By Art Presser, PharmD – President, Huntington College of Health Sciences
There are eleven B vitamins that are collectively called the B-Complex. The eleven vitamins include B-1, B-2 and B-6, which should be supplemented in equal strengths, as should choline and Inositol. That makes five. Rounding out the balance of the eleven are B-3, B-5, B-12, folic acid, biotin and PABA.
B-Complex is referred to as the energy vitamins and stress fighters. They get this reputation because they are intimately involved in cellular energy metabolism, namely the glycolytic, Krebs cycle and pentose pathways. The B vitamins act as cofactors in converting carbohydrates into glucose which the body burns to produce energy.
For example, the process of glycolysis which converts energy stored as glycogen into glucose molecules requires vitamin B-6 and biotin. The conversion of pyruvate (a metabolite of glucose) to acetyl coenzyme A (the first step in the Krebs cycle in energy metabolism) requires B-5 and further metabolism requires biotin, B-2 and B-3. If you are missing any of these cofactors or helper nutrients the result will be fatigue and lethargy, and this is not even scratching the surface. If anyone ever gets to opportunity to view a metabolic pathway chart, its complexity is mind boggling.
B vitamins are also vital in the metabolism of fat and protein. They are necessary for normal functioning of the nervous system and may be the single most important factor for the health of the nerves. During stressful situations the nervous system can become depleted of B vitamins. Stressful situations include physical or emotional overwork, infection or injury, fad or poor dieting, excessive use of alcohol and/or drugs and intense sports workouts. In addition, the B-Complex vitamins are sometimes called the beauty vitamins because they are essential for healthy hair, skin and nails.
Most people do not have to supplement with B-Complex because adequate amounts are present in better multi-vitamins. If you are not taking a multi-vitamin like this, consider one that contains all eleven B factors greater than 25mg each and depending on your stress level, upwards of 100mg each. Also remember that the B vitamins are water soluble and need to be replenished all day. This can be overcome with a proven “timed release” system. Take your B vitamins early in the day as it is unlikely that your energy chemistry pathways will be overburdened while you are asleep.
There are times when wellness challenges will make it necessary to supplement with individual B vitamins in higher doses. If this becomes necessary, like when I take extra B-1 to keep bird-size High Sierra mosquitoes from eating me alive, make sure you are already taking a B-Complex first. That is, don’t take large doses of one B vitamin without showing your body the other ten. I believe this is confusing to the body. I know that we’ll never find a food balanced like that.
Vitamin B-1 (Thiamine)
Thiamine is involved in the body’s breaking down carbohydrates. A high carbohydrate diet increases the need for B-1. B-1 increases the production of stomach acid needed for digestion and is necessary for muscle tone in the stomach and intestine.
Thiamine’s nickname is the “morale” vitamin because drops in B-1 levels can result in depression. We find that Schizophrenics as well as those suffering from other mental disorders, tend to be low in B-1.
Thiamine is also necessary for growth, fertility, lactation, and normal functioning of the heart and nervous system.
The deficiency disease of B-1 is called Beriberi. Deficiency symptoms include cardiac palpitations, enlarged heart, myocardial lesions, polyneuritis (nerve inflammation), loss of ankle and knee jerk reflexes, toe and foot drop (paralysis of muscles which flex the foot), muscular weakness progressing to atrophy, mental instability, forgetfulness, vague fears, feeling of persecution, confusion, fatigue and loss of appetite. I
f you are bothered by insect bites try taking 500mg (100mg for children) of thiamine three times daily. I will take even more than this when I go backpacking in mosquito season. As an appetite stimulant use the same dosage 30 minutes before meals, but swallow it with an ounce of apple juice that has been laced with bitters.
Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin)
Some applications of B-2 are eye care, mouth cracks and migraine headaches. B-2 will usually be found in better eye formulae for its ability to prevent cataracts and ward off eye fatigue. It has long been used to treat cracks in the sides of the mouth. In addition, recent studies suggest that 400 mg. daily (divided doses) of B-2 can reduce the frequency of migraine headaches.
Vitamin B-3 (Niacin, Nicotinic Acid, Niacinamide)
Niacin’s claim to fame in medicine today is its ability to at high doses, lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Because of the high doses required, I recommend using a form of niacin called inositol hexanicotinate which is a “non-flush” niacin. This avoids the necessity of building your dose up over a period of time in order to tolerate the flushing. It is also a safe alternative to timed-release niacin that has been associated with abnormalities in liver function tests.
