Discover Vitamin B Benefits and How to Experience ThemSeptember 22, 2021
Vitamin B is essential for organs that need high levels of energy such as the heart, brain, and skin. These nutrients cannot be manufactured by the body, so supplementation and diet are required.
Many people find energy-boosting vitamins appealing. However, it is important to take a moment to understand the science behind B vitamins before claiming that they are the cure all for lethargy. Many energy drinks and shots have high levels of B vitamins. They are often advertised as having “a powerful blend” of B vitamins that will help you “sail through your days without feeling jittery, or tense.” However, these claims can be misleading and may not reflect the true role of B vitamins in the body.
Which vitamins are considered B Vitamins?
Although once thought to be one nutrient, the B vitamin is actually eight distinct b vitamins that perform different functions in the body. These are the eight b vitamins:
- Vit B1 (thiamin)
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
- Vit B3 (niacin)
- Vitamin B5 (pantothenic Acid)
- Vit B6 (pyridoxine)
- Vitamin B7 (biotin)
- Vit B9 (folate [folic Acid])
- Vitamin B12 (cobalamin, methylcobalamin).
B Vitamin Benefits for Brain Health
To protect your overall health, it is important to eat a healthy diet at all ages. To develop a healthy mind, B vitamins are essential in many ways.
Adequate nutrients improve early-stage brain development
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “while all nutrients are essential for brain growth, key nutrients which support neurodevelopment include protein, zinc, iron, choline, folate, ioine, vitamins A, D and B6 and B12, and long-chain polyunsaturated fat acids.”
The same article also explains that failure to provide key nutrients during critical periods of brain development can result in lifelong deficiencies in brain function, despite subsequent nutritional repletion. This highlights the importance to provide balanced nutrition for the brain’s early growth stages.
The authors reiterate the importance of not just recommending a “good diet” but optimizing nutrition for the child is best done by a child’s doctor.
Healthy B vitamin levels can protect aging brains
Healthy nutrient levels are not just for children. Recent research has shown that B vitamins are important for maintaining brain function. Research has shown that optimal B-vitamin status is linked to better cognitive health as we age. A recent clinical trial showed that supplementation with folic acids and related B-vitamins over a two-year period reduced regional and global brain atrophy as measured by MRI scans in older adults.
B6 to decrease morning sickness during pregnancy
Recent research has shown the importance of nutrition in maintaining bodily function. Study on morning sickness revealed that increased intake of vitamin B6 and ginger can reduce nausea and other stomach-related issues during pregnancy.
Study participants were asked about morning sickness symptoms during pregnancy. The treatment was either with a placebo, vitamin-B6 supplement, or ginger supplement.
The placebo participants reported some improvements in a few of their symptoms.
Participants who took vitamin B6 or ginger “could decrease the severity of all items on the symptom questionnaire significantly.”
Healthy Biotin (B7), levels can protect skin, nail and hair health
Biotin is primarily consumed in healthy diets as a result of eating meat. Biotin works by helping to build enzymes that break down food.
Biotin’s links to nail, hair and skin health are well-known. These areas are prone to skin rashes, hair loss, and brittle nails. The majority of biotin supplementation focuses on improving the health of these areas.
Biotin deficiency can be more common in certain groups than others, such as those who drink excessively of alcohol. Chronic alcohol consumption can inhibit biotin absorption. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are the second group. According to the NIH, up to a third can experience a mild biotin deficiency while pregnant or breastfeeding.
There is mixed evidence regarding the effectiveness of supplementing with isolated biotin. While some studies showed improvements, others have not shown significant changes in strength or health.
These studies, however, were only for biotin as a single ingredient. The National Institutes of Health says that biotin deficiency in individuals who eat a normal mix of diets is uncommon.
Cooper Complete adheres to this guideline by not including biotin products made from a mixture of ingredients. Our original, most complete multivitamin, Dermatologic Health, is formulated by our dermatologist. It contains biotin and other essential nutrients. This allows supplements reflect the way nutrients are received in a healthy diet. As a general rule, we recommend that you eat a healthy diet before taking supplements to help fill in any nutritional deficiencies.
