Megadoses are imbalanced, and unsafe in illness. Fortunately, there’s a better way.
In chronic illness and aging, reasonable doses of all B-vitamins are helpful — not megadoses.
First, let’s establish a baseline for how to receive reasonable daily doses of all B-vitamins.
Then, add individual B-vitamins on top — safely. Rotate through individual B-vitamins once or twice per week apiece.
This approach slowly and sustainably raises B-vitamin levels in the body while also avoiding and reversing severe nutritional imbalances.
Explore the Nutrient section
D A E K
What are the B-Vitamins?
8 Official B’s
There are eight (8) B-vitamins that are universally considered essential B-vitamins.
- B1 — Thiamin
- B2 — Riboflavin
- B3 — Niacin
- B5 — Pantothene
- B6 — Pyridoxine
- B7 — Biotin
- B9 — Folic Acid
- B12 — Cobalamin
All of these official B’s are essential for your health — and must be balanced with each other.
Three (3) more are considered “not official” B-vitamins. However, these have health benefits and it is helpful — for the sake of balance — to think of them as B-vitamins.
- B4 — Choline
- B8 — Inositol
- B10 — PABA
The most beneficial extra B-vitamin is B4 (choline).
The B-Vitamins are involved in every bodily function.
They are especially critical for turning food into energy. Therefore, the B-vitamins drastically affect how you feel each day.
B-vitamins are received from the diet (especially meat products) and are produced by healthy gut flora.
If your gut health is poor, your microbes are not producing B-vitamins for you whenever you digest meals.
Fixing gut health over time is essential to the body’s nutrient balance.
In poor gut health, vitamins in food are poorly absorbed.
As we saw in Understand Nutrients, supplementation of nutrients is essential in poor gut health, and most instances of chronic illness, along with restoring gut health over time.
B-vitamins are essential for immunity, digestion, and healthy nervous system function, as well, but it might be their premier role in detoxification where they truly impact health for many suffering from chronic illness.
The B-vitamins offer a special opportunity for the chronically ill to both recover and to feel better — and this is best achieved if concepts of balance and reasonable doses are kept in mind.
Biological Roles of the B-Vitamins
(click for more about each B-vitamin)
Thiamin — 1.2mg (DV)
- Carbohydrate metabolism
- Energy for nervous system, heart, brain, muscles
Riboflavin — 1.3mg (DV)
- Carbohydrate, protein, & fat metabolism
- Energy levels
- Recycling glutathione
- Converting tryptophan to niacin
- Vitamin B6 metabolism
- Proper homocysteine levels
- FMD & FAN (coenzymes) production
- Only 27 mg can be absorbed at a time
- Important in migraine & cancer prevention
Niacin— 16mg (DV)
- The function of hundreds of enzymes
- Nearly all metabolic reduction/oxidation (for energy)
- Maintaining gene integrity & expression
- Affects cholesterol
- Insulin sensitivity
- Cardiovascular (endothelial) health
- Improves inflammation
Choline — 550mg (DV)
- Methyl donor
- Cell membrane integrity (phospholipids: phosphatidylcholine & sphingomyelin)
- Acetylcholine production (mood, memory, muscle control, brain function and nervous system function)
- Gene expression
- Cell membrane signaling
- Fat metabolism
- Early brain development
Pantothene — 5mg (DV)
- Essential for coenzyme A (anabolism and catabolism)
- Required for fatty acid synthesis
Pyridoxine — 1.3mg (DV)
- Necessary for over 100 enzyme reactions
- Especially necessary for protein metabolism
- Important for amino acid, carbohydrate, and fat metabolism
- Required for cognitive development and biosynthesis of neurotransmitters
- Enables glycogenolysis (turning stored glycogen into glucose)
- Promotes immunity
Biotin — 30mcg (DV)
- Critical for enzymes that metabolize carbs, proteins, and fat
- Important for histone modifications (including methylation)
- Essential for gene regulation
- Involved in cell signaling
Inositol — ~1g (no official DV)
- Insulin-like properties
- Component of cell membranes
- Hormones controlling mood and depression (dopamine & serotonin)
- Improves thyroid (T4) levels
Folate — 400mcg (DV)
- Cell division
- Converts homocysteine to methionine
PABA ~50mg (no official DV)
- Folic acid synthesis
- Red blood cell formation
- Protein metabolism
Cobalamin ~2.5mcg (DV)
- Red blood cell formation
- Neurological function
- DNA synthesis
- Protein & fat metabolism
- Hemoglobin synthesis
It’s important for B-vitamin intake to be balanced, especially in ongoing illness.
This is best achieved by taking reasonable doses of all B-vitamins (in the neighborhood of 100% DV, daily).
High Doses Are Not Always Safe
Most B-Complex products use extremely high doses.
These typical B-complexes often result in subpar results — with folks feeling jittery or somehow unbalanced while taking them.
B-complexes tend to sit on the shelf in the home of the chronically ill.
Individual B-vitamins can also cause similar issues — with many noticing they can only take most individual B’s a few times a week before they either 1) stop working or 2) cause issues.
What’s worse: It’s difficult to find a single B product containing moderate doses. Instead, most individual B’s come in dosages closer to 1000% DV.
Over time, high doses can cause issues with metabolic function and nutrient imbalance.
Slow & Steady
Quick “results” from B-vitamin supplementation are not the goal. Long-term health is.
When problems arise — and results disappear — from imbalanced B-vitamin supplementation, it’s best to slow down and think about why those results happened.
Remember, with too-fast, or too–intense, supplementation we can upset bodily systems and deplete cofactors.
Remember, all nutrients must be balanced in the body at all times. In illness, the body often struggles to balance nutrients on its own — due to deficiency, poor gut health, toxicity, infection, and inflammation — so keep your supplementation balanced.
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