I wrote last week about the effects of stress on our body, especially in these stressful times. One of the vitamin supplements we often suggest when we are undergoing prolonged stress is a Vitamin B complex. We have found B vitamins to be a great nutrient to our nervous system and to be helpful in alleviating anxiety and stress. Many find taking B vitamins to be beneficial in increasing their energy levels as well as improving their memory and alertness.
B vitamins are also believed to reduce ageing by promoting cell growth and repair. In addition, it’s also believed B vitamins may help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease. This is because B vitamins may help lower our levels of the amino acid, homocysteine which can damage our artery walls. B vitamins may also be beneficial in increasing immunity plus strengthening our digestion.
When we are low in B vitamins, we may find we suffer from fatigue, mood swings, memory loss and sleeplessness. Sometimes we could be suffering from hair loss, or brittle hair, flaking nails and dry skin. Even cracking in the corners of the mouth may be an indication of Vitamin B deficiency. If you are an athlete or suffer from digestive issues you many require extra B vitamins. It is believed if we drink excess coffee or alcohol, we are more likely to eliminate more B vitamins from your body.
Except for B12, all B vitamins are water soluble which means they won’t be stored in our body. This then means we need to extract enough B vitamins from our diet every day to maintain good vitamin B levels. This can be a problem obviously if we don’t eat a good diet of fresh, nutritious food which hasn’t been depleted in vitamins through cooking, processing, or extended storage.
Sometimes it can be beneficial to therefore take a vitamin B complex. To get the best benefits we want to ensure that when we take our B vitamins, we get the best absorption. Because B vitamins rely on co-factors and coenzymes to enable absorption, B vitamins have often been found to be a challenge for our bodies to absorb. Often when we have poor digestion, or maybe our liver isn’t functioning as well as it could be, we may not absorb our B vitamins effectively.
This is when it may be more beneficial to take what is known as activated B vitamins. B vitamins are generally activated by adding a phosphate which enables better effectiveness. These activated B vitamins are naturally active in our body. When we take activated B vitamins they are more readily absorbed because they generally don’t need the metabolic or enzymatic conversion which non activated B vitamins require. In other words, they skip that extra step required to become active in our body. They are ready to do their job without having to be broken down and converted into that active form.
Many customers often ask why their urine turns yellow when taking B vitamins and often assume this is because they aren’t absorbing the vitamins. This isn’t the case. Your urine turns yellow because this yellow colour is a by-product of Vitamin B2 and nothing to be concerned about. It is best to take your B vitamins in the morning – you don’t want your increase in energy happening as you’re about to go to bed. Also be mindful, sometimes too much Vitamin B3 and B12 may cause a flushing or reddening of your skin.
For more information on activated B or any health issue, call to see Bev and the team at Go Vita, Your Health Shop at 5 North St, Batemans Bay. Don’t forget to tune into Bev on 2EC every Wednesday at 12.30pm on Go Get Healthy.