The Synthesis Of Neurotransmitters Is Dependent On Vitamins B1 B5 B6 B9 And C
Thiamine is required for the synthesis of fatty acids, steroids, nucleic acids and aromatic amino acids, which are precursors to a range of neurotransmitters, including acetylcholine, glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid .
Pantothenic acid is required for the synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, as shown by experimental studies in rats in which pantothenic acid was depleted using chronic alcohol exposure that displayed a decreased synthesis of acetylcholine in the brain .
In the brain, the aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase, an enzyme dependent on PLP , catalyzes the synthesis of two major neurotransmitters: serotonin from tryptophan and dopamine from phenylalanine. The synthesis of other neurotransmitters, including glutamate or gamma-aminobutyric acid, is also catalyzed by enzymes that require vitamin B6 as cofactors .
Vitamin B9 enables cerebral methylation processes and this affects the metabolism of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, which are important in mood regulation. More precisely, folate has been linked to the maintenance of adequate cerebral levels of tetrahydropterin, a key cofactor in the hydroxylation reactions that lead to the synthesis of serotonin and catecholamines. .
Vitamin C is involved in the synthesis and modulation of some hormonal components of the nervous system. It is a cofactor of the enzymes that catalyze the formation of catecholamines: , and of enzymes that are active in the biosynthesis of neuropeptides
Vitamin D Can Help You Lose Weight
Dr. Boyd points out that obesity is a known risk factor for low vitamin D levelswhich means more vitamin D may help with weight loss. One 2009 study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that, in overweight or obese women with low calcium levels, those who took a daily dose of calcium paired with vitamin D were more successful shedding pounds than those who took a placebo supplement, due to an appetite-suppressing effect of the combination.
Vitamin D May Help Reduce The Risk Of Certain Cancers
Dr. Boyd points to various studiesmost of which are referenced on the National Cancer Institute’s websitethat provide some evidence that vitamin D may have cancer fighting powers. Evidence is increasing that vitamin D supplementation may improve cancer outcomes, he explains. The cancers for which the most human data are available are colorectal, breast, prostate, and pancreatic cancer.
The NCI specifically calls out a few reasons why researchers are interested in a link between vitamin D and a lowered risk of cancer. The organization points out that some research shows that incidence and death rates for certain cancers were lower among individuals living in southern latitudes, where levels of sunlight exposure are relatively high, than among those living at northern latitudes, though additional research needs to be done to find a specific causal or correlational link between more sunlight exposure and a lower risk of cancer. More experimental evidence, per the NCI, shows, that cancer cells and of tumors in mice, vitamin D has been found to have several activities that might slow or prevent the development of cancer cells and tumors in mice, including promoting cellular differentiation, decreasing cancer cell growth, stimulating cell death , and reducing tumor blood vessel formation .
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The Impact Of Sunlight On Vitamin D Status
Assessment of vitamin D status will need consideration of other factors, such as light therapy and sun exposure. Exposure to sunlight accounts for over 90% of the vitamin D requirement for most individuals . Amount of exposure to ultraviolet B radiation is affected by latitude, season, and time of the day. It has been reported that sun exposure is greatest in spring to early fall and during sunlight hours . Although places closer to the equator have greater sun exposure , recently it has been reported that in even in these areas vitamin D insufficiency persists . Since it is possible that persons who are outdoors may be more physically active, it is important to consider whether sunshine alone or in combination with physical activity is related to improved mood.
Mind, a charity group in the United Kingdom, has recommend Ecotherapy as a treatment to depression. Ecotherapy involves exercising outdoors instead of inside a facility. A research study was done with 20 people each walked outside and at an indoor shopping center . Participants then rated their feelings of self-esteem, depression, and tension after both walks. Improvements were greater when walking outdoors as compared to walking indoors . Lack of information regarding specific measurements and methods used for data collection are significant limitations of this report.
