Vitamin B is one of my favourite Vitamins, simply put, when I make sure I have lots of it, I feel awesome!
What makes it so special?
Vitamin B, isn't just one Vitamin, it's comprised of a group or 'complex' that includes, B1 (Thiamin), B2 (Riboflavin), B3, (Niacin) B5 (Pantothenic Acid) , B6 (Pyridoxine) , B7 (Biotin), B9 (Folic Acid, Folate) and B12 (Cobalamin). Each of these are special and important for optimal nervous and immune system function, great skin, strong effective muscles, a rocking metabolism and cell growth. Plus it's super important in pregnant women as it plays a big role in fetal development. In fact consistent low Vitamin B can cause birth defects: EEEEKKK!
How would I know if I'm deficient?
As always I recommend seeing a Naturopath or integrative Doctor to have some blood tests done to see how things are sitting for you, but some of the common symptoms of a Vitamin B deficiency include low energy, irritability, anxiety and depression, hair loss, anaemia, forgetfulness and eczema.
Seems like it contributes to a lot hey? We only have a small number (under 50 ) of Vitamins and Minerals that are essential within our body, and millions of chemical reactions that happen every single day. Each Vitamin and Mineral contributes to lots of different reactions, so if you are deficient in one, a huge amount of reactions either don't happen, or don't happen properly. Once you restore your balance, everything clicks into place like a big puzzle, and you allow your body to function as it wants too!
How can I get it naturally?
Vitamin B is water soluble, this means that when your body has enough, is secretes anything more. That means you need to replenish your level each day. Don't worry though, it's in lots of good food! You can find all B Vitamins in various items on this list
- Brewers yeast
- Legumes and Peanuts
Can I supplement it?
Of course! If you have a diet low in B, supplements might be the answer (check with you naturopath or Integrative Doctor). Just be careful to purchase quality products. Cheaper products are often comprised of synthetic Vitamins made in a laboratory, it doesn't take a genius to realise that the naturally occurring version would be a whole lot better! I recommend going to your local health food store, and accessing their practitioner for assistance. I know Flannery's have Naturopaths in store all the time, which is fantastic! Any reputable professional will have access to quality products, or be able to tell you where to get them.
Woo who doesn't love a Vitamin fun fact to drop at their next dinner party?
B6 and B12 in high dose's, have been used to treat both anxiety and depression with successful results. Unfortunately due to lack of funding (usually comes from pharmaceutical companies) there aren't many studies into this.
Consitent recommended levels of Vitamin B are believed to prevent Cancer, in particular Pancreatic Cancer.