complex b vitamin basics

complex b vitamin basics

Photography: Michael Lupo
Photography: Michael Lupo
complex b vitamin basics
Complex B Vitamins are known for having what is called the "anxiolytic" effect, which translates to "anti-anxiety" effect. An anxiolytic vitamin is going to be a vitamin that appears to have anti-anxiety properties when given in higher doses to those that do not already have a deficiency in the vitamin.

B Vitamins are one of the most commonly linked vitamins to reducing anxiety. Many natural health experts argue that these vitamins are powerful tools for anxiety relief, and that supplementation can cure or reduce your anxiety symptoms.

Complex B Vitamins are a group of 8 separate vitamins. Often called together as vitamin B complex, these vitamins are essential to the body. They form important components of many enzymes in the body, especially those needed for energy production. The body uses several B Vitamins to unlock energy stored in food to fuel the body’s activities. The cells in our body also need B Vitamins to produce amino acids, nucleic acids and produce energy.

B Vitamins can be found in many foods. Whole grains and dark leafy greens are particularly good sources. Vitamin B12 is only available in animal sourced protein, therefore people on a vegetarian or vegan diet may have the tendency of vitamin B12 deficiency. Stress, anxiety, moodiness, depression, excessive use of alcohol, smoking, drugs, and unhealthy diet can all deplete Complex B Vitamin levels in your system, and reduce proper absorption of B Vitamins from diet.

When your body is at a level of B Vitamin deficiency, your red blood cells become insufficient, causing anemia that can result in frequent fatigue. Your nervous system may not work properly, or you could struggle with brain fog, fatigue, poor memory, and moodiness.

When you are out of energy due to stress and anxiety, you will probably need more than coffee, sugar or energy drinks. Combating chronic stress and anxiety with reliance on stimulants and sugar is not a healthy and sustainable method. What you need is to rejuvenate your energy metabolism at the cellular level from inside out, for your body and mind, and Complex B Vitamins are great nutrients that can help you get out of the funk.

While therapeutic doses of individual vitamins have been shown to be beneficial in alleviating certain symptoms, it is always a good idea to take a good Complex B Vitamin alongside individual B Vitamins since they work synergistically. Here’s a quick rundown of how each of these Complex B Vitamins play a role in our bodies.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
Thiamine enables the body to use carbohydrates as energy. It is essential for glucose metabolism, and it plays a key role in nerve, muscle, and heart function.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Riboflavin may have oxidative stress-reducing effects. Low riboflavin may induce anemia and fatigue.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Plays a crucial role in the synthesis of serotonin and has been shown to help with anxiety.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
One of the most important vitamins for human life. It’s necessary for making blood cells, and it helps you convert the food you eat into energy and supports the adrenal glands, which reduces stress and anxiety levels.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Low pyridoxine may induce development of depression and anxiety problems. Pyridoxine is an important component of several neurotransmitters in the brain so a deficiency of the vitamin B6 may be linked to mental stress.

Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin that helps the body metabolize proteins and process glucose. It is also known as vitamin B7 or vitamin H. The human body cannot synthesize biotin. Only bacteria, molds, yeasts, algae, and certain plants can make it, so the diet needs to supply it. Unused biotin is eliminated in urine, so the body does not build up reserves. It must be consumed daily.

Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)
Benefits of folic acid are better known, but it's crucial to emphasize its effects on nervous system development, and low level of folic acid may cause you to be vulnerable to anxiety and depression.

B12 (Cyanocobalamin)
Cyanocobalamin is known to reduce depressive symptoms in people treated with antidepressants. Many people, notably the elderly, may be at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency in cyanocobalamin. People with an unbalanced diet may have digestion issues that prevent optimal absorption of B vitamins from food. Certain dietary lifestyles such as vegan or vegetarian avoiding animal protein may need to add vitamin b12 supplement for energy metabolism.

Deficiency can lead to mood problems, including depression and anxiety. It can affect nerve tissue and affect memory. There are also a few studies that indicate that low B12 levels are more common than previously believed and may have an effect on mental health even if they don't reach the point of deficiency.