B vitamins are sometimes called the
energy vitamins because
they help put a spring in your step and play an important role in maintaining
your energy levels. In actuality, there are eight different kinds of B
vitamins, and each one has its own distinct job, but they’re all tremendously important.

How do B Vitamins
Help?

These vitamins work as a carefully
orchestrated team. Together they play an important role in:

  • Regulating
    mood
  • Reducing
    stress
  • Improving
    cognitive performance
  • Contributing
    to cardiovascular health
  • Lowering
    blood pressure
  • Balancing hormones
  • Assisting liver detox
  • And more…

Protecting and
Absorbing Your B Vitamins

A healthy diet should provide
adequate amounts of each B vitamin. However, because they’re water-soluble
vitamins, they aren’t stored in your body and are eliminated when you pee (be warned, a b complex supplement
will turn your urine bright yellow). That means you must replace them
every day. It also means that the vitamins can be washed away by overcleaning
foods. To preserve B vitamins, try not to over scrub produce. Soaking is the
best method for cleaning.

In addition,
certain medical conditions can interfere with your ability to absorb B
vitamins. For example, people with Hypothyroidism, Crohn’s disease, and Celiac
disease are at risk for deficiencies. As well, alcoholics often have low
levels. And as you age, your ability to absorb the particularly important
vitamins B12 and B6 diminishes.

The Various B Vitamin
Sources and Functions

What does each B vitamin do? Take a
look at the benefits and possible sources for each member of the B-complex
team..

B1 (Thiamine):

Vitamin B1 helps convert
carbohydrates into energy. Without enough B1, we can feel tired and lethargic.
This vitamin also plays a role in the flow of electrolytes in and out of our
muscles, so low levels can lead to muscle weakness. B1 can also help regulate
blood sugar.

Good sources of B1: Peas,
beans, and sunflower seeds.

B2 (Riboflavin):

Vitamin B2 also helps us convert
the things that we eat into energy. It also plays an important role in red
blood cell production. Interestingly, one study singled out B2 as being
particularly helpful in protecting against postpartum depression, and it has a lot of research in
migraine relief. Signs of B2 deficiency include dry, chapped lips.

Good sources of B2: Eggs, salmon, almonds, milk. Light can destroy
B2, which is one reason why milk is often stored in opaque containers.

B3 (Niacin):

B3 contributes to our metabolic
functions. It also helps regulate our nerves. B3 assists with the production of
serotonin, so low levels can contribute to depression and other mental health conditions.

Good sources of B3: Meat, peanuts, fish, enriched grains.

Although over-consuming B3 won’t
happen with food sources, overdoing niacin supplements can lead to flushed
skin, nausea, and possible liver problems. Another good reason to work with a professional

B5 (Pantothenic acid):

Research suggests that Vitamin B5 helps to regulate our
adrenal glands. That means that maintaining good levels of pantothenic acid can
help reduce stress’s damaging
effects.

Good sources of
B5: 
Eggs, avocado, mushrooms

B6 (Pyridoxine):

Vitamin B6 plays an essential role
in our metabolism. In fact, it’s involved in over 100 enzyme reactions. It also
aids in the production of insulin and hemoglobin.

Because B6 helps to metabolize
estrogen hormones, a deficiency can lead to more intense premenstrual symptoms.
Again, overdose is possible
with this vitamin and can affect nerve tissue.

Good sources of B6: Beans, nuts, leafy green vegetables

B7 (Biotin):

In addition to its role in
converting fat and carbohydrates to energy, vitamin B7, more commonly called
biotin or sometimes vitamin H, helps our hair shine and our skin glow. In fact,
it gets the alternate name of vitamin H from the German words for hair and
skin.

Good sources of B7: Egg yolks, liver, salmon, avocados and sweet
potatoes.

Vitamin B9 (Folic acid):

Folic acid has an impressive list
of tasks. It’s essential for hemoglobin production, as well as protein
metabolism. It may also help reduce your risk of heart disease. Because folic
acid can help repair damaged genes, it may even slow the aging process.
Pregnant women should ensure they get enough folic acid, as it can reduce the
risk of birth defects.

Good sources: spinach, lentils, fish, meats, citrus fruits.

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin):

Vitamin
B12 is one of the key vitamins for converting food to energy. Together with B9,
it works to produce red blood cells and help with iron absorption. It also
helps to regulate the nervous system. Vitamin B12 plays such an important role
in our cognitive function and moods that sometimes patients are diagnosed with
Alzheimer’s when they actually are short on B12.

Because
vegans are often unable to get B12 through food sources, they can experience
fatigue, nerve issues, and other symptoms of anemia unless they take B12
supplements.

Good sources of B12: Fish, meat, eggs, and nutritional yeast.

Make Sure You Have
Adequate B Vitamin Levels!

As you
can see, the B-complex vitamins are essential for good physical and emotional
health. If you’re wondering about your B-vitamin levels, it’s best to review
your symptoms and diet with a healthcare practitioner. The correct amounts of B
vitamins that you should be consuming can depend on many different factors,
like your age, gender, and other factors. Together, we can work on a plan to
brighten your mood, increase your energy and ensure your body is functioning
properly with the help of B vitamins. B vitamins are so beneficial for so many women
that I want them to know about it, but it is certainly not all of the story
with respect to good energy, mood and hormones.

Want to get started but not sure where to start? Book your free Hormone
Reset Assessment Call here https://calendly.com/drwebsternd/hormone-reset-assessment-call

Your Hormone Advocate,

Dr. Hillary

Sources

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/vitamin-b

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2885294/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30704890

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19622819

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26799654

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19631047

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16815556

Dr. Hillary Webster, ND is a Naturopathic Doctor with a thriving hormone-focused practice in the Danforth area of Toronto. Are you having trouble losing stubborn weight, or finding that your energy isn't what it used to be? Call Dr. Hillary for a free consult. Naturopathic hormone or thyroid testing and balancing could be just what the doctor ordered!