Folic Acid (B9), for healthy babies and hearts
Both the U.S.A. and Canada required that at least 140 mg of folic acid be added to large quantities of grain-based products, such as cereals, pasta, and rice, in 1998. This was done in order to lower the incidence of neural tube defects (or NTBs) among newborns.
Folic acid is not just beneficial for children. Folic acid regulates homocysteine levels throughout life, even as we get older. Homocysteine is an amino acid found in the blood that directly links to heart disease. Although B9 does not directly prevent cardiovascular disease, it is an effective way to lower homocysteine levels in the body. This is an important risk factor.
Folic acid vs folate: what’s the difference?
Folic acid is often used to replace vitamin B9. Folate refers to all forms of vitamin B9. This is a significant difference. Folic acid, which is a unique form of vitamin B9, does not have this distinction. Folic acid is always folate. However, folate can be folic or folic.
Folate is also a term that refers to vitamin B9 naturally found in foods. Folic acid can be found in supplements, fortified breads, pastas, and rice as a synthetic form. Folic acid is highly absorbable in the body. This is why it is so popular. Folic acid is more sensitive to heat and light, making it an excellent choice for food and supplements over folate.
Cooper Complete multivitamins have less folic acid than our Original comprehensive or Basic multivitamins. This is because higher levels of folic acid are not necessary in supplementation.
Vitamin B12 helps create DNA, not energy
Contrary to popular belief. It does not increase energy levels by increasing B12 intake beyond the normal level. The NIH stated that there is no evidence that vitamin B12 supplements can increase energy levels or improve athletic performance, except in cases where vitamin B12 deficiencies are present.
Vitamin B12 plays a key role in the support of brain and nervous system function. Vitamin B12 is also responsible for the creation and regulation of DNA in the body. Its role in regulating the metabolism of every cell in the body is what leads to the misconception that B12 can produce energy. While a B12 deficiency can cause fatigue or weakness, normal energy levels can be restored by returning to healthy levels. However, there is no evidence that it will increase.
Groups at risk of B12 deficiency
As we age, our stomach acid levels decline and some nutrients are less able to be absorbed. B12 is one such nutrient, but fortified foods and taking a B12 supplement will negate this loss.
Digestive diseases limit the amount of B12 absorbed. Crohn’s disease and celiac diseases are two common conditions that can require extra B12 via food or supplements in order to maintain healthy levels. Anyone who has had weight loss surgery, or any other gastrointestinal surgery may have difficulty absorbing sufficient B12 from a regular diet. It is important that you speak to your doctor if you think you may fall under one of these categories.
Vegetarians and vegans are at greater risk of deficiency because B12 food sources come only from animal products. A study comparing diabetic omnivores and vegetarians further confirmed this finding. Vegetarians suffer from higher levels of inflammation due to lower levels of B12. You should consult a physician for a completely plant-based diet. It isnecessary to sustain a healthy lifestyle.
Cooper Complete provides a convenient B12 Supplement in a liquid form. This is to supplement a healthy diet, and maintain optimal vitamin B12 levels.
Best foods to increase B vitamin levels
You have decided to eat healthier. How do I get started? There are many foods that can improve your B vitamin levels, such as:
- Dark leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale
- Bananas and citrus fruits
- Almonds, sunflower seeds
- Red meats, fish and chicken
- Eggs and dairy products
- Whole grains
All B vitamins dissolve in water. Your body will flush out excess vitamins if you take more than it needs. Spending more on B-complexes and energy drinks doesn’t deceive your body. It only needs what it needs.
Experts now believe that although most water-soluble vitamins do not store in the body, it is still safe and effective to consume high amounts. To prevent allergic reactions, some B vitamins have a Tolerable Upper Level (UL).
Understanding B vitamin levels on food and supplement labels
The FDA requires supplement labels to include the daily value (DV) of each vitamin. Since 1968, the DVs were not updated. They also do not reflect current research on optimal intake levels. We recommend that you look at Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) and Adequate Intakes (AI). They update frequently.
Talking to a doctor about your dietary requirements is the best way to ensure a healthy diet. Cooper Complete recommends consulting your doctor before you start any new supplements or make any dietary changes.