Vitamin B Deficiency - and why vitamin supplementation isn't enough!
Nutritional vitamins are sometimes sold and marketed as the cure or magic bullet for all health problems. The concern is that vitamins, when not in their basic state (as they would be in their original form - i.e., oranges, bananas, spinach, broccoli, etc.) are merely base elements lacking the complex natural synergy needed by the body. Sometimes our bodies do not recognize vitamins as nutrients, because they don t work the same way as whole foods for these simple reasons:
- Foods contain not just vitamins, but the co-workers (synergists) and helper nutrients that allow vitamins to work.
- Vitamins are just a small part of what our bodies require for health and healing. It is very often that it is the other food properties that help us while the vitamins are secondary.
- Vitamin sometimes need other nutrient properties in order to work.
For these reasons, vitamin supplements taken alone without a proper balanced diet will not completely solve health problems. They lack the many of the properties of real balanced nutrition which can only come from eating natures real, whole, raw foods. This is why supplements should be from a whole food source where possible. At the very least it is evident that a good balanced diet and nutritional supplementation go hand in hand!
VITAMIN B COMPLEX DEFICIENCY:
Vitamin B is a complex of individual vitamins that exist as a family. In this modern era, millions of people suffer from a deficiency of vitamin B for several reasons, chief among which are:
- Stress: emotional, physical and spiritual.
- Processed foods in the diet: these foods lack their original nutritional vales and can tax the body.
- Refined sugar. The average person consumes at least 140 pounds of sugar a year, which robs the body of its vitamin B stores.
- Drugs: both recreational and prescription drugs deplete vitamin B.
- Toxins: poisons in the environment and personal care products deplete vitamin B complex.
- Malnutrition. Most people are malnourished because they are not eating the right kinds of foods.
- Cooking. Most people do not eat enough real, raw foods, so vitamin B is killed or so depleted that people are not getting enough of it in the diet.
SYMPTOMS OF VITAMIN B DEFICIENCY:
Once your body has been deprived of the vitamin B vitamins due to reasons stated above, it begins to show symptoms (signs) of altered, diminished or poor health. This is because the vitamin B complex (within foods, not just vitamins) is responsible for such a wide variety of activities, including cellular differentiation, transmission of nerve electricity, health of nerve cells, heart pulse rate, muscular contraction, digestion, brain function, thought processes and energy production. Without adequate vitamin B complex from foods, you can experience one or more of any one of these symptoms:
- depression and anxiety
- heart palpitations
- heart arrhythmias
- chronic fatigue
- chronic exhaustion
- paranoia, vague fears, fear that something dreadful is about to happen
- ADD (attention deficiency), inability to concentrate, irritability
- feeling of uneasiness
- easy agitation, frustration
- inability to sleep (insomnia)
- tingling in hands
- tingling fingers and toes
- crying spells, inability to cope
- soreness all over
- and so much more.
CHRONIC VITAMIN B DEFICIENCY
Vitamin B deficiency can sneak up on you, because it doesn't have to create serious health problems right away. In fact, medical researchers have discovered that very often there can be no detectable signs that you are experiencing a deficiency. Researchers feel that it is possible that certain mental disorders can be directly attributable to vitamin B complex deficiency, and it is easier to first start replenishing stores of vitamin B complex than to begin treating difficult mental illnesses with drugs, therapy or psychological counseling.
When vitamin B deficiency becomes chronic (long-lasting), other problems can occur, including troubles with your adrenal system. The adrenal glands serve many purposes, but in relation to this topic, they are the back-up system for making energy. When there is a chronic lack of vitamin B complex then the adrenal glands are called upon to produce quick energy by injecting certain hormones like adrenaline into your system so that you can cope with life. If this goes on for a long time, then the adrenal glands become impaired or worn out, leading to even more health problems.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP YOURSELF
There are a number of things you can do to prevent and overcome vitamin B complex deficiency:
- Reduce sugar intake.
- Avoid eating artificial ingredients. Read all labels on your foods and if there are names of chemicals, don t eat them. Read the author s book, Illness Isn t Caused by a Drug Deficiency. Switch to organic foods.
- Reduce stress through a regular exercise program, meditation, counseling and/or hobbies.
- Reduce the use of caffeine: coffee; maybe switch to organic decaffeinated coffee or organic teas
- Eat more vitamin B-containing foods oats, barley, wheat bran, avocado, salmon, Brazil nuts and others.
- Be patient. It took a while to create a vitamin B deficiency, so it takes a while to reverse the problem; with severe cases it can take a year or so, with milder cases it can take just a few days.
- If you have a friend or relative with a mental or emotional disorder, think of the possibility of a vitamin B complex deficiency and then make suggestions for adjustments in their diet and take appropriate whole food formulas.
- Always coordinate all of your health and treatment plans with all of your practitioners.
- Avoid toxins in your life. This is a serious issue that causes more health problems than people commonly realize.
- Add a quality Vitamin B Complex to your daily supplementation.
- Stryer, PhD. Lubert, Biochemistry, 2nd Ed., Stanford University, WH Freeman & Co., San Francisco, 1981
- Hamilton, et.al, Nutrition Concepts & Controversies, 5th Ed., West Publishing, St. Paul, 1991
- Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA); Vitamins for Chronic Disease Prevention in Adults, Clinical Applications, Robert H. Fletcher, MD, MSc; Kathleen M. Fairfield, MD, Dr PH
- JAMA. 2002;287:3127-3129.
- Shayne, PhD, Vic, Man Cannot Live on Vitamins Alone, 2004
- Shayne, PhD, Vic, Illness Isn t Caused by a Drug Deficiency!, 2001