B-Vitamins by Anni DahmsNils Lind
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”The problem is not that we are going to die –
The problem is that we have to live until we die.”
I found the quote in one of Lars Okholm’s old books.
Another quote, which I’m fond of is “vitamins are drugs, they are harmful if they are not there”.
One of the vitamins that can make us feel better is vitamin B. The vitamin is divided into multiple B vitamins, which is called a vitamin B complex.
In 1915 vitamin B was known as “B-substance”
Brewer’s yeast started it all because it was discovered that a watered-down version of the yeast promoted growth in rats during experimental trials where the rats were on a special diet.
In 1926 the first B vitamin was isolated. It was B1. Afterwards people started splitting B vitamins into B1, B2, etc. it was at the same time discovered what the individual B vitamins were good for.
We are reliant on our daily intake of B vitamins, as they are quickly absorbed and quickly excreted, with the exception of B12, which is kept in the liver.
There are no isolated B vitamins in nature, but the entire complex is combined, to ensure a normal cell function. I therefore always advise that you consume the entire vitamin B complex, and if necessary, increase the dosage of individual B vitamins to fulfill a specific task for a limited amount of time.
B vitamins have, as a collective group, numerous functions both with sugar metabolism, but also with transformations of fats and proteins. B vitamins are furthermore Co-enzymes and many of them have an antioxidative effect.
Many people lack B vitamins in the modern world
The causes are countless, but it is largely caused by the fact that much of our food is preprocessed. Moreover, the soil is cultivated too intensely. In addition to these is increased consumption of sugar, alcohol, medicine, for instance increased antibiotic usage, coffee, etc. together with a weakened intestinal flora, which is often affected by poor foods and lifestyle.
According to Eva Lydeking’s book “New nutrition” should B vitamins and antibiotics not be taken together. If you are currently on antibiotics, you should hold off on the B vitamins, until the treatment is over.
Many people are dealing with problems, which in my opinion, are unnecessary, because they don’t know enough about B vitamins important functions and abilities to prevent and improve many complications with their health.
I often recommend B vitamins to people who come to me with many different issues, from worries, depression, fatigue, stress, and anxiety to alcohol problems, cholesterol issues, increasingly poor memory, heart troubles, anemia, frayed nails, tingling and stinging sensations in hands and feet etc. of course, after I have been ensured that a doctor has been consulted about the condition.
When you previously ate a varied diet, then it was filled with all the nutrients that were necessary, but this is unfortunately not the case today.
An average diet today is characterized by an overuse of poor-quality salt, unhealthy fats, and an even larger misuse of sugar.
It is estimated that we eat 50 – 60 times more sugar than our grandparents.
Cleaned highly concentrated sugar, which absolutely cannot be called natural food, is used in large quantities. It is cheap, but the price for on our health is steep.
Avoid junk food, sugary foods, and empty calories.
We have to, in my opinion, make sure that we eat a healthy diet with all the B vitamins, and at the same time take a daily B vitamin supplement.
When you think of a vitamin B rich diet, then you should for instance think of whole grain products, brown rice, buckwheat, eggs, almonds, nuts, meat both beef and poultry, fish, seaweed, as well as most fruits and vegetables.
Brewer’s yeast is a great source of B vitamins. It can be a good idea to add a bit of brewer’s yeast to your smoothie.
Only animal products, such as meat, fish, chicken, and dairy products are considered as containing sufficient B12. If you are a vegetarian, then it might be a good idea to supplement your diet with B12. Symptoms of B12 deficiency are minor in the beginning, meaning that it might be a good idea to have them measured every once in a while.
The need for different B vitamins varies depending on your lifestyle. If you generally eat a lot of meat, then your need for B3 and B6 increases. Consider supplementing your diet with sweet potatoes, bananas, and plums. Older people who eat a lot of meat and are lacking B6 are easier calcified than other people.
If you eat many sweets, drink a lot of coffee and/or alcohol, or are a smoker, then you have to be especially mindful of getting enough B1. You can get B1 through oats, potatoes, as well as the abovementioned foods.
If you are an alcoholic, then you probably lack all the B vitamins. Make sure that you take them in large doses.
The individual B vitamins
There are written many long dissertations about every single B vitamin. Here are simply a few pointers about each of them.
