I call this my happy pill. No for real, it really is my happy pill. I can tell when I’ve neglected taking my B-complex vitamin. My energy is much lower and I feel less happy about life. The other thing I notice, when I’m taking a B-complex vitamin & my algae supplement, is my face & lips are much smoother and hydrated. I used to live off of chap stick and heavy moisturizers, and would still have dry skin. These days, my face and lips are way smoother.
What are B Complex Vitamins? They consist of eight B vitamins:
- B1 (Thiamine)
- Promotes cell growth.
- B2 (Riboflavin)
- The “yellow” vitamin. This is what causes your urine to be vivid yellow.
- It’s vital for red blood cell production & fighting free radicals (anti-aging).
- B3 (Niacin)
- Helps regulate the nervous and digestive systems.
- Aids in the conversion of food into energy.
- Great for cholesterol.
- Deficiency is common in Alcoholics.
- B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
- Breaks down fats and carbohydrates for energy.
- Responsible for the production of hormones.
- Promotes healthy skin & is anti-aging.
- B6 (Pyridoxine)
- Promotes good sleep & has anti-inflammatory components.
- Helps the body fight off infection.
- May reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
- B7 (Biotin)
- Great for healthy hair, skin and nails.
- Needed in pregnancy for normal growth of the baby.
- Involved in the production of hormones.
- B9 (Folate)
- Do not buy the Folic Acid form. Folic Acid is synthetic.
- Helps with depression.
- Very important in pregnancy! It promotes fetal growth and prevents neurological birth defects.
- Prevents megaloblastic anemia.
- B12 (Cobalamin)
- Prevents anemia, by working in conjunction with B9 to produce red blood cells.
- Deficiency can cause neurological disorders (memory and dementia) and megaloblastic anemia.
- Deficiency is more common in vegetarians and vegans.
Who needs B-complex vitamins?
In short, everyone! But especially pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Signs of Deficiencies:
Some people with B-complex deficiencies may experience symptoms such as depression, loss of energy, loss of appetite, anemia, hair loss, eczema, dry skin, mouth sores, bleeding gums, nail abnormalities, muscle cramps, or abdominal pain.
If you drink alcohol on a regular basis, have autoimmune disorders, or have any gastrointestinal disorders, such as Acid Reflux, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Gastritis, Celiac Disease, Weight loss surgery, Crohn’s disease, or Ulcerative Colitis, chances are you are deficient. This is due to the inability of your body to absorb vitamins. When your gastrointestinal system is inflamed, it’s very hard for your your body absorb nutrition. You can increase your ability to absorb vitamins by taking Probiotics (good bacteria), and by eliminating inflammatory foods from your diet (milk products & processed foods).
Your mouth is the window to your body & it’s one of the easiest places to look for abnormalities.
- Look at the top of your tongue
- A smooth glossy red or pink appearance (glossitis), may indicate a B- vitamin deficiency and or Iron deficiency.
- Deep fissures or grooves on the surface of the tongue may indicate a Vitamin A deficiency.
- Cracks on the tongue, or burning & tingling feeling on the tongue may indicate a B vitamin deficiency.
- Swollen or puffy tongue can indicate a B-12 deficiency.
- A white tongue can indicate an oral yeast infection (thrush). Look into taking Probiotics.
- Look inside your mouth
- Ulcers can indicate a B3 (Niacin), B12 (Cobalamin), B9 (Folate), Iron, Zinc or Vitamin C deficiency. It can also be stress related.
- Look at your gums
- Bleeding gums can indicate a Vitamin C or Zinc deficiency or bad oral hygiene.
- Look at the corner edges of your mouth
- Cracks around the corners of your mouth can indicate B-Vitamin deficiency.
- Look at your fingernails & Skin
- If you see ridges in your nails, have nails that are brittle or slow to grow, these can indicate a vitamin deficiency of B6, B12, Vitamin A, Zinc, or calcium.
- Dry skin and Eczema can be signs of vitamin deficiency, but they can also be related to food allergies or sensitivities or chemical irritants.
- These symptoms can also indicate other medical problems.
* If you notice any of these things, go visit your medical provider. These symptoms can represent other medical problems.
What I take:
In the United States the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does NOT regulate supplements. This is why it is imperative that you do your own research and always listen to your body. For instance, I’ve taken vitamins that have caused me to have nausea and vomiting afterwards. Others have caused me to have headaches. I have zero clue as to what specifically in the supplements caused theses symptoms, but this is why you need to listen to the signals your body gives you.
I really like Garden of Life vitamins. They are NON-GMO Project Verified, Certified Vegan, Gluten Free, and Kosher. The B-complex vitamin produced by Garden of Life is a high quality vitamin. It’s not made with high heat, synthetic binders or fillers, artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors or additives.
I do not take this every day. On average I take it 3-4 times per week. I eat many raw fruits, vegetables, and I drink a couple green juices at home each week. Obtaining nutrients from the original source is always a good idea, but sometimes it’s not enough.
Possible Side Effects:
B-complex vitamins are water-soluble. This means they dissolve in water and are carried to the body’s tissues, but are not stored in the body. Any excess amounts of water-soluble vitamins are passed through the body. Other forms of water-soluble vitamins include Vitamin A (in its Beta-Carotene form) and Vitamin C.
B3 (Niacin)- too much may cause skin flushing
B6 (Pyridoxine)- too much may cause nerve damage, skin lesions, or decreased kidney function.
B9 (Folic Acid) – too much may cause a decrease in kidney function.
B12 (Cobalamn)- too much may cause rosacea or acne.