Can Taking B Vitamins Make You Happier?
We all know that our body needs a certain amount of vitamins and minerals in order to work at its best. All groups of vitamins are necessary and play an important role in the daily function of our bodies, and eating healthy foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables is the best way to get our vitamins to maintain proper nutrition.
The B-Complex Vitamins
B vitamins are a group of 8 individual vitamins, commonly called "B-complex." The B vitamins group include:
- thiamine (B1),
- riboflavin (B2),
- niacin (B3),
- pantothenic acid (B5),
- pyridoxine (B6),
- cobalamin (B12),
- folic acid and
The Benefits of B Vitamins
Vitamins allow the brain to keep a healthy mental and emotional balance. Being deficient can lead to fatigue and poor mental function. B vitamins are water soluble so any excess in the body will pass out through urine, meaning they are very safe, and that it is nearly impossible to overdose on them. B vitamins are needed for:
- Energy: Breaking down carbohydrates into glucose for energy
- Brain Health: Breaking down fats and proteins for normal nervous system functioning
- Digestion: Toning muscle in the stomach and intestinal tract.
- Beauty: Healthy skin, hair, eyes.
- Stress: By maintaining proper levels of B6, B12, and folic acid you can help the body and mind defend against stress.
B Vitamins For Stress, Anxiety, and Depression
- B6 is necessary for healthy function of the nervous system. Deficiency can lead to cause mental symptoms. Studies have shown mood improvement when B6 supplements are given. B6 also helps with stress reduction.
- Thiamine plays an important role in nerve function and neurotransmitter release. Alcoholics and heavy binge drinkers are prone to thiamin deficiency.
- Riboflavin contributes to healthy development of nerves and red blood cells.
- Niacin deficiency can lead to anxiety.
- Folate, or folic acid deficiency may lead to memory loss, confusion, mood changes, insomnia and irritability. Folic acid supplements may improve mood.
- B12 deficiency will eventually lead to neurological damage and deteriorating of mental function along with psychological troubles such as moodiness, confusion and memory loss. B12 is crucial for the normal function of blood cells and for the formation of neurotransmitters.
Virtually any vitamin or mineral deficiency can have an affect on mood, but B vitamin deficiencies are more common than not in psychiatric patients. Eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet is always in order to boost one's mental and physical energy. Poor diet and appetite can easily lead to low levels of B12 and folate.
B vitamins are found abundantly in a variety of fruits, vegetables, meat, chicken, dairy and eggs. Many breakfast cereals and vegetarian foods are fortified with extra as well. When all else fails and you cannot get the required amount for you body from your diet, taking a multi-vitamin supplement can provide your body with the B vitamins it is missing.