Vitamin B Complex Combating Your Anxiety
If you are suffering from anxiety you may be deficient in Vitamin B. Vitamins in general play a very important role in our physical and mental health.
You may think vitamins are just good for your physical health, keeping our bodies strong and healthy. Vitamins also help with our thinking, behavior and how we feel.
If you are deficient in certain vitamins or minerals, this could be a key cause of what is making your anxiety worse. Below I’ve compiled a list of all the Vitamin B’s which are essentially put into a Vitamin B Complex supplement.
Vitamin B complex is a power pack of 8 essential vitamins that help combat stress and protect the brain. B-Vitamins are used to create and repair neurotransmitters that regulate mood and behavior.
While we need all the 8 B-Vitamins, the three most important B-vitamins are Vitamin B6, Vitamin B9 also known as folate and Vitamin B12.
They are known as the “Mighty Methylators of Mental Health”. Low levels of these vitamins have been associated with anxiety, depression, mental decline, schizophrenia and brain aging.
Also, stress and worry tend to deplete a lot of Vitamin B from the body making one more susceptible to mental disorders.
What’s In Vitamin B Complex
- B-1 – Thiamine
- B-2 – Riboflavin
- B-3 – Niacin
- B-5 – Pantothenic acid
- B-6 – Pyridoxine
- B-7 – Biotin
- B-9 – Folic acid
- B-12 – Cobalamin
The lack of vitamin B in our bodies can cause all kinds of problems such as, vertigo, elevated HDL cholesterol, hyperthyroidism and pellargra.
There can be a danger in consuming to much of the Vitamin B complex, following and keeping with the RDA or “recommended daily allowance” guidelines should help minimize any possible side effects.
What Does Vitamin B-1 Do?
Vitamin B1 or Thiamine is an essential nutrient our bodies need to function properly. Scientist discovered Thiamine first thus why it’s called B1. Like the other vitamins B’s it’s water soluble and helps turn food into energy.
Thiamine helps make adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which is a molecule that transport energy within our cells.
A Thiamine deficiency can impact many different functions with in our bodies such as:
- Nervous System
Thiamine can be found in these foods:
- whole grain cerals
- dried beans
Foods that cancel out the body’s usage of thiamine are:
- drinking coffee or tea
- regularly eating raw fish
What Does Vitamin B-2 Do?
Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin helps you body build red blood cells and help support other functions such as energy.
Vitamin B2 is present at levels most people need in dairy products, milk and cheese.
You can also find B2 in these foods:
- Red Meat
- Egg Yolks
Celiac disease and Crohn’s disease are possible symptoms associated with riboflavin deficiency.
Vitamin B-3 or Niacin also helps break down food into energy. This vitamin helps keep your nervous system, digestive system and skin healthy. Most people get enough Niacin in their diets through the foods they eat which include meat, milk, yeast and whole grains.
The recommended daily amount is 16 milligrams (mg) a day for men and 14 mg a day for women. Taking high amounts of B-3 can have serious side effects which is 2,000 – 6,000 mg a day. Overdosing on niacin can cause these medical problems:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Severe skin flushing
- Abdominal pain
- Liver damage
Vitamin B-5 benefits
Finding a vitamin B complex with extra B5 added can help out tremendously as this helps support adrenal function and relieve stress.
The adrenal gland secretes cortisol into our bodies and is vital for life as it keeps us alert when danger is around us. When we are anxious and nervous all the time our bodies can’t relax and we stay in a hyper alert state. An overworked adrenal gland can eventually start to fail and cause serious major health issues.
Adrenal Gland Fatigue Symptoms
- Salty food cravings
- Weight gain
- Low energy in the morning and higher energy in the evening
- Excessive fatigue daily
- Respiratory problems
- Poor circulation
- Joint and back pain
Our adrenal glands are located just above the kidneys and produce many other hormones in addition to cortisol. Aldosterone is one of them and it helps regulate the balance of water and electrolytes in our bodies by retaining sodium and excreting potassium.
If your adrenal gland isn’t functioning properly you’ll get symptoms of hypertension. This happens when there is to much water and sodium. If you lack vitamin B5 or are deficient in the B complex vitamins, high blood pressure is indirectly precipitated. High stress levels can aggravate and make your blood pressure worse.
What Does Vitamin B-6 Do?
Vitamin B-6 or Pyridoxine is vital as this vitamin not only helps break down food for energy, it helps fight infection. Pregnant and breast feeding women need B-6 to help develop their babies brains normally.
Insufficient levels of B-6 can result in medical conditions such as anemia or skin disorders. Lacking B-6 can also cause:
- Skin rashes
- Unable to fight infections
B-6 is found in these foods:
- Beef liver
- Ground beef
- chick peas
How Does Vitamin B-7 Work?
Vitamin B-7 or more commonly know as Biotin is water soluble. Biotin helps the metabolism of carbohydrate and fat.
If B-7 levels are low enzymes in our bodies will not work properly. You can get various skin diseases, intestinal tract issues and problems with the nervous system. Biotin also helps Type 2 diabetes patients by helping to control high blood glucose levels. Biotin is also widely used in maintaining healthy hair and nails.
Biotin can decrease insulin resistance and improve glucose tolerance.
Biotin Deficiency Signs
People are rarely deficient in B-7 or Biotin as we get this vital nutrient through most of our food. Long term use of certain anti seizure medication or prolonged antibiotic use can lower Biotin. Eating raw egg whites on a daily basis can also lead to a biotin deficiency.
Your deficient of biotin if you have dry skin, brittle hair or hair loss, muscle pain, nervous system issues, fatigue, intestinal tract issues and seborrheic dermatitis.
How Does B-9 Work?
Vitamin B-9 which is also called folate or folic acid is found naturally in most foods. B-9 helps with the growth of red blood cells and reduces the risk of birth defects. Excessive amounts can also lead to birth defects.
If you have a folate deficiency you can develop diarrhea and anemia.
B-9 is found in:
- Whole grains
- liver and kidney
- green leafy vegetables
How Does Vitamin B-12 Work In My Body?
Vitamin B-12 or Cobalamin is essential in regulating the nervous system and also plays a role with the growth of red blood cells.
B-12 deficiency can lead to confusion and anemia in older adults. Dementia, Depression, Paranoia and other behavioral changes can come from lack of B-12 vitamin.
Low B-12 Symptoms:
- Extreme fatigue
- Tingling in the Feet and Hands
Foods Containing B-12:
- Red Meat
- 1 cup of milk
To Sum Things Up
We all need Vitamin B in our bodies, but deficiencies in certain Vitamin B can cause Anxiety symptoms. There are three important B Vitamins which are B-6, B-9 and B-12 which all help the nervous system.
I also like to make sure my Vitamin B Complex has a little extra B-5 to help my adrenal functions and lower my cortisol or stress hormone levels.
Before starting a B Complex regimen I recommend seeing your doctor and getting a blood test to see if you are actually low on any of these important vitamins.
Read my post on The Best Natural Supplements For Anxiety.