Many think ‘Happy B’s’ when we think about the B vitamins. This is because of the results we feel in our body when we take B vitamin supplements.
B vitamins are vital to the nervous system. There is a chemical reaction produced on the nerve endings which affects neuro-transmitters. This activates networks of nerve cells, sending messages to the brain. This is why B vitamins have such an effect on mental and emotional states. B vitamins have been used successfully in treatment of both hyperactivity and schizophrenia. To put it most simply, B vitamins are ‘happy vitamins’!
Energy? The primary function of the B vitamins is to help the body release energy from the food we eat, such as protein, carbohydrates and even fat. Without these important B vitamins, this process is not completed effectively, or optimally, for our bodies. The result can be issues such as nervousness, indigestion, constipation, and more.
There is more to B vitamin benefits than stress relief. A healthy cardiovascular system is dependent on B vitamins because they help maintain low homocysteine levels in the blood. Folic acid, an important B vitamin, has been shown to reduce the risk of having a child with neural tube birth defects. Another important function of B vitamins is that they form protective antibodies that are so important to producing healthy red blood cells that are essential for normal growth, and beneficial to healthy skin and hair.
B vitamins are water-soluble which means they are not stored in the body. What the body is not able to use readily is lost. Now the problem with this is that there are many things that deplete our bodies of the important B’s before we are able to utilize the properly. Stress, long-term use of antibiotics, sugar consumption, alcohol consumption, and processed foods all deplete our bodies of critical B vitamins.
Many Americans are deficient in B vitamins to start. Add that to all of these things that pull what our bodies do have available, and many are in trouble.
Food sources of B vitamins include eggs, liver and salmon. These are foods that many folks do not eat enough of on a regular basis, if at all. Just to get the 100% RDA (recommended daily allowance) of all eight B vitamins, large quantities are required. 667 eggs, 22.5 oz of liver, or 10.6lbs. of salmon are not amounts most of us can eat at one meal.
To compare brands of B vitamins you have to look closely at the balance in a B-Complex product. The optimal product will have a balance that is close to the way these ingredients would be found in nature, or in foods. Some brands skimp on the expensive individual B vitamins. The quality of the ingredients are important and can vary greatly from brand to brand.*
*What’s New! From the Field book