Effect Of Supplementation With Vitamins And Minerals On Mental Fatigue And Cognitive Or Psychological Functions
7.3.1. Supplementation with Individual B Vitamins on Mental Fatigue and Cognitive or Psychological Functions
Thiamine supplementation could be effective in preventing cognitive impairment in at-risk situations, i.e., before cognitive dysfunction occurs. In a retrospective cohort study in more than 10, 000 Taiwanese patients with a recently diagnosed alcohol use disorder, those who received thiamine therapy after the diagnosis were compared with a control group without thiamine the treated group had a lower hazard ratio of dementia . Recently, the administration of a synthetic derivative of thiamine in five patients with mild to moderate dementia resulted in improved cognitive ability measured via the Mini-Mental State Examination . An earlier study had assessed the effects of a high dose of thiamine or placebo on 120 young adult women with adequate thiamine status at the study outset. Thiamine status, assessed via transketolase activation, was improved in treated subjects and this was associated with improved attention and a trend toward improved mood .
Supplementation with 250 mg niacin was found to attenuate the disturbed sleep architecture associated with Parkinson disease, probably through a normalization of the function of niacin receptors quoted in .
7.3.2. Supplementation with Vitamin C, Iron, Magnesium or Zinc and Mental Fatigue and Cognitive or Psychological Functions
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Vitamin D Can Relieve Bone And Back Pain
Back pain may be one of the biggest complaints I hear as people age. You may be surprised to learn that you need to have regulated levels of Vitamin D to help the intestines absorb calcium and keep your kidneys from excreting it. If you dont get enough, it will have a negative impact on softening the bones and cause Osteomalacia or osteoporosis. Both have negative effects on your bone density and muscular weakness.
Do I Need To Take Vitamin D And Vitamin K Together
Some supplements contain both vitamins D and K together. This is because both are needed for calcium metabolism: vitamin D promotes calcium absorption and vitamin K promotes the calcification of bones and reduces the calcification of soft tissues such as blood vessels .
However the current evidence doesn’t suggest you need to take supplements that combine vitamin D and vitamin K for optimal absorption, especially as it’s easy to get enough vitamin K from your diet.
Vitamin K is found in leafy, green vegetables such as spinach, kale and broccoli. It’s also in vegetable oils, dairy products, meat and eggs.
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Can Medications Cause A Vitamin D Deficiency
Yes. Vitamin D levels can be lowered by certain medications. These include:
- Cholesterol-lowering drugs .
- Seizure-control drugs .
- A tuberculosis drug .
- A weight-loss drug .
Always tell your doctor about the drugs you take and any vitamin D supplements or other supplements or herbs/alternative health products that you take.
Vitamin D Boosts Your Energy Levels Research Shows
A new study led by Dr Akash Sinha from Newcastle University has shown that vitamin D is vital for making our muscles work efficiently and boosting energy level.
According to Dr Sinha from Newcastle University and his colleagues, muscle function improves with vitamin D supplements which are thought to enhance the activity of the mitochondria the batteries of the cell
Vitamin D is a hormone normally produced in the skin using energy from sunlight. It can also be found in a few foods including fish, cheese, butter, egg yolks and fortified cereals, but it can also be effectively boosted with Vitamin D supplements.
Dr Sinhas team used non-invasive magnetic resonance scans to measure the response to exercise in 12 patients with severe deficiency before and after treatment with vitamin D.
The scans provided a unique window into what is really going on in the muscle as it works, said Dr Sinha, who with colleagues reported the findings in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Examining this small group of patients with vitamin D deficiency who experienced symptoms of muscle fatigue, we found that those with very low vitamin D levels improved their muscle efficiency significantly when their vitamin D levels were improved.
Alongside poor bone health, muscle fatigue is a common symptom in vitamin D deficient patients. This fatigue could be due to reduced efficiency of the mitochondria: the power stations within each cell of the body.
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The Basics Of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a unique type of vitamin because it actually acts more like a steroid hormone than a dietary aid and is not readily available in most foods like other vitamins often are because of this, its estimated that nearly 75 percent of people have some kind of deficiency.