- B1(Tiamin) was the first discovered B vitamin, which is water-soluble. It is an antioxidant and is slightly diuretic. The vitamin is important for the heart and arteries. With deficiencies there may be cardiac arrhythmias.
B1 one can be good against neuritis and sciatica, as well as nervousness. If you attract mosquitoes or you are traveling to a location which has a lot of mosquitoes, then it can be a great help to take B1 300mg three times daily.
- B2(Riboflavin) gives vitality and energy, and it is good for digestion. If you are at an age where you are still growing, then there is an increased need for B2. A B2 deficiency is often visible by cracks, dryness, and peeling of the skin on the lips. Often it is accompanied by a burning sensation in the mouth, lips, and tongue. The same symptoms are seen with B6 deficiency.
- B3(Niacin), are you slightly nervous? Then B3 can help improve your nighttime sleep and provide more mental stability. There are two types of niacin, which are nicotinic acid and nicotinamide. Nicotinic can leave the skin warm and itchy, it is not dangerous, but can feel uncomfortable. This is why nicotinamide is often used.
- B5(Pantothenic acid) protects our nervous system and produces signal substances for our nerves. It stabilizes the immune system through antigen production. Moreover, it is great at repairing damages in our skin and mucous membranes. One of the deficiency symptoms can be insomnia. People who wake up at 2 – 3 am, can often see great improvement when taking an extra supplement of pantothenic acid.
- B6(Pyridoxine). If you are older than 40, then you start to absorb less B6 from your intestinal system. It is estimated that older adults need roughly 20% more B6, than younger ones.
The dosage is usually between 50 – 200mg daily. At 600mg or above, certain side effects can occur. B6 is especially useful with allergies, asthma, anemia, low blood sugar levels, etc.
- B8(Biotin). It is estimated that a poor intestinal flora is one of the leading courses of biotin deficiency.
Biotin is also known as the beauty vitamin, as it helps give the hair more volume, give smoother skin, and stronger nails.
- B9(Folic acid). Just like B12, can folic acid prevent reduction in brain function, and it can also help raise one’s mood.
Folic acid is the most important, followed by B6 and B12, at protecting against heightened homocysteine, which destroys the arteries and can cause heart attacks and cerebral hemorrhages. It has been shown that taking B vitamins in sufficiently high dosages can remove excess homocysteine from the body.
Studies have shown that a folic acid deficiency can increase the risk of cancer in the esophagus, chest, and lungs.
Pregnant people have to ensure that they get a supplement of folic acid. Folic acid deficiency can contribute to birth defects in the child.
- B10(Paba) is necessary for growth in skin and hair, and it stimulates your metabolism. Paba is best known for being used in creams that are used against sunburns. It is often formed by a healthy intestinal flora.
- B12(Cobalamin) With Alzheimer’s it is assumed that B12 deficiency plays a role. Some researchers are of the opinion that it is a constant drawn out precursor to Alzheimer’s disease. It is seen that supplementing with B12 in the elderly, who are mentally confused and depressed, brings great improvement to their condition.
B12 separates itself from the other B vitamins, because they are produced by the intestines microorganisms and are then stored in the liver. We are therefore not dependent on a daily supplement. An enzyme in the gastric mucosa produces a substance called intrinsic factor, which is necessary for the absorption of B12 in the intestines. It can ease the absorption process to let the B12 melt under the tongue, so it can also be absorbed by the mucous membranes there.
- Cholin is not actually a B vitamin but are for many considered a part of the B vitamin group. It is a substance which is vital for both humans and animals. It is necessary for the decomposition of cholesterol and is also necessary for the nervous system, memory, and the eyes. It improves the liver-gallbladder functions.
- Inositol is, just like choline, also considered by many as a part of the B vitamin group. Inositol has, together with choline, a vital importance for the lipid metabolism. It decreases the blood’s cholesterol content and keeps it liquid. It has a calming effect and has a great importance for the brain, the nervous system, and the eyes. It also aids against hypertension, heart problems, anxiety, and sleep difficulties.
I hope this article explains why I so often mention that it is important to remember the B vitamins. Let me end with another great quote from Lars Okholm.
“You can turn rats into alcoholics by giving them insufficient B vitamins”
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