this is the hormone form of vitamin D your body can use.
Sometimes called the 'sunshine vitamin' because it is found in high levels in citrus fruits, vitamin C has a uniquely regenerative role in hormone health and cancer prevention that has been overlooked for over twenty years!Truly groundbreaking research on the regenerative potential of vitamin C therapy for hormone health as well as cancer prevention was performed over twenty years ago, and yet still today it has received little to no attention. Published in 1993 in the journal Radiation Physics and Chemistry and titled, "Photo-induced regeneration of hormones by electron transfer processes: Potential biological and medical consequences," Austrian researchers explored the role that vitamin C plays in preventing the degradation of steroid hormones into toxic and cancer-promoting metabolites known as "hormone transients." Their stated goal was "to investigate if hormone transients resulting by e.g. electron emission can be regenerated." The molecular structure of progesterone, estrone (a form of estrogen) and testosterone is such that when exposed to differing biological and/or environmental conditions, e.g. UV light, pH, temperature, they lose electrons, becoming toxic and often carcinogenic metabolites that represent a burden on the body's elimination capabilities. Vitamin C is a well-known electron donor, which is to say a substance that donates electrons to another compound (i.e. a 'reducing agent'). Vitamin C's ability to donate electrons can have an antioxidant effect as far as neutralizing free radicals, or as is the case with transient hormone metabolites, a structurally regenerative one.
The study's design and results were summarized as follows:
"Investigations were performed using progesterone (PRG), testosterone (TES) and estrone (E1) as representatives of hormones. By irradiation with monochromatic UV light (λ=254 nm) in a media of 40% water and 60% ethanol, the degradation as well as the regeneration of the hormones was studied with each hormone individually and in the mixture with Vit C as a function of the absorbed UV dose, using HPLC. Calculated from the obtained initial yields, the determined regeneration of PRG amounted to 52.7%, for TES to 58.6% and for E1 to 90.9%."
Remarkably, vitamin C was capable of almost complete regeneration of estrone and quite significant regeneration of both progesterone (52.7%) and testosterone (58.6%). These experimental results have profound implications if they prove to carry over to human physiology. For instance, vitamin C may offer an alternative to hormone replacement therapy, which suffers from the problem of 'feeding the deficiency,' i.e. negative feedback loops operative within our endocrine system can result in the down-regulation of endogenous steroid hormone production when exogenous forms are supplied. The researchers noted that this was (at the time) the first scientific evidence proving:
Hormone transients originating by the electron emission process can be successfully regenerated by the transfer of electrons from a potent electron donor, such as vitamin C.