• Posted 27/07/2020 5:07am

Choosing Plan B - All about B Vitamins

B Vitamins are part of the building blocks for a healthy body. The B Vitamins have direct roles to play in your energy levels, brain function and metabolism.

Each of the B Vitamins has a complicated scientific name. You may have heard of some of them before? Interestingly, only one of the B Vitamins actually starts with the letter ‘b.’

What are the B Vitamins?

  • B-1 (thiamine) Helps the body turn food into energy and works in synergy with the other B vitamins. It is also deficient if you drink alcohol often.
  • B-2 (riboflavin) Builds red blood cells and helps give you energy. Can help with migraine prevention too.
  • B-3 (niacin) Lowers cholesterol and boosts brain function. Used for good thyroid function, and other hormone production.
  • B-5 (pantothenic acid) Makes blood cells and converts food into energy. Helps reduce ance, improves sex hormones, and improves the gut lining.
  • B-6 (pyridoxine) Helps create serotonin, which improves brain function and wellbeing. Needed for good thyroid function, and can relieve PMS.
  • B-7 (biotin) Regulates blood sugar and can help pregnant women have healthier babies. Can help reduce hair loss, and make hair thicker.
  • B-9 (folic acid) Crucial for cell growth and forming DNA, important for pregnant women, reduces the toxic effects of cholesterol.
  • B-12 (cobalamin) Needed for nerve tissue health, brain function and healthy blood cells. Needed for healthy thyroid function, decreases with age due to reduced absorption.

Where can I get B Vitamins?

Our diet is so important. Many of us will consume the B Vitamins we need in the food we eat. Protein rich foods like egg, chicken and red meat, as well as vegetables like spinach, kale and broccoli are rich in B Vitamins. Other foods like wholegrains, kidney beans, nuts and seeds contain plenty of B Vitamins.

Because our body can’t store many of the B Vitamins, we need to keep consuming them regularly to make sure we get enough B Vitamins every day.

B Vitamins are useful for just about every chemical reaction taking place inside your body. B Vitamins are used to help regulate your thyroid, your hormones, your energy levels, and they play an important part in making sure you get a good night’s sleep.

What happens if I don’t have enough B Vitamins?

If you’re not getting enough B Vitamins in your diet, you could experience a range of symptoms depending on which of the B Vitamins you’re not getting enough of. Some common medications also reduce the body's level of some B vitamins, such as oral contraceptives, diabetic medications, and indigestion remedies.

Common symptoms of B Vitamin deficiency include digestive issues, skin conditions, increased risk of infections, and anemia, which is when your red blood cell count is too low. Other conditions can also present themselves, and may be a result of low B vitamin intake, such as depression, sleep defects, thyroid irregularities, migraines, hormonal disruption, etc.

If you’re not getting enough B Vitamins in your diet, you should consider taking supplements to help boost your levels of B Vitamins. Make sure you have a chat with a trusted health professional first.

What B Vitamins should I take?

We have a range of B Vitamin supplements at Stay Well Pharmacy. You can take supplements for just one B Vitamin. For example, it’s recommended most pregnant women and those trying to get pregnant take a B-9 folic acid supplement. However, the B Vitamins work together incredibly well, and so you can take a B multivitamin which contains B-3, B-6 and B-12 to improve brain function, blood cell creation and generally help your overall wellbeing.

B vitamins need to become absorbed properly and most need to become activated in the liver, before they can do what they need to do. Not everybody has the correct metabolic pathways to do this (partially due to genetics, but can be because of other health factors). So it’s worth bearing in mind there is no ‘one-size-fits all’ when it comes to healthcare and wellbeing. To find the right B Vitamin supplement for you, it’s important we have a chat to find out what health issues you’re dealing with.

Our helpful team at Stay Well Pharmacy can have a confidential discussion with you and put together a personalised supplement plan that contains the B Vitamins you’re needing.

So if you’re sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, you’re struggling with digestive issues or you just feel like you have no ‘get up and go’ contact us on 03 349 8785 or come into the pharmacy to have a chat about which B Vitamins are right for you. You’ll be glad you did. The friendly team at Stay Well Pharmacy is here to help you live well and stay well.

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