Known as Vitamin B complex, there are eight B vitamins — B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12 — which play an important role in keeping our bodies well balanced and running like well-oiled machines. These essential nutrients not only help convert our food into fuel, but also allow us to stay energised throughout the day. Where there are chances where an average person may not be getting as much B-Vitamins are their body needs, supplements to the same are often advised.
People have often asked me, “How much of the B-vitamins should I take?”
I don’t think that you should take too high a dosage of B-vitamins. Many people are actually doing that in complete naivety of the after effects it can have on the human body. When scientists first discovered B-vitamins, the essential dosages that would prevent deficiency symptoms were in the range of two to five milligrams. B-vitamins are not toxic until very large dosages are used. Following the concept that more is better, people began experimenting with larger and larger dosages. There are some people who require very large doses of B-vitamins because of their unique biochemistry. These people got much better on large amounts of B-vitamins.
In my family practice, I often treated people for fatigue. Many of these people were already taking large dosages of B-vitamins, typically the common “B-100s” that are sold in many health food departments of grocery stores. At first, high potency B-vitamins really help people feel better. However, by the time these patients came to me, the vitamins were no longer helping.
The B-vitamins can be a drug. When the dosage of a vitamin is many times the nutritional dosage, it becomes a drug. The drug effect of B-vitamins is stimulation. When a person is tired, the initial reaction when taking B-vitamins is to feel more energetic. Continued usage does not treat the cause of the fatigue (most of the time), so after a few months, the person feels tired again. In a way, the B-vitamins work on a fatigued person like a whip works on a horse. The first few times a whip is used, the horse runs a little faster. But if the whip is used too much, the tired horse cannot run any faster. Most cases of fatigue are not caused by a deficiency of B-vitamins.
I find that most people need B-vitamins in the range of 10 to 25 milligrams. When there are special situations where a specific type of one of the B-vitamins is required in a larger dosage, only that particular vitamin is used, not all the other B-vitamins as well!
Vitamin B-6 is needed in larger doses to prevent nausea and stretch marks during pregnancy. Vitamin B-6 also can help to get rid of the unwanted fluid retention associated with PMS and with high blood pressure. Some people get relief from anxiety taking vitamin B-1 in doses of one hundred milligrams. An effective treatment of chronically cold hands involves administration of two thousand milligrams of vitamin B-5 daily.
Do you get the point?
You take specific kinds of B-vitamins to treat specific biochemical conditions. They are not to be used like a shotgun.
Originally published here.