Oh my poor neglected blog… My apologies!
Since sitting 4 exams over the last fortnight my brain has taken a much needed vacation, however over that time I learnt some amazing things and its about time I shared.
In Bioscience we learnt how to balance chemical equations..
In Anatomy and Physiology we learnt how the digestive and respiratory systems work..
In Botany we marvelled at how amazing it is that plants can turn light into carbohydrates,
And in Clinical Nutrition we focused on Macronutrients as well as Vitamins B&C.
What are Macronutrients you say? They are something we require everyday in large quantities – in this case: Protein, Fat, Carbohydrates and Water. I have previously written blogs about most of these, and today wanted to focus a little on the vitamin situation.
The B group vitamins are truly amazing. They are involved in so many aspects of health, and energy production at a cellular level, and this simple addition can make a great change to a tired routine..
Each B vitamin has its own deficiency disease and whilst B’s are readily available in whole foods, meat and seafood, leafy greens and vegemite, there are a lot of lifestyle factors that deplete them such as alcohol, illness, and the pill.
One common mistake however is taking B vitamins on their own. Each B is a co-enzyme and requires another to become ‘activated’ (with the exception of B12 injections, or B3 for cholesterol reduction). So if any friends out there are taking B9 – Folate by itself its not going to do a thing without B6 and B12, nor will they work without B3 – you get the gist.. :)
Our wonderful lecturer recommended a brand called Pure Innovation – Activated B’s which I have been taking and wow – within minutes you can feel the effects. The added energy i have during the day is truly amazing, as well as the reduced stress. B Vitamins are also involved in a lot of neural pathways and convertions – such as seratonin to melatonin – read: happy hormone to sleep hormone – along with many others required to keep us feeling happy and healthy so if you are starting to feel a bit frazzled with work, or depressed that winter is so cold these could be a great boost.
Most B vitamin supplements are not in the active form, meaning that they need to be digested, travel through the body to the liver, where if it’s working properly will ‘turn them on’ to be utilised. As mentioned above there are aspects that can decrease this process working, thus by purchasing an active form you completely bypass this step.. This is by no means a paid advertisement – however I have seen the positive effects its had on myself as well as family and friends who have tried them, so anyone out there struggling to get through the day without coffee or a nap, give them a shot* :)
Some simple signs that you might be deficient are cracking lips, burning feet at night that you stick out of the doona, and the inability to remember vivid dreams – seriously one of the deficiency disorders is about dreams! The majority however are to do with skin disorders, swollen tongues, stress, and anaemia – as B’s are involved in making Haem for red blood cells.. B’s (with the exception of B12) cannot be stored by the body and must be ingested everyday..
Also – If you are over 50 and have had a high homocysteine reading on a blood test – which can lead to coronary issues, B’s will bring it down naturally. Homocysteine is part of a natural B vitamin cycle however if you are B6/B9/B12 deficient homocysteine won’t be converted back to something harmless and can build up creating problems. With adequate B’s however, this necessary pathway will run smoothly.
I would love to hear any feedback or questions anyone might have so feel free to ask!
* Take one capsule with food, ideally in the morning. If taken after 4pm they make keep you awake at night :) As they are a high dose have a few B free days a week as well..