I often get questions about the Vitamin B complex, since it can be quite confusing. There’s lots of information in the media and all around the internet, so it can indeed get complicated. I’d like to address this issue in a way that allows you to see ‘the big picture’, while also understanding the important details.
Why is there a Vitamin B ‘Complex’ When Other Vitamins Don’t Have This?
Well, good question. There exists actually an army of vitamin B variations, so the word ‘complex’ is very appropriate. Each of the different B vitamins has a unique role in optimizing the functioning of the body and creating the quality of your life. An interesting thing about all B vitamins is that they can be assimilated into our body through food, or they can be produces within our body too.
What are the major roles that the vitamin B complex serves?
The B vitamins are key elements to provide you energy. They also keep your immune system strong. Another critical role is to ensure the different hormone processes in your body are properly balanced.
Why is balance between the B vitamins so important?
Great question. Indeed, balance is one of the prime factors to the B complex operating at top efficiency. You see, if one B vitamin is deficient, it can produce a domino effect, impacting the role and function of several other B vitamins. Likewise, if one B vitamin is in excess, it can have a similarly powerful effect on the function of other B vitamins.
Since this balance is so important, it is truly best to aim toward getting your B vitamins primarily from food. The reason I say this is because if you take vitamins in the form of a supplement, depending on the quality of that supplement, you may unwittingly be ingesting too much. You see, unless a vitamin is what is called ‘pharmaceutical grade’, there is no real quality control over the exact amount of any particular vitamin that composed each supplement pill. I have reviewed studies where the actual content of a particular ingredient is 500% to 1000% higher than what is stated on the bottle! So, with supplements that are not clearly labelled “USP” – for United States Pharmacopeia” – then I would caution you.
Obtaining vitamins from food is always the best source. The trick is to ensure you eat a balanced and varied diet to obtain all of the necessary and recommended vitamins. This is not impossible by any means, but it does take a bit of education.
How do you know if you are Vitamin B deficient?
Ah, this is another great question. Since Vitamin B deficiency is actually quite common, it is important to know the early signs. And, as you will see, there are many everyday things which are known to cause Vitamin B deficiency. Here are the top causes of Vitamin B deficiency:
- Refined Sugar
- Some Processed Foods
- Pesticides and Other Toxins
- Environmental Pollution
- Digestive Problems
As you can see, these factors are largely under your control. So, if you can avoid or manage each of these, you serve a better chance to not become Vitamin B deficient.
Control The Things You Can Control
The biggest causes of Vitamin B deficiency can be ‘bucketed’ into 1) food and 2) stress. Certainly, these two categories really are under your control. Yes, you may feel like you have no control whatsoever about your stress — but, in truth, you have complete power to control your stress. For, the real definition of stress is NOT what happens to you (which we have no control over at all) — but stress IS defined by how you react to whatever the world sends your way…
There’s a lot more I can share on this subject, which I will write about tomorrow. For now, though, understand that the Vitamin B Complex is indeed important for your health. You can do a lot of good by transforming your life to optimize the Vitamin B efficiency in your body and life.
More tomorrow on the fascinating subject of Managing Stress!