It’s long been known that B Vitamins are essential to nerve function. The water-soluble Vitamin B is a group of eleven vitamins that work together as a team, all these B Vitamins that you get in a complex: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. B vitamins are beneficial for optimal functioning of nervous system, metabolism, energy production and genetic makeup. B vitamins are especially important as they are a way of removing the lactic acid which can contribute to panic attacks.
B vitamins play an important role in proper functioning of amino acids and in regulating mood. Since B vitamins are not stored in the body its essential to have an intake of these as your body is under a lot of stress. Vitamin B complex is a very good vitamin which helps to lower down the stress and anxiety level of an individual. Your tiredness and fatigue would be gone in an amazing manner with the help of vitamin B complex.
Deficiency of B vitamins may cause depression or aggravate its symptoms. In particular, vitamin B12 deficiency is responsible for lethargy, chronic fatigue syndrome and heart disease that further lead to development of depression. Lack of Vitamin B can lead to sugar cravings, insomnia, and mood changes.
B vitamins work best when they are taken with other members of the B-complex and in-turn with other vitamins as a whole. It is recommended that when supplementing is sure to take a B-complex to get the whole B spectrum or change to a diet rich in B vitamins.
B Vitamins are often sold separately or in a B-Complex, which combine the vitamins to support the nervous system and relieve stress, helping mild depression. The exact dose is very difficult to estimate and only your doctor can give you qualified advice. So let’s take a better look at how B-complex vitamins can assist in the improving the nerve function.
B VITAMINS TO FIGHT DEPRESSION
1-Vitamin B-1 (Thiamine)
Thiamin is also known as vitamin B1. The water-soluble vitamin was the first of the B family of vitamins to be discovered. B1 is necessary for the brain to metabolize carbohydrates. The brain uses this vitamin to help convert glucose, or blood sugar, into fuel, and without it, the brain rapidly runs out of energy. Thiamine deficiencies are rare, but a severe lack of this vitamin leads to beriberi which causes confusion, high blood pressure, problems with the heart, and other symptoms. A more subtle deficiency leads to depression and fatigue, as well as constipation and numbness or a “pins-and-needles” sensation in the legs. The people most at risk for a serious deficiency are chronic alcoholics, pregnant and nursing women, people who experience frequent diarrhea, drug addicts, the elderly, people with chronic illness, and people who eat mostly junk food.
Taking B1 supplements, or in some cases simply eating lots of foods rich in this vitamin, has resolved side effects of antidepressant medication, such as dry mouth, insomnia, and stomach upset–inexpensively and with no side effects. Begin with 100 mg a day of vitamin B1 or look for a B-complex that contains at least 100 mg of this vitamin.
Natural Sources of Vitamin B-1
Vitamin B1 (thiamin) can be taken in foods such as fortified with thiamin whole wheat, bran, soybeans, meats, seeds (especially sesame seeds), legumes, wheat germ, nuts, yeast, and molasses. B1 is also found in potatoes, seafood, liver, beans, peanuts, oranges, kidney beans, sunflower seeds, fish, Tuna, lima beans, lentils, pork chops, pine nuts, green peas, and pistachios etc. Eat plenty of vegetables containing B1, including kale, spinach, turnip greens, lettuce, cabbage, and many other vegetables.
2-Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin)
Vitamin B2 also known as Riboflavin has been linked to mood. This mood improvement was particularly associated with improved vitamin B2 status. Vitamin B2 is essential for growth and the functioning of body tissue. A deficiency can cause symptoms of depression. People at risk include women who take oral contraceptives and those in the second trimester of pregnancy. Take 50 mg of B2 or a B-complex tablet each day.
Natural Sources of Vitamin B-2
B2 is found in enriched bread, dairy products, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, wholegrain bread and cereals, egg white, almonds, wheat germ, millet, meat, yeast, liver, kidney and enriched refined grains. It is also a good idea to eat leafy green vegetables containing this vitamin, add asparagus, broccoli, and spinach to your diet.
3-Vitamin B-3 (Niacin)
Vitamin B3 Also called Niacin plays a major part in the enzymatic processes which help to produce serotonin which promotes calmness and sleep. Vitamin B3 is involved in the production of dopamine. NADH is the active form of Niacin that interacts with the body to increase the production of Dopamine. Dopamine helps boost the mood. The body needs B3 to convert the amino acid tryptophan into serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in keeping us happy. Not enough B3 means not enough serotonin, with resultant depression and anxiety. A deficiency of this vitamin can cause depression. Left untreated, it can lead to Pellagra-which produces psychosis and dementia, among other symptoms-was eventually found to be caused by niacin deficiency. Many commercial food products now contain niacin, and pellagra has virtually disappeared. However, subclinical deficiencies of vitamin B3 can produce agitation and anxiety, as well as mental and physical lethargy. Those people most at risk are the elderly, drug addicts, alcoholics, and people with liver disease.