Rather, vitamin D is sourced primarily from the sun, which is why its often referred to as the sunshine vitamin. When the skin absorbs sunlight, it synthesizes the UVB rays into vitamin D.
Though you should always limit long exposure to the sun, getting adequate amounts of rays is the first step in ensuring your body has good stores, which is important since vitamin D has a tremendous effect on mood and, over time, can help to ease symptoms of depression. Its also a type of fat-soluble vitamin that plays a major role in the way the body absorbs other nutrients.
But not everywhere in the world is as sunny as California or Florida, which limits access, and because the synthesization process varies from person to person, not everyone has the same capability to intake the proper amounts needed for optimal well-being. This is where supplements come into play.
How To Get More Vitamin D
You can get more vitamin D by eating D-rich foods, including fatty fish , fish oil, fortified milk, egg yolks, and fortified breakfast cereals.
You could also take a vitamin D supplement. The Office of Dietary Supplements recommends a daily intake of vitamin D of 600 IU for adults up to age 69 and 800 IU for adults 70 and older. The tolerable upper daily limit is 4,000 IU . Be careful when taking vitamin D supplementsvitamin D toxicity is possible .
It is possible to get enough vitamin D from the sun, but only at certain times of the year. Some researchers believe that about five to 30 minutes of sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., at least twice a week to your face, arms, legs, or back can produce sufficient vitamin D.
However, there are no actual recommendations regarding the amount of time to spend in the sun since sun exposure also increases your risk of developing skin cancer. During the winter in the Northern Hemisphere, it can be impossible to get enough vitamin D via the sun. Vitamin D supplementation can be helpful in maintaining normal levels.
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Most Of Us Have Enough Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that you get from food, including fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks. Of course, it’s also found in fortified foods, such as milk, orange juice, and cereal, and you get it from exposure to UV light.
You need vitamin D to regulate the absorption of calcium and phosphorous in your body, which keeps your bones strong and protects against osteoporosis and rickets.
In recent years, researchers have found associations between low levels of vitamin D and increased risk for a range of health problems, including fractures and falls, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, colorectal cancer, depressed moods, and even cognitive decline. As awareness about the importance of vitamin D for health has spread, so has the demand for testing.
So how much do you need? Less than 10 nanograms per milliliter of vitamin D in the blood is considered much too little, a vitamin deficiency. When your levels hover around there, you might experience symptoms such as muscle weakness, bone pain, and fractures.
Most experts agree that you want your vitamin D blood level to be at least 20 nanograms per milliliter.
The good news: Most of us have this much in our bodies without even trying.
What Else Vitamin D Is Good For Other Vitally Important Functions Beyond Sleep
Vitamin D is considered a hormone because of its multiple regulatory functions in the body.
Its best known function is to help metabolize calcium in the bones. However, its also involved in other processes that are fundamental for health, such as:
- cell multiplication and death
- regulation of the immune system
- regulation of insulin secretion
- the learning process and memory
- motor control
- brain aging
It also reduces the risk of falls in older adults.In addition, receptors for vitamin D have been detected in almost all human tissues, and its ability to regulate the expression of numerous genes has also been discovered. Gómez de Tejada Romero M.J. Acciones extraóseas de la vitamina D Rev Osteoporos Metab Miner vol.6 supl.1 Madrid mar. 2014
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Can Vegans Take A Vitamin D Supplement
Vegans can be more susceptible to a vitamin D deficiency. The double whammy of not getting enough sunlight during the winter months and not being able to eat most of the food sources of vitamin D can make it a little more difficult.
However, even with meat, dairy and eggs off the menu, there are still natural vegan sources of vitamin D like mushrooms for vitamin D2 and lichen for vitamin D3.
As these are limited, a vitamin D supplement is recommended. Especially for vitamin D3 as we dont think many vegans will be chowing down on some lichen!
