October 10, 2016

390 The B Vitamins [10 Oct 2016]

The B’s are a group of eight water soluble vitamins with many important roles in the body. In writing about the function of mitochondria in the cells (columns #301 & #302) I discussed the roles of several of the B vitamins.

We normally get most of our B vitamins from our diet with some, like biotin and folic acid, produced by bacteria in our gut. Being water soluble, some B vitamin content of food is lost in processing, and dysbiosis (unhealthy gut flora) can reduce vitamin production in the intestines.

B vitamins are available as supplements as singles or all together in what is known as a “B Complex”. In choosing a B complex look for the right amounts and the right forms. Standard B complex formulas will have the same amount of each vitamin, for example 50 mg of most and 50 mcg of a few. It’s highly unlikely that we need exactly the same amounts, by weight, of each vitamin. Better formulas will have what appears to be random amounts but which are based on a more scientifically determined ratio of our body’s needs.

The form of the vitamins is even more important. The B vitamins come in several forms and the most active is often more expensive to produce. Here are the B vitamins with the biologically active or preferred form in brackets:
• B1 Thiamine (benfotiamine)
• B2 Riboflavin (riboflavin-5-phosphate)
• B3 Niacin (inositol hexanicotinate)
• B5 Pantothenic Acid (calcium d-pantothenate)
• B6 Pyridoxine (pyridoxal-5’-phosphate or P5P)
• B7 Biotin
• B9 Folic Acid or Folate (calcium L-5-MTHF)
• B12 Cobalamin (methylcobalamin)

Though not classified as true B vitamins, a good complex will also include three other related coenzymes:
• PABA Para-aminobenzoic acid (sometimes called B10)
• Choline
• Inositol

Keep this in mind when shopping for a B complex supplement.

For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.

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