There are tons of vitamins and minerals in your everyday diet, but nothing incites more confusion than B-complex vitamins.
There are no less than eight essential B vitamins: Thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), Pantothenic Acid (B5), Pyridoxine (B6), Biotin (B7), Folate (B9), and Cobalamin (B12). And each of these vitamins has its own “expertise” when it comes to the health benefits they provide.
- Thiamine (Vitamin B1) helps in the process of breaking down and converting nutrients from carbohydrates into usable energy. Vitamin B1 is also essential for muscle contraction and conduction of nerve signals.
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) works hand in hand with Vitamin A to promote good eyesight and prevent the development of cataracts by providing the body with antioxidants to fight free radicals.
- Niacin (Vitamin B3) is needed by every part of the body to function well. Among numerous benefits, the most significant contributions of Niacin to the body is its ability to aid DNA repair, lower blood cholesterol and alleviate arthritis.
- Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) plays an important role in production or red blood cells that transport oxygen throughout the body and helps in alleviating tiredness and fatigue.
- Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) produces hemoglobin which transports oxygen in red blood cells, stabilizes blood sugar levels, and supports nerve function by controlling homocysteine levels.
- Biotin (Vitamin B7) is essential in the production of myelin which covers nerve fibers in the spinal cord, brain, and eyes.
- Folate (Vitamin B9) is important, especially for pregnant women as it prevents potential defects such as malformation of the neural tube, spinal cord and brain of a fetus. Folate also reduces the risk of heart disease and prevents depression by stimulating neurotransmitters in the brain.
- Cobalamin (Vitamin B12) prevents anemia by aiding in red blood cell production and improves brain health by preventing atrophy, or loss of brain neurons which eventually leads to dementia or memory loss.
But though they have different purposes, one of the most significant health benefits of B-vitamins is keeping your nerves healthy. Three B-vitamins, in particular, help in this department: Vitamins B1, B6, and B12.
Find out how these three B-Complex vitamins help keep your nervous system in tip-top shape.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
Vitamin B1 does one job really well, to the benefit of your central nervous system: It aids in the synthesis of acetylcholine.
Acetylcholine is one of the most abundant neurotransmitters in your nervous system. It relays messages from your brain to your muscles, influencing your movement and behavior. It also helps in cognition and memory, and even plays a role in learning, pain sensation, regulation of hormones, and sleep cycles.
Now, imagine what would happen if your body couldn't produce acetylcholine because of a thiamine deficiency. Not only will you experience fatigue faster, but you’ll also experience confusion and poor short-term memory. It can also make your hands and feet numb, or hamper the movement of your extremities.
To make sure that you never lack vitamin B1, you should include the following thiamine-rich foods in your diet:
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
If vitamin B1 helps produce acetylcholine, vitamin B6 is essential in creating and metabolizing other neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine.
Serotonin helps regulate your mood, appetite, and sexual desire. It also helps you maintain your sleep cycle and enhance your memory.
Meanwhile, the stress hormone norepinephrine is not only helpful in triggering the fight-or-flight response, but also helps increase the amount of oxygen in your brain, allowing you to think faster and clearer.
And since pyridoxine plays a vital role in forming myelin—the insulating sheath around your nerves—it helps in the quick and efficient transmission of electrical impulses along your nerve cells.
Lack of this B-complex vitamin can make you feel tired, nervous, irritable, and depressed. Nerve conditions such as neuralgia, neuritis, and carpal tunnel syndrome are also linked to pyridoxine deficiency.
Here are some pyridoxine-rich foods that you should include in your diet:
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
It’s not only vitamin B6 that helps maintain your myelin. Vitamin B12 does the same, as it helps in the synthesis of myelin that protects the nerves.
Damaged myelin can lead to dysfunctional nerves, causing nerve problems like peripheral neuropathy. Moms who don’t get enough vitamin B12 in their diet risk developing nervous system disorders in their babies, like brain atrophy, seizures, microencephaly, and even irreversible blindness.
Vegans are most at risk for cobalamin deficiency, since vitamin B12 is exclusively found in foods coming from animal sources, like:
Knowing how critical B-complex vitamins are in maintaining your nerve health, it’s recommended that you also supplement your diet with Vitamin B. Make sure that you choose a supplement with the optimum combination of B-vitamins, to help you relieve nerve pain and help prevent nerve damage.
Vitamin B-Complex + Vitamin E (Neurogen-E) provides you with 300mg Vitamin B1,100mg Vitamin B6, 1000mcg Vitamin B12, and 100IU Vitamin E per caplet—giving you the right amount of B-vitamins to help relieve symptoms of nerve damage and help keep the nervous system healthy. Each caplet contains 5X more Vitamin B12 and 3X more Vitamin B1, plus added Vitamin E versus major players among OTC brands! It is recommended to be taken once daily.
If symptoms persist, consult your doctor.
ASC Reference No. U131P030520N