Caution: Because high-dose niacin can be toxic to the liver, it is not a good idea to take this vitamin alone unless a physician monitors your liver function. Niacin can also impair glucose tolerance which means diabetics also need a physician’s supervision when supplementing with this vitamin. A minor annoyance is the skin flushing that can occur, particularly with the initial dose. Take 50 mg of B2 or a B-complex tablet each day.
Natural Sources of Vitamin B-3
Reliable dietary sources of vitamin B3 (niacin) include Anchovies fish, Tuna fish, Swordfish fish, Bran, Halibut, Roasted chicken breast, Paprika, whole wheat, seeds, Nuts, dairy products, beans, peanuts, turkey, wheat bran, brown rice, milk, eggs, lean red meat, liver, fish, cheese, oats, dried fruit, wholegrain breads and cereals, torula or brewer’s yeast, mushrooms enriched refined grains and all protein-containing foods.
4-Vitamin B-4 (Choline)
Sometimes referred to as Vitamin B4, choline is a member of the B-complex family also known as Adenine, (Although not officially deemed a Vitamin per the FDA definition, make no mistake about it) is an essential and vital nutrient for our health. Choline is converted by the body into the neurotransmitter acetylcholine which plays an important role in learning and memory. Choline is more effective when taken with vitamin B5 which helps convert choline to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Some depressed people get worse when they take choline, however. You may find that 2000 mg a day, taken in divided doses, is a good starting point.
Natural Sources of Vitamin B-4
Also, eat plenty of choline-containing foods. Some of the foods that contain choline are peanuts, cucumber, cauliflower, wheat germ, green peas, soybeans and soybean products, egg yolk, peanut butter, potatoes, cauliflower, tomatoes, banana, milk, butter. oranges, lentils, oats, barley, corn, sesame seeds, flax seeds, whole wheat bread, Brewer’s yeast, propolis, bee pollen, raw unadulterated honey, royal jelly, beef heart, and beef liver. Adenine is also found in the various herbs such as Ginseng root, blue cohosh, blessed thistle, ginger, burdock, cascara sagrada, capsicum (cayenne), caraway, catnip, cloves, and couch grass.
5-Vitamin B-5 (Pantothenic Acid)
Vitamin B5 also known as pantothenate helps to the adrenal function of the body which is especially important in panic attack sufferers. Deficiencies of this vitamin are rare but may lead to symptoms of fatigue and depression.
Natural Sources of Vitamin-5
B5 is widespread and found in almost all range of foods, but some good sources include Beans, liver, meats, chicken, milk, kidneys, yeast, peanuts, legumes, nuts, wheat bran, wholegrain bread, and green vegetables. It is found in Avocado, Broccoli, Mushrooms, Corn, Sunflower Seeds, Whey Powder, Cheese, Eggs, Squash, and Cauliflower and whole grain products.
6-Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine)
Vitamin B6 (also known as pyridoxine) is an essential vitamin that may play a role in depression. It is essential for healthy blood, skin and nervous system functioning. Vitamin B-6 contains an enzyme that aids in the production of brain chemicals called serotonin and norepinephrine, which are important for mood regulation. While serious deficiencies of B6 are not common, minor deficiencies are and they can cause depression, confusion, irritability, convulsions, and other problems. Therefore, if you lack this vitamin, it can contribute to depression. The evidence is mixed and more studies are required.
Alcoholics are more likely to be lacking this vitamin as are those who have heart disease, liver disease, diarrhea, or other illnesses or injuries. Women who are pregnant, lactating, or taking oral contraceptives may also be at risk for B6 deficiency because the synthetic hormones antagonize B6. For this reason, B6 supplements may be particularly helpful for women who develop depression as a result of taking oral contraceptives. Vitamin B6 has also been shown to ease the emotional difficulties associated with premenstrual syndrome and as part of the treatment for depression in postmenopausal women.
Take 50 milligrams of vitamin B6 twice a day for two weeks, between meals. Then take 50 milligrams once daily for three weeks, between meals. Thereafter, take a good B-complex formula or a multivitamin and mineral supplement to maintain healthy levels of this vitamin.
Natural Sources of Vitamin B-6
Whole grains, cereal grains and legumes, green and leafy vegetables, bananas, chicken, beans, meat, beef, fish (Salmon, Cod, and Tuna) shellfish, liver, pork, Tenderloin, chicken, potatoes, wheat germ, chickpeas, eggs, avocados, dried fruit, nuts, peanuts, Pistachios, fruit and molasses are great source of vitamin B6(pyridoxine). High levels of vitamin B6 also occur in cauliflower, watercress, spinach, okra, onions, broccoli, squash, kale, kohlrabi, brussels sprouts, peas, and radishes.
