B-Vitamins and Energy Levels

This is part of our ongoing The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging spotlight. Each day, we will be posting some of the great information that’s packed into our book, The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging.

Today’s topic:
B-Vitamins and Energy Levels

Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin
Most of the B-vitamins are required for the conversion of sugars and fats into energy that can be used by the body. Thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid and biotin are all indispensable for these processes and the rate at which the body can produce usable energy will be set by the B-vitamin that is the least abundant.40

Inadequate intakes of the B-vitamins results in classical symptoms of energy deficiency, with the tissues that are affected reflecting those that are the most sensitive to any particular individual B-vitamin.40 Stark signs and symptoms of B-vitamin deficiencies are well-known. Without getting into the nitty-gritty, thiamin deficiency can influence nerve, brain and heart function, riboflavin deficiency has consequences for the skin and nerves, niacin deficiency can impact mental health, the skin and bowel health, pantothenic acid deficiency also impacts the skin, liver and can influence blood sugar regulation, while biotin is needed for healthy connective tissue such as skin, hair and nails.

Folate, Vitamin B12
Two B-vitamins play special roles in support of the production of red blood cells.40 Poor intakes of folate or vitamin B12 will cause new red blood cell production to slow. As old red blood cells are removed from the circulation, a reduction in the rate of replacement will impair the blood’s ability to deliver oxygen to cells, and loss of endurance will result.

Next Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging topic:
Vitamins, Minerals and Dental Health

40. Depeint F, Bruce WR, Shangari N, Mehta R, O’Brien PJ. Mitochondrial function and toxicity: Role of the B vitamin family on mitochondrial energy metabolism. Chem Biol Interact 2006;163:94-112.

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