May Reduce Stress And Boost Mood
B-complex vitamins are often used to reduce fatigue and boost mood. Some studies suggest that B vitamins can lift your spirits and improve your cognitive performance.
A 33-day study in 215 healthy men found that treatment with a high dose B-complex and mineral supplement improved general mental health and stress and enhanced performance on cognitive tests .
Another study in young adults showed that supplementing with a multivitamin containing high levels of B-complex vitamins for 90 days reduced stress and mental fatigue .
B Vitamin Deficiency: Symptoms And Causes Of Low Vitamin B Levels
When it comes to vitamins needed for both a sound body and mind, the B vitamins arenât something you want to ignore. Take, for example, vitamin B12: donât get enough of this vitamin, and your energy levels throughout the day might sag â with your mind constantly turning, perhaps, to thoughts of sleep in your warm cozy bed.
Or consider vitamin B9 : a deficiency in this vitamin and you might get sores on your mouth or a swollen tongue â among other possible symptoms.
Then thereâs vitamin B6. If your levels of this key B vitamin are too low, then you could be looking at flaky, oily rashes on your upper body or face.
But these arenât the only symptoms of B vitamin deficiency. So hereâs a more complete list of vitamin B deficiency symptoms.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF VITAMIN B DEFICIENCY
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Can Be Sneaky Harmful
- By Harvard Health Publishing Staff, Harvard Health
What harm can having too little of vitamin B12 do? Consider this: Over the course of two months, a 62-year-old man developed numbness and a pins and needles sensation in his hands, had trouble walking, experienced severe joint pain, began turning yellow, and became progressively short of breath. The cause was lack of vitamin B12 in his bloodstream, according to a case report from Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital published in The New England Journal of Medicine. It could have been worsea severe vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to deep depression, paranoia and delusions, memory loss, incontinence, loss of taste and smell, and more.
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Eat Your Way To Better Skin
Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best ones. Following a diet rich in leafy green vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains a strategy long-touted as the best way to achieve good health is also an effective way to look as healthy as you feel and glow from the inside out. Evaluate your diet to see where you might need improvement, and speak with a nutritionist if you want help creating a personalized plan.
Want help improving your nutrition or evaluating your diet? Contact one of Tri-City Medical Centers registered dietitians today!
What Are The Natural Sources Of Vitamin B
Vitamin B is naturally found in animal-based products, such as chicken, fish, meats and dairy products. Other natural sources of vitamin B include wholewheat bread, green leafy vegetables, nuts and yeast.
Some B vitamins are added to food. For example, vitamin B9 is added to wheat flour used in bread, and B12 is added to plant-based vegetarian meat alternatives.
Because many proteins contain vitamin B, watch your protein intake. Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend the following:
- Female adults should eat 2 to 2.5 serves of protein daily.
- Male adults should eat 2.5 to 3 serves of protein daily.
On average, each of the following is 1 serve:
- 65 grams lean red meat
- 80 grams salmon
Go here for more information on foods high in vitamin B.
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Liver And Other Organ Meats
Though not especially popular, organ meats especially liver are packed with B vitamins. This is true whether theyre from beef, pork, lamb or chicken .
For example, a 3.5-ounce serving of beef liver contains :
- Thiamine : 12% of the RDI
- Riboflavin : 201% of the RDI
- Niacin : 87% of the RDI
- Pantothenic acid : 69% of the RDI
- Pyridoxine : 51% of the RDI
- Biotin : 138% of the RDI
- Folate : 65% of the RDI
- Cobalamin : 1,386% of the RDI
If youre unaccustomed to livers strong flavor or view organ meats as unappetizing, try them ground and mixed with traditional cuts of ground meat or add them to highly seasoned foods, such as chili.
Summary Organ meats particularly liver are high in most B vitamins. To make liver more palatable, grind it with common cuts of meat or use it in highly seasoned food.
What To Eat To Prevent Vitamin B
Many cases of B-12 deficiency are rooted in underlying health problems, but its possible to take preventative measures. Preventative measures include paying close attention to your diet, especially if youre vegetarian or vegan.
One serving of fortified breakfast cereal may fulfill 25 to 100 percent of your daily intake value, depending on the brand. Three ounces of cooked salmon has about 80 percent of your daily intake value.
You can also find B-12 in:
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Symptoms Of Niacin Deficiency
Getting too little niacin can cause a niacin deficiency. Severe niacin deficiency leads to pellagra, which may cause:
- brown discoloration on skin exposed to sunlight
- patches of skin with a rough appearance
- a bright red tongue
Deficiency is rare in the U.S., but the following groups may be more at risk:
- people with a metabolic disorder called biotinidase deficiency
- people with alcohol use disorder
- women who are pregnant or lactating
The natural form of vitamin B-9 is called folate. Folic acid, which is present in fortified foods and some supplements, is a synthetic form of the vitamin.
