Are you deficient in B Vitamins?

Sadly most of us are, especially if our gut flora are compromised, and this affects every single area of health from digestive problems to anxiety, depression and energy.  Today medications, stress, alcohol, caffeine, sugar and a host of other things deplete the body.  So what’s so important about them anyway?

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Here’s one carbs deplete quickly, so being on a LCHF diet you are half way to getting this one sorted out.  Some of the symptoms may include muscle aches, muscle weakness, trouble focusing, swelling of the legs, loss of balance and clumsiness.  More importantly it is a vital nutrient for the heart, and patients who have had a heart attack will get a drip with B1 in it.  It affects heart function, rhythm and cardiac energy production.  If you are fatigued, memory’s gone awol, increased sensitivity to pain, anaemia, constipation and more – you could be deficient.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

This is our energy vitamin – and is needed to process amino acids, fats and ‘activates’ vitamin B6 and folic acid.  In fact it’s essential for converting carbs into ATP or energy (not that we eat a lot, but we do).  If you are having problems with hair loss, chapped lips, depression, greasy skin, itchy eyes, inflamed tongue, migraines, burning mouth etc – you are probably deficient in this one.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

This one also helps make energy from carbohydrate intake and is badly needed to process alcohol.  Deficiency symptoms include anorexia, nausea, canker sores, confusion, depression, dermatitis, dark patches on the skin, fatigue, halitosis, headaches, insomnia, leg pain, skin breakouts – one could go on and on.  There is brain, gut and heart involvement of course, and drugs rapidly deplete this vitamin as they do to all B vitamins.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid/Pantethine)

This B vitamin is known for clearing brain toxins, and helping with gut inflammation, hair loss, burning feet, low blood pressure, infection, insomnia, anxiety and tachycardia, amongst others.  The two most obvious symptoms are burning feet and hair loss.

Vitamin B6 (or P-5-P – Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate)

P-5-P is the non-toxic form of vitamin B6, and is fine to take in larger amounts.  Cracks at the corners of the mouth? Here’s your deficiency.  But like the others you will get similar symptoms in addition to a sore tongue, slow wound healing, PMS, nervousness, pins and needles, seizures and dizziness.  B6 has been identified for its importance in cancer prevention.  By the way, B Vitamins all work together and want to be together.

Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

This vitamin acts as a cofactor in the metabolism of fats, protein and carbs, and uses the other vitamins B to do this job.  Hair loss, weak nails, anaemia, nausea, fatigue, elevated blood sugar and a pale sore smooth tongue are all biotin deficiency symptoms.

Vitamin B 9 (Folate)

Insufficient folate is associated with anaemia, anorexia, apathy, diarrhoea, digestive problems, shortness of breath, fatigue, tongue inflammation, impaired growth, headaches, insomnia, memory and cognitive problems, paranoia, and weakness. Quite important too, it is associated with abnormal pap smears and elevated homocysteine.

Vitamin B12 (Methylcobalamin)

Don’t use cyanocobalamin, as it’s inferior to the methyl version.  This B vitamin is absolutely vital and a shortage here will cause a number of serious to life-threatening situations. Vegans and elderly people are most at risk, and it can seriously interfere with neurological processes to the point of a person exhibiting total dementia.

So then … to B or not to B, that is the question.