Trying to navigate daily stressors including work-life balance, maintaining healthy social relationships, eating properly, getting an adequate amount of sleep and keeping up with physical health can be overwhelming. Add a global pandemic into the mix and keeping calm can feel downright impossible! During these times of stress our body is impacted on several levels. Prolonged periods of stress can lead to inflammation in the body, reduced immune function and depletion of key nutrients. We quickly use up our stores of vitamins and minerals when under a constant amount of stress. Most of us know that magnesium is depleted but did you know key B vitamins can be too?
B’s don’t usually get as much attention as A, C and D, but they are key! Some B vitamins can be synthesized in the gut, but since they are water soluble and not retained in large quantities in the body, deficiency in one or many is common. This is especially true in times of stress, malnutrition, nutrient depletion, or antibiotic use. Since the B’s work across thousands of biochemical processes, deficiency symptoms can be wide ranging. The most common signs that one or more B vitamins are lacking include, fatigue, insomnia, loss of appetite, irritability, depression and nervousness, all of which can be present during times of stress!
Let’s break down each of the B’s to show how important each of them are:
Vitamin B1 Thiamin
Converts carbohydrates into energy and supportive to the heart and nervous system (that stress response again!)
Vitamin B2 Riboflavin
Supports healthy vision, energy and red blood cell production
Vitamin B3 Niacinamide
Helps support nerve function and skin health
Vitamin B5 Pantothenic Acid
The stress-reducing B vitamin, helps support the production of cortisol and other stress hormones
Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine
Helps to break down hormones in the liver and maintain healthy skin which may help reduce acne, sugar cravings and mood swings.
Vitamin B7 Biotin
Associated with healthy hair, skin and nails.
Vitamin B9 Folate
Important for DNA and red blood cell production
Essential for maintaining energy and contributing to good concentration.
Choline and Inositol
Are not B vitamins, but they do behave like them! Choline, helps convert homocysteine to methionine. An abundance of homocysteine may have a negative impact on the heart. It is also critical for making up acetylcholine a key neurotransmitter in the brain. Inositol, sometimes known as B8 works with choline to maintain healthy cell membranes. Additionally, it helps to promote healthy blood sugar and mood balance.
When choosing a B complex, look for active forms of the key B’s to ensure adequate absorption. It is estimated that over 60% of the population lacks a key gene to convert inactive B’s to their active form which may contribute to inadequate levels in the body.
Health First Active B Supreme contains all of the key B vitamins in their active forms. Two capsules provides adults with their daily recommended amounts plus an impressive amount of choline and inositol. It’s vegan, free from magnesium stearate, gluten, dairy and like all Health First supplements free from artificial colours, flavours, preservatives and GMO’s.