The B-vitamins, like vitamin C, are water-soluble and are not stored in the body. This means that they are needed on a daily basis in order for the body to maintain healthy levels.
B-vitamins are part of a family that includes thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folic acid (B9) and cobalamin (B12). They are important for many reasons, from helping your cells grow properly to converting food to energy.
The B-vitamins are often called the “stress” vitamins. When our bodies are forced to withstand the demands of physical or emotional stress, the B-vitamins and other key nutrients are the first to be depleted. The body not only needs specific nutrients to combat stress, but it must also replace the nutrients that stress directly uses up.
Toxicity with the B-vitamins is somewhat rare even at relatively high dosages, except for niacin and pyridoxine. The dosages typically found in high potency B-complex multiples are safe.
Vitamin B Complex can help with the following
Regular use of a quality high potency multiple vitamin may be important in alcoholism. Alcoholics are classically deficient in most of the B vitamins. These deficiencies result from a variety of mechanisms: low dietary intake, deactivation of the active form, impaired conversion to the active form by ethanol or acetaldehyde, impaired absorption, and decreased storage capacity. A thiamine deficiency is both the most common and the most serious of the B-vitamin deficiencies, since a deficiency causes beriberi and the Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome. A functional pyridoxine deficiency is also common in alcoholics, due not so much to inadequate intake as impaired conversion to its active form, pyridoxal-5-phosphate, and enhanced degradation.
Parkinson's Disease / Risk
Supplementation with vitamin B-complex may be necessary, especially for patients who take l-dopa medications.
The main B vitamins are essential for energy production in the muscles, and some improvement in MG can be expected with B-complex supplementation. This effect may result in a lowered requirement for enzyme-blocking drugs, if used.
Several of the B-vitamins are indicated in anxiety treatment. When taking high doses of a particular B-vitamin, it is best to use a B-complex as well.
There is evidence that high doses of B-complex vitamins in humans can reduce the immune-suppressing effects of stress.
All vitamins of the B group have proven beneficial in the prevention and treatment of neuritis. The disorder has been helped when vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12, and pantothenic acid have been given together.
B-complex (50 to 100mg per day), especially Folic Acid (800 to 1000mcg per day) and B12 (1000mcg per day) are needed for good liver function.
Low Back Pain / Problems
B-vitamins, such as thiamin (B1), pyridoxine (B6), and cyanocobalamin (B12), have been clinically effective in treating various painful conditions such as lumbago and sciatica.
Increased Risk of Coronary Disease / Heart Attack
105 male and female subjects with coronary artery disease who received folic acid (1mg/day), vitamin B12 (400mcg/day) and vitamin B6 (10mg/day) experienced a significant reduction in reblockage after angioplasty over those who did not take the vitamins. Homocysteine levels were reduced during the trial. [N Engl J Med November 29, 2001;345: pp.1593-1601]
Increased Risk of Alzheimer's / Dementia
Optimize your B-complex status, especially folic acid and B12. In one study, 76 Alzheimer’s patients had lower blood levels of folic acid and vitamin B12 than 108 age-matched control subjects. In addition, researchers found that Alzheimer’s patients had higher blood levels of homocysteine, which is already implicated in atherosclerosis. Folic acid and B12 supplementation is known to reduce homocysteine levels.
A two-year clinical trial in England has shown that B vitamins, including B-6, B-12 and folic acid, slow down mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a condition which is a major risk factor for Alzheimer disease and other forms of dementia.
Dr. Gustavo C. Román, medical director of the Alzheimer & Dementia Center at the Methodist Neurological Institute in Houston, said that patients who already exhibit signs of dementia and test positive for high levels of homocysteine are more likely to respond well to the large doses of B vitamins. Homocysteine is an amino acid in the blood, and high blood levels are linked to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer disease.
Román has seen the impact of these B vitamins in his patients and found that injections of B-complex vitamins are more effective than oral supplements.
“I’m not saying that everyone who takes B vitamins will prevent dementia,” Roman said. “But in the right dosage and for the appropriate patients, the vitamin B-12 treatment could be a step toward modifying disease progression.”
Approximately 50 percent of people diagnosed with MCI go on to develop Alzheimer disease within five years. More than five million Americans are estimated to have Alzheimer disease, the most common form of dementia.
The administration of large doses of B-vitamins has been shown to be effective, riboflavin being the most important. While B-vitamins are important, some rosacea patients may be aggravated by large dosages of these nutrients.
B complex 50mg tid can help normalize cell multiplication.
Possible Pregnancy-Related Issues
Many naturopathic and other doctors suggest using vitamin B complex (50mg per day) with additional vitamin B6 and folic acid (800 to 1000mcg per day) for women planning to become pregnant and for those who are pregnant. These preventive measures are supported by studies that suggest a connection between recurring miscarriages and problems metabolizing methionine and homocysteine in the body. Folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12, and betaine all play a role in the proper use of these compounds.
|May do some good|
|Likely to help|
Also known as ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant vitamin essential to the body's health. When bound to other nutrients, for example calcium, it would be referred to as "calcium ascorbate". As an antioxidant, it inhibits the formation of nitrosamines (a suspected carcinogen). Vitamin C is important for maintenance of bones, teeth, collagen and blood vessels (capillaries), enhances iron absorption and red blood cell formation, helps in the utilization of carbohydrates and synthesis of fats and proteins, aids in fighting bacterial infections, and interacts with other nutrients. It is present in citrus fruits, tomatoes, berries, potatoes and fresh, green leafy vegetables.
(Vitamin B-1): A B-complex vitamin that acts as a coenzyme necessary for the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose, which is burned in the body for energy. It is essential for the functioning of the nervous system.
(Vitamin B-2): A B-complex vitamin that acts as a coenzyme that activates the breakdown and utilization of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. It is essential for cellular oxidation and necessary for healthy skin and eyes.
(Vitamin B-3): A coenzyme B-complex vitamin that assists in the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Essential for the health of the skin, nerves, tongue and digestive system. It is found in every cell of the body and is necessary for energy production. Niacin is also needed for DNA formation.
A B-complex vitamin necessary for the normal functioning of the adrenal gland, which directly affects growth. It is also essential for the formation of fatty acids. As a coenzyme, it participates in the utilization of riboflavin and in the release of energy from carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
(Vitamin B-6): A B-complex vitamin that plays a role as a coenzyme in the breakdown and utilization of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. It facilitates the release of glycogen for energy from the liver and muscles. It also participates in the utilization of energy in the brain and nervous tissue and is essential for the regulation of the central nervous system.
Influences many body functions including regulating blood glucose levels, manufacturing hemoglobin and aiding the utilization of protein, carbohydrates and fats. It also aids in the function of the nervous system.
An essential coenzyme that assists in the making of fatty acids and in the burning of carbohydrates and fats for body heat and energy. It is also essential for function of red blood cells and hemoglobin synthesis.
A B-complex vitamin that functions along with vitamin B-12 and vitamin C in the utilization of proteins. It has an essential role in the formation of heme (the iron containing protein in hemoglobin necessary for the formation of red blood cells) and DNA. Folic acid is essential during pregnancy to prevent neural tubular defects in the developing fetus.
Vitamin B-12. Essential for normal growth and functioning of all body cells, especially those of bone marrow (red blood cell formation), gastrointestinal tract and nervous system, it prevents pernicious anemia and plays a crucial part in the reproduction of every cell of the body i.e. synthesis of genetic material (DNA).