This New Year’s Resolution: Less Stress and More Energy

Understanding the Effects of B Vitamin Deficiency
and Supplementing with B Vitamins

by Jon P. Frieda

The B vitamin complex comprises a number of vitamins that exist as a family. The B vitamin family consists of: Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine), Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid), Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

In today’s world many individuals suffer from a vitamin B deficiency for several reasons. The first of which is stress. Be it emotional, physical or spiritual, stress burns through the essential B vitamins in your body, taxing your nervous system and making it have to work harder. Over time, chronic stress can lead to premature aging, adrenal fatigue, cardiovascular disease, dimentia, stroke, and more. Having just experienced the holiday season, many of us are feeling stressed and fatigued, and yet we keep going, sometimes to the point of exhaustion. The more stressed you become, the faster your body will burn through these B vitamins, and the less adequately you will be able to cope with the stress. Typically, B vitamin deficiency manifests in symptoms of increased irritability and agitation, brain fog, low energy, and muscle fatigue.

In addition to stress, approximately 62% of the American diet is made up of processed foods, which are also a major reason for vitamin B deficiency and the proliferation of stress, as they are not real foods and so they tax the body in unnatural ways. Another major factor, in concert with processed foods, is that the average person consumes around 140 pounds of refined sugar a year, which robs the body of its B vitamin stores, and further stresses the body by causing inflamation, suppressing the immune system and increasing the risk of developing cancer. Would you be interested to know that supplementing with a B complex vitamin is an easy and effective way to combat stress and have more energy? If so read on as we highlight and explain the benefits of each B vitamin, as well as natural sources for B vitamins and how to identify deficiencies before serious health debilitating conditions develop.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): The body is unable to store thiamine in large amounts, therefore regular intake is important. Thiamine helps in carbohydrate metabolism and to produce energy, which the body’s cells can use.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Essential to normal tissue respiration and to the generation of energy metabolism from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Riboflavin is also necessary for normal development and repair of the immune system and of body tissues like skin, hair, nails, and connective tissue.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin): Absorbed in the small intestine and excreted in the urine. Not stored, so needed in frequent small doses. The human body uses niacin in more than fifty biological chemical reactions. Niacin is instrumental in the release of energy from carbohydrates, which fuels all body cells and systems. Niacin is necessary for proper central nervous system (brain) function. Also, it is involved in fat and cholesterol metabolism and the manufacture of many body compounds including sex and adrenal hormones. Helps to regulate blood sugar, and has antioxidant and detoxification reactions.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): Known as the “antistress” vitamin, pantothenic acid plays an important role in adrenal function and cellular metabolism. Pantothenic acid is converted into a substance called coenzyme A. Coenzyme A is essential to the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and proteins for energy. It is required for the synthesis of fatty acids, cholesterol, steroids, bile, phospholipids, red blood cells, hormones, and neurotransmitters. Vitamin B5, as coenzyme A, supports the adrenal glands in the making of cortisone and other adrenal hormones that counteract the stress response and enhance metabolism. Also, extremely important, coenzyme A is needed to convert choline, a nutrient, into acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter involved with neuromuscular reactions. Vitamin B5 is also necessary for proper functioning of the immune system.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): Our bodies use three forms of Vitamin B6: pyridoxine (PN), pyridoxal (PL), and pyridoxamine (PM). Most of the time you will hear vitamin B6 referred to as pyridoxine. Vitamin B6 performs several functions in our body, including breaking down carbohydrates for energy production, and forming hemoglobin.

Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid): Folic acid functions with vitamin B12 in many genetic, metabolic, and nervous system processes. Folic acid helps protect against heart disease, birth defects, osteoporosis, and certain cancers. Folic acid plays a role in the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and helps regulate mood, appetite and sleep.

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin): Vitamin B12 is an essential coenzyme for the normal function of all cells, affecting DNA synthesis, cell growth and replication. Vitamin B12 is important in the metabolism of amino acids (protein) and carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. B12 also plays in role with Vitamin B6 and Folic Acid in lowering homocystine levels, thus helping to prevent heart disease.

As we can see, the whole family of B Vitamins is essential to the neurological (nervous system), hematological (blood and cardiovascular), metabolic (energy production from protein, carbohydrate and good fat), and cell repair/replication functions of the body.
Not only does stress deplete B Vitamins, they are also water soluble and generally move through the body within six hours except for B12 which can be stored to a small extent in the liver. Therefore, supplementing with B complex three times a day is best.

Neels pharmacist and certified clinical nutritionist, Patty Neels Frieda, recommends our once daily time released B complex which releases over six to eight hours, and provides approximately twelve hours of coverage.

B Vitamins are synergistic and interdependent upon one another for good biological and physical function. The food we eat is often industrially farmed and processed and nutritionally deficient. It is difficult to determine how much B vitamins we are getting per serving, and if those amounts are sufficient to maintain a healthy body. Furthermore, as we age our bodies become less efficient at absorbing nutrients from our intestinal tract, and so daily nutritional supplementation of B Vitamins is recommended to maintain good health.

As a full service pharmacy, Neels Pharmacy offers a variety of services including individualized human and veterinary compounding, and personalized clinical nutrition consultations that are conducted by our in-house clinical nutritionist/ pharmacist, Patty Frieda.

For more information, contact Neels Pharmacy & Wellness, #8 Crestwood Executive Center · St. Louis, Missouri, 63126 Tel: 314-849-3123. www.neelspharmacy.flashrx.com.