Because most people cannot take in enough leafy green vegetables for the levels needed in pregnancy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that all women of reproductive age who wish to conceive take 400 mcg of folic acid each day, alongside eating a varied diet that contains folate.
When a woman has high enough levels of folate both before and during pregnancy, the fetus has a affecting the brain and spinal cord.
Folate is also essential for:
- DNA replication
- had gastric bypass surgery or surgery on the stomach
Vegetarians, vegans, and people who are pregnant or lactating may also need extra vitamin B-12.
The Abcs Of Vitamins Vitamin B
Up next in our series is vitamin B. Vitamin B complex is essential for a variety of bodily tasks and functions, especially cell health and energy.
Lets explore this vitamin in detail.
What is Vitamin B?
Vitamin B, unlike other vitamins, is actually a family of eight different vitamins, each of which performs its own distinct functions. B1 , B2 , B3 , B5 , B6 , B7 , B9 and B12 make up this vitamin family.
What Does Vitamin B Do?
Vitamin B is well known for helping your body turn the food you eat into energy. But that is not all it does. Vitamin B also helps form red blood cells and is critical for the development and function of those cells. It promotes healthy hair, skin, nails and bones, and it keeps your heart healthy.
The easiest way to understand each of the B vitamins is to look at them individually to see what they are, what they do for your body, what foods to eat to make sure you are getting enough of them and how your body lets you know when arent.
Lets break it down.
Thiamine is what the body uses to turn the foods you eat into usable energy. It is also used to maintain proper nerve and heart function, boost immunity and prevent damage to your nerves.
Vitamin B1 can be found in whole grains, beef, pork, nuts, yeast and spinach.
Vitamin B1 deficiencies are rarely a problem in the United States because so many of the foods we eat are fortified with it.
Fish, seeds, peanuts, yeast and beets are the best food sources for B3.
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What Are The Potential Benefits
There are many potential benefits associated with B-complex vitamin infusions. B-complex vitamins are responsible for producing DNA and red blood cells, metabolizing food into energy, and decreasing the levels of homocysteine in your blood. High homocysteine levels can increase your risk of stroke, heart attack, and dementia.
B-complex vitamins also work as mood stabilizers that decrease anxiety and depression. They also support the health and function of your brain and central nervous system and boost your immune system.
Some Fish Contains More Vitamin B Than Others
Fish, like meat, is especially high in certain B vitamins, but Hartley notes that certain fish, such as trout, are just a bit more nutrient-rich in vitamin B than other kinds.
I especially encourage people to eat omega-3 fatty fish like trout, salmon, sardines. These ones happen to be a bit higher in complex B vitamins too, she said. If someone doesnt like the fishy taste of those fatty fishes, they can still get B vitamins from more delicate white fish like mahi-mahi and cod.
What Vegetables Are Water Soluble
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is water-soluble. This vitamin is only found in vegetables and fruits. Fruits and vegetables with the densest vitamin C concentrations include citrus fruits, cantaloupe, peppers, strawberries, cabbage family vegetables, papayas, kiwi, potatoes, mangoes, lettuce, and tomatoes.
B12 Deficiency: Who Is At Risk
Most healthy adults get sufficient B12 from their regular diet. However, it is common for older people to have some level of B12 deficiency. This is often due to a poor diet and less stomach acid, which the body needs to absorb B12 from food.
Certain conditions and drugs also can interfere with absorption and increase your deficiency risk. For example, Crohns disease, pancreatic disease, diabetes, and heartburn medication, which reduces stomach acid. Vegans and vegetarians sometimes have trouble consuming enough B12 since many food sources are found in animal products like meat and dairy.
Low levels of B12 can cause fatigue, nervousness, dizziness, numbness, and tingling in the fingers and toes. Severe, long-term deficiency may lead to loss of mobility, problems walking, or memory loss.
A blood test from your doctor can measure B12 levels. A serious deficiency can be corrected with B12 shots or high-dose supplements.
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Why Vitamin B12 Is Important
The human body needs vitamin B12 to make red blood cells, nerves, DNA, and carry out other functions. The average adult should get 2.4 micrograms a day. Like most vitamins, B12cant be made by the body. Instead, it must be gotten from food or supplements.
And therein lies the problem: Some people dont consume enough vitamin B12 to meet their needs, while others cant absorb enough, no matter how much they take in. As a result, vitamin B12 deficiency is relatively common, especially among older people.
Are Supplements Necessary
Most people get enough B vitamins through their diet. Whole foods are also the best way for your body to absorb these vitamins.
Its not necessary to take a supplement unless your doctor has confirmed that youre deficient in a specific B vitamin. If they note a deficiency, theyll most likely tell you whether you should take a specific B supplement or add a vitamin B complex supplement to your routine.
You may be more likely to need supplementation if you:
- are age 50 or older
- are pregnant
- have certain chronic health conditions
- take certain long-term medications
- eat a strictly meat-free diet
One thing to keep in mind: Supplements arent regulated by the Food and Drug Administration , so you should only buy from a trusted, reputable brand. This helps ensure youre taking a high quality product without any questionable additives.
