Do you find yourself susceptible to frequent infections? It may be that your body is deficient in the Vitamin B complex. Other serious symptoms of this deficiency can be loss of appetite, clouded thinking, sluggish bowel, lack of coordination, mental or emotional depression, fatigue, anemia, or irritability among a host of other symptoms.
We see then, what an important vitamin this is. The Vitamin B complex includes thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), vitamins B5, B6, B12, biotin and folate. Thiamine, riboflavin and niacin are essential for the release of energy from the food we eat, particularly from carbohydrates. These vitamins are widely distributed in foods, including milk, offal, eggs, vegetables, fruit and wholegrain cereals. Many breakfast cereals are fortified with B vitamins.
The vitamins of the B complex help to stimulate your immune defenses in the face of physical stress, such as that which follows surgery or trauma. When the levels of these vitamins fall too low, your body's ability to make antibodies to fight infection declines and you fall victim to frequent infections. A deficiency of Vitamin B complex markedly affects the proper functioning of the immune system.
Alcohol abuse often leads to deficiencies in the Vitamin B complex. Deficiency here leads to a host of maladies of skin, blood cells and energy level. The deficiency here may even increase your craving for alcohol.
Neuropathy (nerve damage0 often comes as a consequence of diabetes. For diabetes sufferers, the B vitamin group is very important in preventing or relieving the neuropathy. Vitamin B12 deficiency may also contribute to the problems with numbness, tingling and pain in your feet and hands experienced in diabetic conditions.
The niacin in B complex is part of a substance called glucose tolerance factor, important in insulin and blood sugar regulation. The thiamine in B12 must be present in your body in order for it to use glucose normally. Deficiency of this vitamin can worsen blood sugar control. The struggle to fend off a cold or other viral attack also increases your demand for Vitamins of the B complex.
Your need for B vitamins increases when you are sick, injured, stressed emotionally or physically, in order to enhance energy protection. Under these conditions, if you do not supplement your diet with certain of the members of this group, fatigue commonly occurs.
When choosing over the counter B complex vitamins to supplement the deficiency, the entire complex works best if given together in a dose of 50 to 100mg. You may however, also need to increase your intake of specific B family members. Extra folic acid and pantothenic acid for example can help improve fatigue associated with depression, burning sensation in the feet and hands, sullenness and sleeplessness.
* * *