The Power of B Vitamins

by Brandi Grimmer

Boosting mental health and combating unwelcome fatigue could be as simple as taking your vitamins. The most commonly known vitamin that increases energy levels, spikes mood and amps concentration is vitamin B12. These supplements have a direct role in balancing blood sugar, creating a healthy nervous system, lowering risk for stroke and heart disease and increasing digestive function.

Let’s look at the eight different B vitamins that collectively create a B-complex, telltale signs of deficiency and where they naturally occur:

B1- Thiamine

Signs of deficiency: Fatigue, memory loss, weakness, depression, irritability, cognitive disturbance, pain sensitivity, nervousness, constipation, shortness of breath, numbness and confusion.

Found in: Salmon, flax seeds, chia seeds, cashews, green pees and black beans.

B2- Riboflavin

Signs of deficiency: lack of energy, cracked lips, inflamed mouth and watery eyes.

Found in: almonds, sun-dried tomatoes, natural yogurt, mushrooms and spinach.

B3- Niacin

Signs of deficiency: lack of energy, anxiety, depression and dermatitis.

Found in: avocado, turkey breast, chicken breast, liver and sunflower seeds.

B5- Pantothenic Acid

Signs of deficiency: lack of energy and adrenal dysfunction.

Found in: feta cheese, tuna, eggs, avocados, corn and sweet potatoes.

B6- Pyridoxine

Signs of deficiency: fatigue, inadequate production of serotonin and dopamine, sleep disturbances, decreased immune function and anemia.

Found in: pistachio nuts, halibut, dried apricots, raisins and bananas.

B7- Biotin

Signs of deficiency: depression, hair loss, tingling in extremities and dry skin.

Found in: cauliflower, carrots, tomatoes, pork, rice bran and pecans.

B9- Folic Acid

Signs of deficiency: mental sluggishness, anemia, infertility and loss of appetite.

Found in: broccoli, asparagus, lettuce, lentils, turnip greens and oranges.

B12- Cobalamin

Signs of deficiency: fatigue, depression, dizziness, nerve damage and vision problems.

Found in: liver, canned sardines, shrimp, silken tofu and Swiss cheese.

Significant deficiency in any of these areas can have detrimental effects on the body. Since vitamin B is water-soluble, our body won’t store it, meaning our vitamin B levels need to be replenished regularly. Consuming mugs of tea or coffee, high amounts of carbohydrates and artificial sugars quickly burns through our body’s B vitamins. In addition, prolonged stress and certain medications may also deplete B vitamin levels. For example, birth control pills and other hormone replacements require additional B6.

Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about adding this diverse, robust vitamin family to your supplemental regimen to keep your body functioning properly and you feeling your very best!

Brandi is a certified nutritional consultant at Keystone Pharmacy. She believes that total health is dependent on proper diet, exercise, and nutritional supplementation.



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