7-Vitamin B-8 (Inositol)
Inositol sometimes referred to as vitamin B 8 this water-soluble nutrient is an unofficial member of the B-complex vitamins. Inositol required for the activity of several important neurotransmitters, including serotonin. inositol is present in all tissues with highest levels in the brain and heart. It functions closely with choline and is also a component of cell membranes. Proper action of several neurotransmitters, including serotonin and acetylcholine, requires inositol. Depressed people often have low levels of inositol.
In one clinical study, subjects were given 1 gram of inositol per day. The results showed that they had therapeutic results similar to common antidepressant drugs, but with no unwanted side effects. Additional studies confirmed the value of inositol for treating depression.
Dosage: Take 500 milligrams of inositol three times daily for one week. If you note no improvement after that time, discontinue use; otherwise, continue taking 500 milligrams three times daily as needed. It is more convenient to take powdered inositol dissolved into liquids than capsules.
Natural Sources of Vitamin B-8
Foods are the best sources of Vitamin B8 Inositol. Among those that supply the body with this essential nutrient include beef heart, brown rice, cereals high in bran, citrus fruits, desiccated liver and fresh liver, green leafy vegetables, lecithin granules, lecithin oil, molasses, nuts, soy flour, wheat germ, red beans (especially kidney beans), oranges and cantaloupes, Brewer’s yeast, and whole grain bread. It is also found in vegetables and cereals under the name phytic acid (a combination of inositol and phosphorous), which is a major part of lecithin.
8-Vitamin B-9 (Folic acid)
Folic Acid or Folate is generally known as Vitamin B9 is an important nutrient that is required for DNA synthesis. Folic acid is the synthesized form of folate. It is also necessary for the production of SAM (S-adenosyl methionine). Like B12, B9 is also involved in the production of S-adenosylmethionine which in turn produces neurochemicals like dopamine and serotonin. These neurochemicals are responsible for regulating mood. Folate deficiency can lead to depression and low mood. Folic acid has been used to treat depression in combination with conventional antidepressant medications. Low levels of folic acid have been noted in depressed patients. Depression is the most common symptom of a folic acid deficiency and one-third of depressed adults are low in this vitamin. Other symptoms of folic acid deficiency are fatigue, apathy, and dementia. Poor dietary habits contribute to folic acid deficiencies, as do illness, alcoholism, and various drugs. Pregnant women are often advised to take this vitamin to prevent neural tube defects in the developing fetus.
Other nervous system disorders associated with folic acid deficiency include dementia, schizophrenia-like syndromes, insomnia, irritability, forgetfulness, organic psychosis, peripheral neuropathy, myelopathy, and restless legs syndrome.
A dosage of 800 mcg of folic acid and 800 mcg of vitamin B12 should be sufficient to prevent deficiencies in most circumstances. Folic acid supplementation should always be accompanied by vitamin B12 supplementation to prevent folic acid from masking a vitamin B12 deficiency. Take 800 micrograms of folic acid twice a day for one month. Thereafter, take 800 micrograms once daily.
Natural Sources of Vitamin B-9
Food that are rich in folate include vegetables that are leafy & dark green in color lettuce, spinach, collards, broccoli, Asparagus, dried beans, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, navy beans, lentils, peas, and oranges, Liver, Sunflower Seeds, Dry Roasted Soybeans, Peanuts, Walnuts, Cress, Brie cheese and almonds. Some foods, such as orange juice, are fortified with folic acid.
9-Vitamin B-12 (Cyanocobalamin)
Vitamin B-12 is one of the most common members of the B-complex family of vitamin and is also called by the name-Cobalamin. Vitamin B-12 plays an important role in the synthesis of brain chemicals that influence your mood and proper brain functioning. Recent studies have shown that there is a definite benefit to be gained by giving vitamin B12 to patients suffering from depression, fatigue and mental illnesses of other kinds. Even a slight deficiency of B12 is found to produce marked symptoms. Because vitamin B12 is important for red blood cell formation, deficiency leads to anemia as well as a variety of neurologic and psychiatric symptoms. Deficiencies take a long time to develop, since the body stores a three- to five-year supply in the liver. Vitamin B12 is needed by the body only in very small quantities. A major deficiency causes a serious disease called pernicious anemia. Although B12 deficiency is not as common as a folic acid deficiency, it can contribute to depression, confusion, and other symptoms particularly in the elderly.
Natural Sources of Vitamin B-12
Vitamin B12 is only found in animal-based foods Eggs, meat, poultry, and dairy products such as milk, Eggs, yogurt & cheese almost anything of animal origin. The foods highest in B12 are shellfish (mussels, lobster), oily fish (trout, salmon, tuna, sardines), Shrimp, Halibut, Yogurt, Beef, Oysters, Fish Eggs, Lamb, clams and organ meats beef, chicken, mutton liver. Vegetarians who eat no foods coming from animals should scrutinize their diets and consider taking supplements to make sure they are getting enough of this vitamin. For the treatment of depression, 500 mcg of sublingual B12 (methylcobalamin) twice a day is recommended. Take 300 to 500 micrograms twice a day.
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