Vitamin B-5 (Pantothenic acid)
Deficiency symptoms of B-5 include fatigue, headache, nausea, personality changes, dizziness, rapid heart rate on exertion, gastric distress, muscle cramps, impaired coordination, numbness and tingling of hands and feet. Therapeutic uses of B-5 may include allergies, arthritis and hypoglycemia.
Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine)
Therapeutic uses of B-6 include morning sickness, PMS and menopause for both emotional and physical symptoms, carpal tunnel syndrome, edema, birth control pills induced deficiencies, and the reduction of homocysteine, a toxic amino acid metabolite associated with heart disease (with B-12 and folic acid).
Vitamin B-12 (Cyanocobalamin)
Therapeutic applications for B-12 are fatigue, general weakness with loss of appetite, nerve health, shingles, nerve degeneration, stress, homocysteine control (when combined with B-6 and folic acid), and anemia. Many health professionals believe that if B-12 makes you feel better, it is presumptive evidence that you need it. It is water soluble and non toxic so there is nothing to lose by giving it a try.
One of the great revelations of the 90’s was the confirmation that a folic acid deficiency during pregnancy will increase the chances of having a child with spina bifida or anencephaly. Women of childbearing age who consume adequate amounts of folic acid daily (400 mcg) before conception will reduce their risk of having a pregnancy affected by neural tube defects.
Other therapeutic uses include lowering homocysteine levels (with B-6 and B-12), possible protection against intestinal parasites and food poisoning, a preventive for canker sores, and the possibility of helping to delay hair graying when used in conjunction with pantothenic acid and PABA.
PABA (Para-Aminobenzoic Acid)
Therapeutic applications include the prevention of eczema and loss of skin pigmentation, control of burn pain and topical use as a sunscreen. Combined with pantothenic acid and folic acid PABA is purported to prevent prematurely graying hair.
Deficiency symptoms include fatty degeneration of the liver, brain and memory dysfunction, hemorrhagic (loss of blood) lesions in kidneys, bleeding ulcers, high blood pressure, heart muscle symptoms and atherosclerosis. Therapeutic uses include memory enhancement, liver disorders, lowering cholesterol, nervous system disorders, and hair, skin, and nail enhancement.
Deficiency symptoms include atherosclerosis, skin disorders, eye disorders, declining brain function, mood swings, and constipation. Therapeutic applications include use as a lipotropic agent for hair health, as a calming agent and diabetes.
Deficiency symptoms include various skin disorders, including a grayish pallor, loss of appetite and nausea, low-grade anemia, weariness, insomnia, muscle pain, depression, hypoglycemia and hair loss. Therapeutic applications include hair health, eczema and candida.
Vitamin B12 is essential for the proper functioning of many different organ systems in our body. For example, B12 helps in the production of the soft, fatty material called myelin that surrounds and protects nerve fibers. A deficiency in B12 can compromise the myelin and can result in serious neurological problems. Vitamin B12 deficiencies have, in some cases, been misdiagnosed as multiple sclerosis.
Vitamin B12 also plays a critical role in the production of white blood cells, which are key components in our immune system. B12 deficiency has been shown to lead to reduced numbers of white blood cells, and can lead to an increased susceptibility to infections and diseases.
B12 deficiency remains quite prevalent in our population. In addition to pernicious anemia, the following table describes several of the most common medical conditions that may lead to a B12 deficiency.
|Gastritis||This condition causes an inflammation and deterioration of the stomach lining, resulting in a reduction of secretion of stomach acid needed to free B12 from animal protein.|
|Gastric bypass||Individuals who have undergone this procedure are at risk for surgery B12 deficiency because they lose the cells in their stomach that produce acid.|
|Digestive disorders||Bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine or parasitic infections can affect the normal metabolism of vitamin B12.|
|Crohn’s disease||Along with other GI disorders such as enteritis or celiac disease, this can interfere with B12 absorption.|
|Dietary deficiencies||A diet lacking meat, eggs, or dairy products – primary sources for B12– can result in a B12 deficiency.|
Red blood cells have the important job of carrying oxygen from our lungs to our brain and other organs and tissues. If our body does not get an adequate supply of B12, the red blood cells it produces become abnormally large and are destroyed more rapidly. Fewer functioning red blood cells are then available to circulate throughout the body and carry oxygen. This condition, called anemia, causes the body to feel exhausted and weak.