If your doctor has noted a deficiency, they may be able to recommend a specific brand of supplements.
You should always read all labels carefully and follow any directions given by the manufacturer. If you have questions about the dosage, talk with your doctor.
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Converts Food Into Energy
Most B vitamins are involved in the process of converting food into energy. Some help to metabolize carbohydrates and others aid in breaking down fat and/or protein.
While this is an essential process, that’s not to say taking a vitamin B complex supplement will boost your energy. Although B vitamins are essential for your body, the effect is different when they are consumed in the form of dietary supplements rather than food. A B-complex supplement may fill a specific vitamin gap or deficiency, however, it cannot provide energy in the form of calories like a food source.
B vitamins involved: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, and B12
People Who Are Pregnant Or Nursing
During pregnancy, the demand for B vitamins, particularly B12 and folate, grows. This is because they are needed to support fetal development .
In people who are pregnant or breastfeeding or chestfeeding especially those who follow vegetarian or vegan diets supplementing with a B-complex vitamin is crucial.
B12 or folate deficiency during pregnancy or while nursing can lead to severe neurological damage or birth defects in the fetus or infant .
How To Take Vitamin B12
This article was medically reviewed by Adrienne Youdim, MD. Dr. Adrienne Youdim is a Board Certified Internist specializing in medical weight loss and nutrition and founder and creator of Dehl Nutrition – a line of functional nutritional bars and supplements. With 10+ years of experience, Dr. Youdim uses a holistic approach to nutrition that blends lifestyle changes and evidence-based medicine. Dr. Youdim holds a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles and an MD from the University of California, San Diego . She completed her residency training and fellowship at Cedars-Sinai. Dr. Youdim holds multiple board certifications awarded by the American Board of Internal Medicine, the National Board of Physician Nutrition Specialists, and the American Board of Obesity Medicine. She is also a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Youdim is an Associate Professor of Medicine at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. She has been featured on CBS News, Fox News, Dr. Oz, National Public Radio, W Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times.There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 34,496 times.
Nutritional And Brewers Yeast
Nutritional yeast and brewers yeast are inactive, meaning you cant use them to make bread. Rather, people use them to boost the flavor and nutrient profile of dishes.
These yeasts naturally contain B vitamins and are often fortified with them as well particularly nutritional yeast. If nutrients are added, youll see them listed in the ingredients on the label.
Heres how the two yeasts compare based on a 2-tablespoon serving, though these values vary by brand :
Vegetarians and vegans commonly use nutritional yeast, as its fortified with B12, which is challenging to obtain if you dont eat animal products .
The nutty-cheesy flavor of nutritional yeast also makes it popular as a seasoning. Brewers yeast, however, can taste bitter and may be better mixed into foods like smoothies, salad dressing or soup.
Summary Nutritional yeast and brewers yeast pack a high amount of B vitamins but a significant portion of the vitamins in nutritional yeast, including B12, are added. These products can be used to add flavor or nutrients to other foods.
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Which Vitamin B Is Good For The Nerves
If you often have to deal with stress, you should make sure you take in plenty of vitamin B. For example, vitamin B2 protects the cells from oxidative stress. Vitamins B2, B3, B6, B12 reduce fatigue. And vitamins B1, B3, B6, B7, B12 contribute to normal mental function.
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Why Is Vitamin B Important For Your Health
Vitamin B is considered an essential vitamin. Your body needs it to work properly, including for many different cellular processes, such as building DNA components and proteins.
Each of the B-group vitamins plays a critical role in keeping you healthy. For example, B12, B6 and B9 are important vitamins for healthy brain and nerve function, while vitamin B2 is important for skin health and good vision.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that your body needs for processes, like DNA synthesis, energy production, and central nervous system function .
Even though the vitamin is found in many foods, B12 insufficiency and deficiency are relatively common. This is often due to limited dietary intake, malabsorption, certain medical conditions, or the use of B12-depleting medications .
In fact, studies suggest that up to 20% of people over the age of 60 in the United States and the United Kingdom are deficient in the vitamin .
For reference, B12 levels above 300 pg/mL are considered normal, levels of 200300 pg/mL are considered borderline, and levels below 200 pg/mL are considered deficient .
Because the ability to absorb B12 from food declines with age, deficiency is more common in older adults. Still, that doesnt mean children and younger adults, including those who are pregnant and breastfeeding, cant develop B12 deficiency .
Unfortunately, B12 deficiency is often overlooked and misdiagnosed. Oftentimes, this is due to inadequate laboratory testing or because the symptoms are not specific to vitamin B12 deficiency alone .
If you suspect you might have a B12 deficiency, its important to visit a healthcare professional to discuss your symptoms and undergo appropriate testing.
This article covers nine of the most commonly reported symptoms related to B12 deficiency and how this deficiency is diagnosed and treated.