How Vitamin D Works
Calcium is essential for bone health. Phosphate is needed for healthy bones, teeth, muscles, nerves, and basic bodily functions.
Vitamin D comes in two forms:
- Vitamin D2 is naturally found in some plants.
- Vitamin D3 is naturally found in animals and is produced by the skin when its exposed to sunlight.
You can meet your vitamin D needs with either form. But healthcare providers generally suggest D3 supplements. That’s because it:
- Raises your overall vitamin D level more than D2
- Lasts longer in the body than D2
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Impact Of Vitamins And Minerals Frank Deficiencies On Mental Fatigue And Cognitive Or Psychological Functions
7.1.1. Deficiencies in Individual B Vitamins and Mental Fatigue and Cognitive or Psychological Functions
Long-term niacin deficiency can lead to neurological symptoms, including depression and loss of memory . These symptoms attenuate or disappear following niacin intake, confirming its role in the brain and nervous system . In addition, niacin receptors, which are normally distributed throughout the brain, are affected in several brain areas in people with Parkinson disease quoted in .
Deficiency in pantothenic acid results in neurological dysfunction. Dogs treated with an antagonist of vitamin B5 that induces a deficiency of pantothenic acid developed an acute encephalopathy . In humans, there is a rare genetic defect in the production of pantothenate kinase, an enzyme that is crucial in the synthesis of acetyl-CoA, which translates into inherited neurodegenerative diseases or neurodegeneration . Experimentally induced deficiency in pantothenic acid results in personality changes .
During severe pyridoxine deficiency, disturbed neurologic functions, such as convulsive epileptic seizures and irritability and depression, are observed .
7.1.2. Deficiency in Vitamin C and Minerals and Mental Fatigue and Cognitive or Psychological Functions
Uses In Traditional Medicine
English biochemist Alexander Wynter Blyth was the first to observe vitamin B2/riboflavin in 1872 when he noticed a green-yellow pigment found in milk. However, it wasnt until the early 1930s that riboflavin was actually identified by Paul Gyorgy, the same biochemist credited with the discovery of other B vitamins like biotin and vitamin B6.
Even before vitamin B2 was isolated by scientists, practitioners of traditional medicine systems, such as Ayurveda, recommended foods that were high in B vitamins to improve energy, functioning of the nervous system, and health of the eyes, skin, hair and liver. Vitamin B2 foods, including meat, organ meats like liver, dairy such as yogurt, eggs, nuts like almonds, mushrooms, and green vegetables were viewed as important for slowing the aging process and promoting growth in the young. These foods are still recommended for people with migraines, anemia, a sluggish metabolism and a weakened immune system.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, vitamin B2 foods are considered essential for dealing with stress and helping your body use other nutrients, including folate and vitamin B12. To maintain healthy levels of red blood cells, prevent fatigue and support the metabolism, its recommended that a balanced diet include B2 foods like meats, organ meats, eggs, soybeans , spinach, beet greens, broccoli, bok choy, shiitake mushrooms and tempeh.
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How Much Vitamin D Is Too Much
Since relatively little is known about how vitamin D toxicity works, its hard to define an exact threshold for safe or toxic vitamin D intake .
According to the National Academy of Medicine, formerly known as the Institute of Medicine, 4,000 IU is the safe upper level of daily vitamin D intake. However, doses up to 10,000 IU have not been shown to cause toxicity in healthy individuals (
Hypercalcemia caused by regularly taking high amounts of vitamin D supplements may take a few months to resolve. This is because vitamin D accumulates in body fat and is released into the blood slowly .
Treating vitamin D intoxication includes avoiding sun exposure and eliminating all dietary and supplemental vitamin D.
A doctor may also correct your calcium levels with increased salt and fluids, often by intravenous saline.
The main consequence of vitamin D toxicity is hypercalcemia, with symptoms including nausea, vomiting, weakness, and kidney failure. Treatment involves limiting all vitamin D intake and sun exposure.