Vitamin B12—along with vitamin B6, folic acid, and other nutrients—are involved in the process of methylation whereby small parts of molecules, called methyl groups, are transferred to other molecules such as hormones, proteins and DNA. The liver uses methylation to detoxify substances. If there are not enough nutrients to supply an adequate number of methyl groups, levels of homocysteine (an amino acid in the body) increase in our blood and urine. Elevated homocysteine levels have been associated with an increased risk for heart disease.
Methylation is also an important pathway in the removal of estrogens from the body. Failure to provide enough methyl groups allows estrogens to accumulate, and this may lead to a loss of hormone balance in the body.
Because this type of methylation activity can be measured by a laboratory, practitioners can evaluate how well the methylation process is going for their individual patients.
It may come as no surprise that, given the many roles vitamin B12 plays in our overall health, a wide range of medical conditions and disorders have been found to be associated with a deficiency in B12. From conditions that affect women such as infertility and postpartum depression, to those more widespread in the general population such as dementia and immune system disorders, vitamin B12 deficiency may turn out to be a culprit.
The Effect of Vitamin E on Free radical activity
Vitamins C and E act as anti-oxidants in our body. As such they attract and neutralise molecules with unpaired electrons.
Free radicals are highly reactive molecules with an electron-seeking behaviour that tends to damage electron dense areas such as membrane phospholipids and DNA molecules.
Free radicals rampaging through our body cause oxidative stress. Many environmental toxins can contribute to such stress and also the trans fats and refined products that we eat. In addition excessive exercise can also contribute to this electron robbery.
Although regular exercise has been shown to boost our immune systems and indeed our bodies have been shown to adapt to even high levels of intensive workouts with a parallel enhancement of the immune system to fight all the free radical activity. Yet infrequent bursts of excessive exercise without build in rest periods and carefully structured training may in fact do more harm than good. So if you do little in terms of exercise during the week and then go whole hog at the weekends with little dietary antioxidant support, you may be stressing your body to a point that it cannot cope. This may indeed be the reason for these seemingly fit athletes suddenly suffering from heart attacks.
Vitamin E embedded in cell membranes and the water soluble Vitamin C can have a protective effect among phospholipids.
Vitamin C can be found in fruits and green vegetables.
Vitamin E can be found in green vegetables and seeds.
Gerson recommended small 100mg doses of vitamin C 4 timer per day in the first few days of treatment when pain relief was needed. Not a true vitamin, vitamin C is sometimes described as a liver metabolite – the salt of the vitamin C sodium ascorbate. It is necessary for the metabolism of L – gulonolactone oxidase a liver enzyme.
This end-stage liver enzyme bio converts blood glucose to Ascorbate (without it we cannot produce ascorbate) . The long term result of no ascorbate is scurvy – our bones dissolve and our teeth fall out. There is a tendency towards the development of cancer. Most animals produce this liver metabolyte in large quantities – 6 grams per day in a goat or up to 100g if under stress.
It is important to note that it is not the ascorbic acid that we require, rather it’s salt – ascorbate.
Ascorbate is also important for the hydroxylation of Proline an amino acid that forms hydroxyproline, crucial for maintaining collagen. Collagen is an essential structural protein in the body and accounts for around a quarter of all the protein in our bodies and vital to it’s structural integrity.
My personal experiences with Sodium Ascorbate have resulted in the curing of all my allergies, hay fever, wheat, milk and cats. I have also used Alkaline water derived from a water ionizer. These two products as well as the Organic Silica have rebuilt my colon. My allergy problems are a function of leaky gut. The ascorbate provided the raw materials for building collagen and elastin to re-build the colon. I am also losing all excess fat, I am down to the levels of fat that I had in my late 20’s and probably will be down to those of my teenage years by the end of the summer. This is all without working out or dieting. I eat pasta and red meat as well as indulge in red wine. In fact my tolerance to alcohol has increased which I suspect is the ascorbate deficiency being solved and my liver is now fully functional.
