B vitamins in food

The Importance of B Vitamins for Your Health

Category: Blog

B Vitamins For Optimal Health

‘Vitamin B’ isn’t one vitamin, but an umbrella covering multiple B vitamins. They include B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. You may not recognize some of these numbers because those B vitamins go by a different and more common name. B vitamins a very important role in your body: to provide you with energy (and so much more). 

 

B Vitamin Roles in Health

Below is a chart listing the B vitamins and their common roles in the body. This is by no means an exhaustive list of what each B vitamin does, but a quick snap shot.

B1 Thiamin Required for energy production, nerve and muscle integrity and function
B2 Riboflavin Required for thyroid enzyme function and regulation, helps produce energy
B3 Niacin Required for nerve and skin integrity and function
B5 Pantothenic acid Required for energy production
B6 Pyridoxine Required for nerve and skin integrity and function, helps make the myelin sheath surrounding neurons
B7 Biotin Helps create pancreatic enzymes; is in the make-up of hair, skin and nails
B9 Folic Acid Helps in the formation of red blood cells, white blood cells and heme
B12 Cobalamin A co-factor in methyl transfer, helps synthesize DNA and myelin sheath formation

 

As you can see from the chart, each B vitamin plays a very important role in the body. Certain B vitamins have even gotten a little famous for their roles in treating certain conditions.

For example, vitamin B6 can be used as a successful treatment for nausea during pregnancy. And, vitamin B12 can help in treating low energy and iron deficiency anemia.

B Vitamins and The Adrenal Glands

Many of the B vitamins are required for optimal function of the adrenal glands. Adrenal glands are small walnut-sized glands on top of the kidneys. They are responsible for our stress response, and the release of our stress hormone, cortisol. (They do a lot more, but let’s just stick to cortisol for now).

  • Vitamin B3, or niacin is required in high amounts to form the molecular structure of certain enzymes in the cascade of hormone release from the adrenal glands.
  • Vitamin B5, pantothenic acid, is converted in the body to Acetyl CoA, which is can then be used to make glucose (energy). It is found in all cells, but its highest quantity is in the adrenal glands.
  • Vitamin B6, pyridoxine, is also an essential vitamin to the cascade of hormone release from the adrenal glands. It also plays a major role in the optimal functioning of the HPA axis (hypothalamus-pituitary-axis).

Although larger quantities of vitamins B3, B5, and B6 are required for the functioning of the adrenal glands than the other B vitamins, ALL of the B vitamins are required. 

As you can see, B vitamins play a vital role in optimal adrenal gland function. You should also note, that when you’re over-taxing your adrenal glands, such as in times of chronic stress, you’re using a lot of B vitamins up very quickly. We need to replete the store of B vitamins in the adrenal glands for optimal function. This can be accomplished through healthy nutrition, and adding in supplements or nutrient IV’s when necessary.

There are many food sources for B vitamins. They include whole grains, nuts, spinach, kale, milk, eggs, and red meat, to name just a few! Each B vitamin is found in different foods so it’s important to have a rich and varied diet for optimal health.

To absorb and assimilate your nutrients and B vitamins from your diet, you also need to have a healthy functioning digestive system. Optimizing your digestive health can be the key to unlocking your adrenal health power!

Are My Adrenal Glands Healthy?

We can test your adrenal function using a 4-point cortisol curve test. This is a specialized test that can be run using saliva or urine. The samples are taken 4 times throughout the day so that the data can be plotted on a curve to give us an idea of cortisol release.

High Cortisol

Too much cortisol can be released in times of stress. This can lead you to feeling jittery, ‘tired but wired’ and anxious.

Low Cortisol

Too little cortisol can be released from the adrenal glands after long periods of chronic stress. At this point, the adrenal glands can’t keep up with the demand. If you’re experiencing this, you may be feeling very fatigued, burned out, lethargic, lacking motivation, weight gain and depression.

Running the 4-point cortisol curve test allows us to treat exactly what is going on for you! We can take that information, along with your symptoms and re-balance your cortisol curve to resolve symptoms.