B vitamins

B Sincere

B Sincere

© 2006 Wellness Clubs of America.com


B vitamins are among the most important of all nutrients. Tragically, we live in a B vitamin deficient nation. Most people are suffering the consequences of B vitamin deficiencies, although few realize that a deficiency state exists.

B vitamins are necessary to regulate carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism. They are needed to maintain normal muscle tone and the integrity of the nervous system. They promote healthy skin, lip, and eye tissues and support liver function.

A shortage of B vitamins will give rise to high levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that damages the delicate lining of arteries leading to an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. Elevations in homocysteine are also associated with birth defects in which the spinal column fails to close properly. These defects are not due to the presence of homocysteine, but rather the lack of B vitamins the homocysteine elevation reflects. B vitamin deficiencies also cause numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, tiredness, anxiety, and a diminished ability to respond to stress.

Several factors account for the ubiquitous nature of B vitamin deficiencies in the United States. First and foremost is the high rate of refined food consumption. The body’s ability to process sugars and starches is greatly dependent upon the presence of B vitamins. B vitamins are always found in association with sugars and starches in nature, but are removed when sugars and grains are refined. This is a two-fold challenge. First, the B vitamins that would have been taken in with the unrefined food are lost; secondly, the body must draw upon its supply of B vitamins from other sources to metabolize the sugars and starches.

A second reason B vitamin deficiencies are common is the tremendous incidence of dysbiosis in our society. Dysbiosis is a condition in which the normal bacteria of the intestinal tract, which manufacture B vitamins for the body, are wiped out by antibiotics or chlorinated water and replaced with organisms such as candida, which have a voracious appetite for B vitamins.

Other factors that are responsible for creating B vitamin deficiencies are the consumption of alcohol and caffeine and the use of nicotine. The widespread and rising use of drugs that reduce or eliminate stomach acid is increasing the incidence of B-12 deficiencies. Other drugs that promote B vitamin deficiencies include oral contraceptives, many anticonvulsants, Valium, and many chemotherapeutic agents.

When adequate B vitamins are present the urine will take on a distinctive yellowish cast. The appearance of the yellow color in the urine after the administration of a supplement containing B vitamins has been mistakenly assumed by many to mean that more than necessary had been given. This is simply not the case. B vitamins are water-soluble nutrients that are absorbed, quickly enter into chemical reactions throughout the body, and, once used, are immediately released from the body. Stating that an individual is taking too many B vitamins if the urine turns yellow ignores the fact that those nutrients have performed admirably while in the body and that they are being excreted because their usefulness has been exhausted.

B vitamins compete with each other for absorption. The current trend toward the administration of combinations of B-6, B-12, and folate to lower homocysteine levels is therefore unwise and not recommended. When B vitamins are supplemented a comprehensive “B Complex” should be taken. If an individual B vitamin, such as B-6, is required in larger quantities it may safely be administered provided a B Complex supplement is taken as well.

Because they wash through the body so quickly it is nearly impossible to overdose on B vitamins. The minimum amount that should be supplemented daily should be in the 50 mg. or mcg. for most B vitamins and 400 mg. daily for folic acid. These levels are found in well-formulated vitamin/mineral supplements and in B Complex formulations comparable to a B-50 or B-100.

Because the duration of action in the body is short, B vitamins should be taken at least three times a day. Twice daily supplementation is adequate, but not optimum. If taken once a day, B vitamin levels will be below optimum levels for nearly 16 hours each day.

Be consistent in supplementing B vitamins. Because they cannot be stored in the body, a deficiency state can develop in as little as six hours when drugs or dietary indiscretions are present. The rewards of greater energy, mental clarity, and serenity make the supplementation of B vitamins well worthwhile.


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