25 Mar 2018
We’ve all been sitting at the breakfast table with a box of cereal in front of us. We’ve probably read the ingredients panel and wondered what pyridoxine was or riboflavin. These are examples of B-vitamins.
In total there are 8 different B-vitamins.
Each B-vitamin is responsible for unique functions but it’s safe to say they all work together as a family group.
Broadly B-vitamins support mood (B6 specifically supports the production of serotonin), genetic coding and nerve health (think pregnant women using folic acid to prevent spinal cord defects), brain and memory (choline) and energy production (Niacinamide, B3, B5).
B-vitamins are found in dark green leafy vegetables, animal proteins and whole grains.
Unfortunately, many of us don’t get enough B-vitamins on a daily basis. Industrial farming, depleted soils, highly processed foods, food allergies and intolerances all lead to vitamin B deficiencies, specifically B6, B12 and folic acid.
Industrial farming robs the soil of magnesium and trace minerals that are essential for the plants to create B-vitamins. Both humans and animals are consuming food that is deficient in B-vitamins.
Some individuals are intolerant to the key food groups providing B-vitamins, think gluten-intolerance. Or they might lack an enzyme that allows them to convert and absorb specific B-vitamins.
Given these factors, it makes sense that people turn to supplementation to provide the RDA- Recommended Daily Amounts.
So what makes a good B-vitamin supplement?
B complex supplements vary widely in composition and dosage. Look for a B-vitamin formula that contains only the active forms. ‘Active’ means that the Bs are in a form that the body can utilize immediately. Some examples of active or methylated forms are:
Benfotiamine for Thiamine or B1,
Methylcobalamin for B12, and
L-5-MTHF for Folic Acid.
The active form is like a charged battery. The body can assimilate the nutrient immediately for full benefit. You’d never go into a store and ask for empty batteries?
In addition to using active forms, the formulation should follow therapeutic dosing guidelines. It doesn’t make sense to provide less than the dosages used to achieve a therapeutic outcome.
Finally, and most importantly, look for a formulation that provides a slow release.
Why is this so important?
B-vitamins are water-soluble, they flush through us.
That means that whatever the cells cannot absorb in approximately 60 minutes is eliminated via the kidneys into urine.
So even the best B complexes will only be bioavailable for a very short period of time. A slow release formula allows the active Bs to be in circulation 4-5 times longer, increasing the window of opportunity that each cell has to absorb these key nutrients.
This is a huge advantage over regular B formulations, significantly benefitting those individuals experiencing stress, chronic fatigue conditions and cognitive impairment.
So next time you are shopping for a B Complex use this checklist to help choose the right one:
With these points in mind you will have a product that provides maximum energy and cognitive support for the least amount of money per capsule.
Now that’s money well spent.
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