If you have a history of alcoholism in the family, Sodium ascorbate is a must, when deficiencies are corrected in the body all sorts of miracles start to take place. Sodium Ascorbate is one element that your body cannot produce by itself and needs to be supplemented in the diet. There is also brand new study on the use of Sodium Ascorbate and Cancer that reduces tumors by up to 50% with one treatment intravenously.
…all toxins cause oxidative damage – at least 100 percent of the over 100 toxins that are researched in the literature; and to this end, high doses of intravenous vitamin C, or other elegantly applied forms of vitamin C – will neutralize botulism, snakebite, organo-phosphate insecticides, all the different heavy metals. To the best of my knowledge there’s no need for anything known as an antidote – other than vitamin C. Similarly, all infectious diseases ultimately inflict most of their damage via oxidative damage – increased free radicals. Whenever you hear pro-oxidant, increased free radicals – all of these things can be quenched by a large enough supply of electrons.”
The following is taken from the Linus Pauling institute:
The newest findings explain for the first time how vitamin C can react with and neutralize the toxic byproducts of human fat metabolism.
“This is a previously unrecognized function for vitamin C in the human body,” said Fred Stevens, an assistant professor in the Linus Pauling Institute. “We knew that vitamin C is an antioxidant that can help neutralize free radicals. But the new discovery indicates it has a complex protective role against toxic compounds formed from oxidized lipids, preventing the genetic damage or inflammation they can cause.”
Some earlier studies done in another laboratory had exposed oxidized lipids – which essentially are rancid fats – to vitamin C, and found some reaction products that can cause DNA damage. These test tube studies suggested that vitamin C could actually form “genotoxins” that damage genes and DNA, the types of biological mutations that can precede cancer.
But that study, while valid, does not tell the whole story, the OSU researchers say.
“It’s true that vitamin C does react with oxidized lipids to form potential genotoxins,” said Balz Frei, professor and director of the Linus Pauling Institute, and co-author on this study. “But the process does not stop there. We found in human studies that the remaining vitamin C in the body continues to react with these toxins to form conjugates – different types of molecules with a covalent bond – that appear to be harmless.”
I took this from: http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/high-vitamin-c-reduce-glutathione.24733/
Ia also an incredibly potent, fat soluble antioxidant.
- Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone): Is found in good supply in green vegetables – particularly kale ,it supports your liver to maintain a healthy blood clotting system.
- Vitamin K2 (menaquinone, MK): is a bacterial form and found in natto and other fermented foods such as sauerkraut. It is present in high quantities in your gut, but unfortunately is not absorbed from there and passes out in your stool. K2 works in vessel walls, bones, and tissues other than your liver.
Vitamin K; Calcium placement is also one of its primary functions contributing to reduced arteriosclerosis and increasing bone health through the development of correct crystalline structure. It appears to direct calcium to the bone matrix. It has been highlighted that vitamin D and or calcium supplementation without adequate vit K levels could contribute to coronary complications.
Vitamin K1 is a blood clotting agent and can pose problems for some people. Anyone taking anticoagulants such as warfarin should avoid kale because the high level of vitamin K1 may interfere with the drugs. Consult your doctor before adding kale to your diet.
The following table summarizes potential health problems that can be associated with a vitamin K deficiency. From Dr Mercola’s website:
|Arterial calcification, cardiovascular disease and varicose veins||Brain health problems, including dementia (the specifics of which are under study)|
|Prostate cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer and leukemia||Infectious diseases such as pneumonia|
Also, if you have a tendency to retain water before your menstrual cycle, that is almost always a need for more vitamin b6!
Vitamin B6 also helps you to absorb magnesium,
How Vitamin B12 Deficiency Can Wreck Your Health
As your vitamin B12 levels start to falter, some of the initial signs will often include mood changes, such as lack of motivation or feelings of apathy. Low levels can also lead to mental fogginess, memory troubles, muscle weakness, and — one of the hallmark signs — fatigue. Vitamin B12 is fittingly known as the energy vitamin, and your body requires it for a number of vital functions, including energy production, as well as:
|Proper digestion, food absorption, iron use, carbohydrate and fat metabolism||Healthy nervous system function||Promotion of normal nerve growth and development|
|Help with regulation of the formation of red blood cells||Cell formation and longevity||Proper circulation|
|Adrenal hormone production||Healthy immune system function||Support of female reproductive health and pregnancy|
|Feelings of well-being and mood regulation||Mental clarity, concentration, memory function||Physical, emotional, and mental energy|